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Elements of Design - Research Paper Example

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Elements of Design: Chinatown Director The film’s director was Roman Polanski. While Polanski did not write the script – Robert Towne wrote Chinatown – one notices his auteurist influence on early all modes of creation. In this context of understanding, it’s been noted that Polanski was hired as he would bring a European vision to the United States to the film; namely, a darker and more cynical perspective (Keesey)…
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Elements of Design
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Elements of Design

Download file to see previous pages... Sylbert had a tremendous impact on the film and, along with the art director W. Stewart Campbell, would be nominated for an Academy Award (Eaton). In terms of specific contributions, Sylbert oversaw the costuming which placed strong emphasis on 1930s accuracy. In addition, it was Sylbert’s responsibility to design and structure the facades that would be built as the vintage backdrop (Eaton). In these regards, he constructed bleach-washed facades that were reminiscent of drought-era 1930s Los Angeles. Art Director The film’s production designer was W. Stewart Campbell. W. Stewart Campbell worked directly with Richard Sylbert in envisioning and constructing general mise-en-scene elements. In this specific film Campbell contributed more to the specific mise-en-scene within the context of individual scenes, whereas Sylbert functioned as constructing the overarching production model (Eaton). Ultimately, both individuals would be nominated for Best Art Director. Use of light in the scene Lighting is a highly important element in the scene. Indeed, the neo-noir conventions of the film are such that lighting is one of the most distinguishing features of its aesthetic. In this specific scene this noir lighting is highly evident. In these regards, the scene occurs at night and many of the on-looker’s faces are ensconced in darkness. Even when the film focuses in on Noah Cross he is wearing a hat and his faced remains dark ("It's chinatown," 2011). The obvious implications of this dark lighting are that they indicate an overarching cynical perspective on existence and a morally ambiguous environment. This is also reflected throughout the entire film, as even the supposedly good characters engage in some morally dubious behavior. Setting The setting of the particular scene occurs in an external setting on the street in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. The specific time period is the 1930s. This is significant to the film as it is a formative period in Los Angeles development as they were experiencing tremendous water shortages, which would be a motivating element of action in the film. In addition, the specific culture of Chinatown, as evidenced in the scene’s final line ‘It’s Chinatown’ demonstrates a culture of crime. Costuming As noted earlier, rather than implementing a fanciful characterization of 1930s costuming, the production design greatly focused on constructing accurate period clothing. In this specific scene the characters are contained in suits with hats. The similarity of the good character – J.J. Gittes – with the costume of the bad – Noah Cross – demonstrates that one of the film’s underlining themes is moral ambiguity. Still, Noah Cross wears a billed hat that shrouds his eyes in darkness, designating him as an evil force ("It's chinatown," 2011). Furthermore, Katherine is wearing a white dress, greatly contrasting her from the others, and heightening her sense of innocence and purity ("It's chinatown," 2011). Hairstyle and Makeup In terms of hairstyle, all the characters are wearing hats so this is not a factor in the scene. Makeup, however, plays an important role in the film as J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is featured with a cut nose ("It's chinatown," 2011). While the cut is from earlier in the film, it is prominently witnessed in this scene ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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