Found Scene (Week 12)

This scene from ‘L’Avventura’ directed by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1960 begins with a CU of a woman’s face sleeping. She is the focal point of the frame which means the director wants to focus on just her and her body movements and facial expressions. Because the camera is focused on the woman, the audience creates expectations that something is going to happen with her, and she is the main character of the scene/film. She opens her eyes and starts looking around because you can hear strong winds in the background. Due to the woman taking up all of the frame, the audience is intrigued as to where she is. As noted in the past, Antonioni has the camera following the actor’s movements. As the woman turns her head the camera shows more of her surroundings, and then when she sits up the camera tracks her movements, revealing a man sitting in the room. He is like a statue, not moving, even when the woman starts walking around. Having the audience now seeing the back of the woman and the face of the man, makes us focus on him, especially because he has a light projected onto him. The only character moving is the woman, suggesting that the audience should still be concentrating on her. The camera is still when she is moving because her body movements are being emphasised. The woman gets up and walks out of the frame, so the focus is now on the man, although he destroys any expectations that the audience has on him about moving. Another main feature to Antonioni’s films is that when the actor walks out of frame, he cuts to them walking into the next shot. This is exactly what he has done in this scene. The audience can now see a door that the woman is walking towards, and it is finally going to reveal where she is. This shot is a MS with the woman left of frame, and the doors right of frame. This allows the audience to focus on the opening of the door. When the doors are open it acts as a manmade frame, almost like its representing a picture frame. The actor stands to the left so that the audience can see the ocean and the sun to the right of frame. The reason why Antonioni has the woman with her back to the camera is because there is an emphasis put on the location, as the entire scene has been building up to this. The scene ends with the woman walking out of frame and the camera still focusing on the landscape; perhaps this is done for continuity and time passing purposes in the editing stage.

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