Found Scene (Week 10)

The scene from ‘Red Desert’ directed by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1964, begins with a shot focused on a brown door. This brown door is amongst white walls, with brown stairs leading up to this, suggesting that action will take place here. The door then opens and the audience is introduced to a couple who walk down the stairs and into the room. The camera has a wide depth of field as both of the characters are in focus, however the woman is in the foreground and the audience are drawn to her, whilst the man is in the background. The female is speaking to the male, however she has her back to him, so that the audience can see her face. This is a main reason why the audience are drawn to her instead of the male, and it seems the director wants us to focus on her expressions. The camera switches to the back of the woman, with the male out of shot. The camera movement tilts upwards at the same time the woman’s head does, emphasising what she is looking at, as it is obviously an important part to the scene’s storyline. The next shot crosses the 180 degree line, with an over the shoulder shot of the man looking at the woman. This action doesn’t make the audience question the scene, instead it works well and you hardly notice. This is a way to show all the areas of the room, however it is done so that the audience knows where all of the characters are in relation to one another at all times. Having the camera tilt all the way up to the roof is a way to pass time, and makes it easier in the post-production stages to cut to the next shot. The shots keep changing from being able to see the woman’s face to not see it respectively, which is another way to cheat continuity in the editing stages. The conversation that follows is an example of external composition, where there are single shots and the way the characters are positioned within the frame, and the way their eyes are facing suggests they are speaking to each other. In this scene there is a strong motif of the characters walking in and out of frame, which is a cue for the cut of shots. Every time a character walks out of frame, the shot cuts and shows the same character walking into frame. The paint on the walls is another motif that is used to determine space, that joins the two characters together. This is clear when the female follows the paint on the walls until she reaches the male. In the majority of the shots, the paint is what is in the middle ground of the framing, while having one character in the foreground and one in the background.

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