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Performing arts project film and drama - Essay Example

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Seeing a film is a vastly different experience from seeing a play, this much is apparent. The two provide different perspectives, though both operate within the principle of spectatorship. In comparing a film with substance, such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie (2001) to a recent viewing of the play Much Ado About Nothing shows that the two experiences, though both intellectually stimulating and entertaining, are very different…
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Performing arts project film and drama

Download file to see previous pages... By referring instead to a French Film, such as Jeunet's Amelie, we can eliminate this bias. This approach presumes that essentially, Shakespeare's play, though technically English, feels as though it were written in a language other than our own. Shakespearean scholars probably don't find this to be a problem, but since we want to examine the elements of spectatorship rather than differences in language here, it is best that we eliminate the analysis of language all together.
That said, Amelie is a good choice for contrast to theatre because of its reliance on both cinematic structure and theatricality to convey the message of the film. Moreover, the brilliant use of cinematography in the film provides an inherent contrast to theatre. In addition, since both Amelie and Much Ado About Nothing can be considered romantic comedies as it were, we analyze the experiences of a particular genre, rather than comparing apples and oranges.
The most obvious and visible difference between the experiences incurred in theatre and cinema is that between static and alternating perspectives. That is to say, that when we watch a play, the action of the play remains directly in front of us at all times. It's possible that different things may be occurring on different parts of the stage, but the perspective of the audience spectator never shifts. When we watch a film, our perspective as a spectator is constantly shifting. In Amelie, it is interesting that we almost always share the perspective of the title character, Amelie herself , except for when the director decides that he wants to offer his audience more information than he offers his heroine.
This aspect provides opportunities for both cinema and theatre to maximize the performance's relationship with the audience. For theatre, the director can choose to have a scene in the background or on a separate part of the stage from the primary action which the audience may or may not be required to see to enhance their understanding of the play. In Much Ado About Nothing, when two characters are downstage carrying on a conversation, this does not mean that the rest of the actors on stage stand still. Rather, action continues upstage and to the right and left of the primary action, as though it were all occurring in real time.
For films, the capability of the camera offers new and exciting ways to tell the story. At different parts in the film, we view the world through different perspectives, such as the "Glass Man's" telescope, or Amelie's window. By providing these different perspectives for the spectator, the director is often able to make his audience feel like a voyeur upon the lives of the characters in the film. The shifting perspectives not only offer us new and important pieces of information, but present a visually dynamic piece of film. We enjoy watching specifically because of the bright colors and beautiful scenery that changes throughout the film; this would not be possible in theatre, as we are only ever offered one view from our seats in the auditorium.
Similarly, film allows the audience to witness expressions of emotions on the faces of the characters. Again, due to the capabilities of camera angles and camera work, we have a front row seat, so to speak, to the emotions that the characters are feeling, whether it be surprise, anguish ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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