Lectures and personal studies helped me understand how varied the cinematography is. How points of view, characters and plots are conveyed depending on the year of filming, actors, genre, culture and vision of the director and actors, generally accepted and promoted culture and many other factors. Therefore, completing this course increased my level of erudition and changed my views and perceptions.
Changes in Perception
Previously, I did not consider the film industry so deeply, and did try to understand the details. After completing the course, I began to notice the smallest ones, think about how the film itself was created: what idea was laid in the events and whether we perceive it as originally planned, if our perception has changed depending on the time in which we live. Additionally, I began to analyze and form an idea of the team that participated in the creation and release of a movie, appreciate each participant’s individual contribution.
It’s important to realize how the director of the movie reflects his own creative style in the films. For example, Kubrick’s films are easily recognizable due to frame symmetry and other specific features such as wide angles of shot (Khdair 1). In this way, each director can convey his vision through films. The film industry offers many opportunities for self-realization and art of creation.
In class, we looked at films of various years, from the 1980s to the 2010s. Over the years, not only the technologies that make it possible to shoot higher quality movies have changed significantly, but also the style of presentation itself. Giving an example, filmed in the 1960s, “Dr. Strangelove” has a huge difference from “The Shining” and ”2001: A Space Odyssey” filmed in the 1980s by the same director not only in genre, but also in the style including the speed at which events develop, staging of the shot, music usage and presentation of the characters.
Films also leave a very different aftertaste and length of impression. After watching some movies, there is a feeling of lightness and carelessness, while others leave a heavy feeling or ground for thought. Additionally, referring to some films such as “Eat Drink Man Woman” details and impressions continue to be revealed after watching the film, during parsing into fragments in the head, or rethinking certain parts. In my opinion, the cinema industry is very variable now, which allows it to be a platform for creativity, since there will be a viewer for most genres, styles and inherent meaning.
Films influence viewers and can shape human values and culture. Viewers can unconsciously adopt the characters’ manners and behaviors, empathize, resonate, and draw conclusions. Emotional movies can greatly influence impressionable people, as well as lay in the head many thoughts that will develop and ponder in the future.
Elements of a Film
Together, main elements of the film language bring the story and atmosphere of the film to the audience. They include camera, mise-en-scène, sound & music, editing and performance, setting, theme, plot and character (Umboro, 40). Control of all these elements requires a large team involved. It increased my respect and appreciation for the filmmaking process, because all elements of the system must work perfectly, and this requires the participation of many people, stability, consistency and control.
Moreover, it takes a lot of time and budget to make a movie. In the case of established directors and actors, it is sometimes possible to assume profitability, but in the case of new market entrants, it is difficult to predict the return on investment. For many films, budget allocated may take time or never pay off. But at the same time, movies continue to be created by various directors and investors for the sake of art and delivering atmosphere and thoughts to people. If considering not only the time and budgets for the filmmaking itself, but also the planning steps, castings, pre-runs, rehearsals, editing, translations, license sales, marketing, and many other steps, it becomes clear how much work is put into each film.
It would seem that everyone who wants to can create a film, but this is only before studying the background. In reality, in most cases, large time and financial investments are required to create a successful film that will have a consistently good picture, an interesting plot and will reach its viewer. However, sometimes even this is not enough, because being an artistic process, films require the presence of talented participants, since it is they who create what the viewer sees on the screen. Additionally, there is a team behind each movie and involving one motivated person, for example a director, is not enough. It is important that the whole team works and is motivated to create a quality product.
Of all the films watched, “The Shining” is my favorite. Firstly, I find Kubrick’s recognizable style exciting and impressive. Secondly, the film itself has a wonderful combination of factors, including the picture, acting, atmosphere, sounds, light, and other elements. All the components seem to have perfectly come together, and I think this is the purpose of each film.
The film is based on the book of the same name by Stephen King, but separately gained wide popularity and became one of the top film adaptations. In the film, Kubrick slightly changed the presentation of the picture. Therefore, the book and the movie cannot be called the same in regards to the plot and atmosphere, but in my opinion, both are brilliant.
Additionally, Jack Nicholson played a huge role starring as Jack Torrance. He perfectly conveyed the emotions and mannerisms of the character. I doubt that anyone else could fit in this role so well, but it’s worth considering that we as viewers got used to the idea of seeing this actor in the cult film “The Shining”. Perhaps it is partly because of Jack Nicholson’s involvement that the film has become such a legendary classic.
The film raises important topics such as creativity, inspiration, and alcohol, smoothly changing among themselves. All topics are presented in such a way that the viewer believes in the reality of what is happening on the screen. At the same time, a share of mysticism and understatement remains, leaving the possibility of free interpretation.
Least Favorite Movie
Controversary, I can call ”2001: A Space Odyssey” by the same director, Stanley Kubrick, my least favorite out of the movies watched. This film, in my mind, is too confusing for the average viewer. Many moments are too incomprehensible and undisclosed, not leaving a basis for thinking like other Kubrick films, but on the contrary not allowing to understand the essence and idea of the film.
Another parameter which in my opinion is not an advantage for “2001: A Space Odyssey” is the visualisation. There are too many special effects in this film that interfere with viewing and do not make the movie more impressive or exciting. Perhaps, such a number of special effects can be explained by the influence of trends of those times, but still could be limited.
Khdair, Dina. “Re-Inventing Kubrick’s Legacy: Style, Substance, and Gender Politics in the Favorite.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 2021, pp. 1-27.
Umboro, Priyo Danu. “Intrinsic Elements Analysis of a Movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” Jurnal Ilmiah Spectral, vol. 7, no. 1, 2021, pp. 40-50.