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Unlike writing, film fuses varying audiovisual components and, in this way, introduces a new dimension to film analysis. It is important to think about every one of the things that make up a scene in a film: the performing artists, the lighting, the points, the hues. All these aspects and more work together to help the film audience analysis what they are watching. One of the most important key scenes in the 2017 American Horror Film Get Out (directed by Jordan Peele) that I think the audience should recognize is the killing deer & police scene.
In this scene, close-ups, diegetic sound, and lighting, and foreshadowing all play a key role in piecing together the key morals and lessons that the film director wants their audience to be aware of at this time.
A close-up is an image in which the distance between the subject and the point of view is short, as in “close-up of a person’s face”. Several close-ups occur throughout the duration of this particular scene and they all correspond to the symbolism of the deer in relation Chris’ mother.
In most cases, the more close-ups a character has in a film, the more important that character is. In this case, the close-ups occur because Chris knows something that the audience does not yet know (but will eventually find out in a future scene). Usage of close-ups gives a rather greater sense of rhythm and interest in a story, so it is crucial that the audience know that what Chris is thinking about is very important to the plot.
The importance of the deer to Chris correlates with the incident that occurred with his mother when he was just a young boy. We learn that Chris’ mother was the victim of a hit and run incident. Chris feels an immense amount of guilt for the cause of her death as he just sat there and didn’t try to help her because he didn’t know what to do. Because of this guilt, after Rose hits the deer with her car, Chris immediately goes to check on the deer because he doesn’t want another incident like before where all he is left with is a feeling of guilt and grief for not being able to help.
Diegetic sound refers to any sound that belongs to the world of film. Examples of these types of sounds include dialogue (speech), sound effects, and ambient sounds (background sounds). In this scene, sound effects and ambient sounds are crucial. The loud crunch of the leaves as Chris steps further into the woods to investigate the damage done to the deer shows the determination Chris has to find out the condition of the buck. Not to mention, the whaling of the deer in the distance is the most important ambient sound in this scene as to Chris it represents the similar whaling noise that his mother made after she was hit by the car and left on the side of the road to die. The sound effects/ambient sounds in this scene are used to charge audiences emotions and feelings towards what they are watching in the picture and they go all the way to make the scene much more dramatic.
In the world of film, lighting is much more than just brightness and darkness in specific scenes. Lighting sets the foundation and is a key factor in shooting a successful film. Not only does it set the mood and reflect on the genre of the movie, it allows the audience to have a better understanding on how to feel emotionally. In this scene (more specifically when Chris enters the woods), the lighting is very dark. The type of lighting used in this scene is referred to as “low-key lighting”. In this type of lighting, shadows and contrast is particularly important and the image is predominately full of dark tones and colors. When Chris enters the woods, low-key lighting comes into play which is important especially considering this is a horror film and this type of lighting is primarily used for this genre. The dim hues and shadows on Chris’ face in the woods helps to create tension and fear in the eyes of the audience due to the mysterious and dark atmosphere.
Foreshadowing in films is used as an advance sign to warn the audience of what is to happen in the future. The deer that Rose hits in the beginning foreshadows not only the film’s hit and run motif but also the weird comparison that Rose’s father has between deer and black persons. The symbolism of the deer in relation to the hit and run has already been previously explained however, the symbolism of the deer regarding black persons comes from Rose’s father’s obsession with viewing deer and the black race as “trophy prizes”. Just as people hang deer heads on plaques and display their hunt as prizes, her father views hunting and catching black men as his “prize”. Chris and the deer are mirror images of one another and during this scene is where the foreshadowing of these two phenomena occurs although the audience will not understand this until later in the film. Foreshadowing adds dramatic tension to a story by building anticipation in the audience and helps people better understand and comprehend what was going on in the events leading up to the conflict once they reflect back on the foreshadowing.
Films are a visual, intuitive showcase of how we see our very own reality and give us understanding into who we truly are. They show us, caution us, and make us mindful of things we have disregarded. They engage us and take us to new universes and spots we would never have envisioned. They shape our identity as a general public, enable us to characterize what is correct and what isn’t right, and they move both positive and negative conduct. Along these lines, film analysis truly helps us view films in a completely different point of view.
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