A1 CTCS

A1 CTCS - OPTION#3 VISUAL DESIGN Aleena Khan T.A Lara...

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OPTION #3: VISUAL DESIGN Aleena Khan – T.A. Lara Bradshaw – 10/03/2011 - CTCS190 CLUELESS
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Visual design is used in films to allow the audience to further apprehend a character’s background and role. Whether it is costume and makeup or lighting and color, visual design is used to convey the film’s subject and themes and inadvertently contributes to its mood and atmosphere, for example through lighting or setting. In Amy Heckerling’s Clueless (1995), the audience can analyze the various elements of visual design incorporated in the film to allow a better understanding of the characters and themes in the film. Elements of visual design such as costume and makeup help to define a character’s role and personality in a film. For example, the main character Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is predominantly shown with minimal makeup, portraying a very natural, pure persona. In contrast to Cher’s sophisticated, more elegant appearance with light makeup and fair hair, Dionne (Stacey Dash) is presented sporting bright makeup, with dark black hair in multiple braids. One can argue that Heckerling uses her characterization of Dionne in order to further highlight the contrast between her and Cher’s personalities in Clueless . Cher’s choice of natural lipstick colors and simple hairstyles imply that she is perhaps more innocent or naïve than Dionne, who gives a more wild impression by wearing lipstick colors such as bright red. Furthermore, Cher wears a subtle necklace with a Christian cross symbol on it, further reinforcing her portrayal as an innocent, “clueless” girl, while Dionne wears bright gold jewelry, voluntarily grabbing her peers’ attention. Whilst Heckerling emphasizes both characters’ wealth and affluence throughout the film, the contrast between their appearances potentially creates a moral boundary between the two girls. Dionne’s flamboyant choice of costume and makeup imply that she is more pretentious and willing to flaunt her wealth than Cher, whose appearance is arguably more subdued and classic. Heckerling connotes that the use of makeup and costume is
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primarily used to give the audience a more in-depth perspective of the characters’ personas throughout the film. Furthermore, costume is once again used to convey an individual’s character within the film; before the audience hears Murray (Donald Faison) speak, they can already stereotype his character due to his appearance. In the first scene where he is introduced, he wears baggy jeans - purposely showing his boxers – and a hat flipped backwards. His informal attire allows the audience to assume that he is not a serious student and is perhaps not well educated. Heckerling uses this element of visual
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A1 CTCS - OPTION#3 VISUAL DESIGN Aleena Khan T.A Lara...

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