Anatomy of Films from this Century

In The Anatomy of Film, Bernard Dick defines different aspects of film that are intentional that the normal audience often never pay specific attention to. One of those is subjective camera. When a scene is shot with a subjective camera, the shot “represents what the character sees,” (56). In other words, the camera acts as the actors eyes. The viewer sees what the actor is seeing.

The clip that pertains to this idea of a subjective camera is from the movie, Cloverfield. Much, if not all, was shot in a subjective camera. It is filmed as thought somebody was filming it through handheld camera. This angle works for the whole film with the theme of disaster and apocalypse. This movie intended to show the events through the first person perspective and how one could possibly experience. Many time, thrillers like these show from the sky of people running, but in this movie, the viewers experience the first person perspective of the camera running with them in the crowd.

The next concept is a linear temporal montage. Dick describes it as a “sequence compressing a decade into ten seconds,” (pg. 69). Essentially, it is when a in a movie, the editors speed up time and a lot of events in a short time. It is used in many films to show character development over the years without having to go into great detail.

The clip that is a good example of this idea is from Tarzan. This linear temporal montage shows Tarzan grow up from a baby to a young man. In this movie, the producers told the story of how Tarzan was raised by apes even though the majority of the story takes place when he is a young adult. The montage connect the two times in the life and display the sense of an upbringing in the wilderness – a theme in Tarzan.

The final concept is parallel cutting. Dick describes it as “presents two actions occuring simultanously,” (70). In other words, a scene when two events are going on at once. The camera jumps from differenet scene to scene of two different events to show that there’s multiple events happening at the same time.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, there are two events going on: Harry and Voldemort fighting and Ron, Hermonie, and Neville fighting the snake. This is an example of parallel cutting because these two events are happening at the same time in different places. In the climax of the movie, if not the entire series, the viewers have the opportunity to see the main characters act in heroism and friendship, which are undeniably themes of this series.


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