engl104lesson12 - Kyle King Engl. 104 Lesson 12 Essay...

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Kyle King Engl. 104 Lesson 12 Essay 4/4/07 “All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up.” This famous line from Sunset Boulevard must have been repeated several times over by the characters in La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc . It is traditional in films to utilize a variety of different framing techniques to suggest spacing between characters and objects. In this film, however, the director, Carl Dreyer, uses an abundance of close-up shots throughout the movie to tell his story. This technique was as unconventional during the film’s release as it is today, but it adds a dramatic effect that can’t be found elsewhere. I will discuss how the deviation from standard framing techniques proves to be an advantage for this film as it demands full attention, creates suspense, and invokes the viewer’s emotions. In silent films, it can often be difficult to capture an audience’s attention and keep them focused on the film throughout. The use of sounds and non-diegetic music in the background of modern films are used to hold attention, but Dreyer had to come up with a different way. The close-up shots throughout the film help accomplish this goal. When a long or extreme long shot is used in a film, attention can be lost. The reason for this is that there are too many things to look at in a long shot, and the viewer cannot focus in on everything at once. The close-up shot is generally used to call attention to facial expressions, but it also gives the viewer only one thing to focus on. Throughout La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc the large quantity of close-up shots makes it difficult for the audience to turn their gaze, because each shot seems as if it holds great importance. Although this technique creates an enhanced sense of focus from the audience, it also loses some of the spacing elements that classic Hollywood films possess. Long and medium shots are important to establish the space of the setting, and they give the viewer a realistic feel
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGL 104 W taught by Professor Slobodnik during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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engl104lesson12 - Kyle King Engl. 104 Lesson 12 Essay...

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