The Great American Inception

Subjective Camera

In Bernard Dick’s Film, Space, and Mise-en-Scène, he describes subjective camera as a technique in “representing what the character sees” (p.56). In simpler terms, the audience is seeing the movie as if they were a character in the movie itself. The scene I will discuss is from Jack Clayton’s The Great Gatsby. Using a subjective shot can definitely take away from a movie, as the audience is restricted to only what the character sees, but can also add to the scene. In this scene, we are first introduced to Gatsby through the eyes of Nick. The shot itself suggest that Gatsby is of a higher social class than Nick simply because of the angle used to introduce Gatsby. From that same scene, we get a sense of how important Gatsby will be to the movie. By showing the empty sea from his perspective, the audience feels a sense of loneliness and emptiness that would not have been felt if it weren’t for the subjective shot.

American Montage

Bernard Dick describes a montage as being “both the linear and the associative sequence” (p. 69).  To be more specific, an American montage “blends shots together, wipe each other away, or are superimposed on each other” (p.68). Basically, a montage can be depicted by showing a long period of time shown in only seconds of the movie. Team America, directed by Trey Parker, has a perfect scene to describe a montage. Not only is the song used during the scene called “Montage”, but we are also shown the improvement a character goes through in order to succeed in his mission. This usage of this technique is effective because it cuts out the unimportant parts of him actually working out daily to attain the skills necessary to accomplish the mission.

Parallel Cutting

In the reading, Dick explains that parallel cutting “presents two actions occurring simultaneously” (p.70). The movie I will use was very confusing to understand when I first saw it. Inception, by Christopher Nolan, uses parallel cutting that can be confusing to the naked eye. The camera cuts from a scene on a hotel hallway to a van full of unconscious passengers. But if you look closely, you can see that the same character is in both shots. This is done throughout the movie with more than one character. If the hotel scene were shown completely to the audience before the scene from the van, it would have given off a different meaning to the audience. By using parallel cutting, Nolan was able to clarify the meaning of the movie.

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