Form in Film

Film is made up of different parts. The purpose of these parts is to communicate with the viewer in a uniquely cinematic way. These parts can include the obvious things like, sound, picture, camera work, etc. It can also include other, equally important aspects of the film like meaning, experience, feelings, and expectations.

This is a short scene from Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

The fact that the film is shot almost entirely in black and white gives us an idea of what type of feeling Spielberg was trying to convey to the viewer. Black and white gives the film a sense of timelessness. From time to time we get close, jittery camera views of the people being taken. This shows the audience how hectic the whole scene is. We can see the expression on peoples faces and we can hear the fear and sadness in their pleas.

At 2:44 we see the famous “red coat” scene. Amidst all this chaos we see a child in a red coat walking through the street. A sad song sung by children comes on. The look on Oskar Schindler’s (Liam Neeson) face is one of realization. Earlier in the film Schindler was annoyed about all the ash (the burning of the bodies) that was falling on his car.

As said earlier expectations (A,B,then C formula) and experiences (what the audience brings prior to watching the film) play an important role in film form as well. This is a short scene from the film adaptation of Charles Dickens Great Expectations.

In this film, for those who have watched it, the audience suspect in the beginning that Ms. Nora Dinsmoor is the mysterious benefactor to Fin. The audience is also lead to believe that the main characters Fin and Estella will follow the typical boy meets girl, they fall in love, whoops there’s a problem, they overcome, they live happily ever after formula. In this case the audience is wrong because we see that Ms. Dinsmoor is not Fin’s benefactor and that Estella does not end up with him. As for experiences, most people have experience the feeling of being in love or at least infatuated with someone and most times we never see a happy ending. So in a way the audience can relate to the film in this way.


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