The Cinematic Essay

In other words, you’re looking down on another character.This type of shot is often used to illustrate superiority or power of one character over another.

This type of low lighting creates dark, moody scenes and strong shadows on actors’ faces.

Check out the scene below from the film Out of the Past.

Notice the dark coloring and shadows on the actors.

Also notice how your eye is drawn to the brightest, lightest point in the shot, the beautiful face of Kathy Moffatt (played by Jane Greer).

Remember the scene in where Ralphie is looking up at Santa and telling him he wants a Red Ryder BB gun? Ralphie is powerless at that moment as he looks up at Santa, and Santa shoves Ralphie down the slide.

Sound doesn’t necessarily refer to the dialogue or music in a movie.

If you’re looking for help with that, read How to Analyze a Movie for Dramatic Effect. Genre refers to a type of film (or piece of literature) that follows a specific style and usually focuses on a specific subject.

A few examples of genres are western, romantic comedy (a.k.a. Genres can sometimes become formulaic, so if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. They’re all basically light-hearted comedies, and the characters have to overcome a number of obstacles in order to find their true love.

Think about movies like Lord of the Rings and the Christian symbolism involved.

Think about the classic film Citizen Kane and the sled as a symbol of Kane’s childhood. The Disney movie Cinderella exemplifies the theme of love conquers all.


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