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Final Exam Paper - Essay Example

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Theater 120A- Fall 2011- Final Exam Paper. Part One. The part of Tito/Salvatore in Cinema Paradiso is played by three actors, showing childhood, adolescence and maturity, but the cinematography treats them all in a similar way. They are portrayed as inhabiting a space that is framed like the screen in cinema…
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Download file to see previous pages It also gives the impression of a performance within a performance, as he moves from frame to frame. The relationship between Alfredo and the boy Toto is the central theme of the film. The two actors act and react with each other, and the boy provokes the old man in various ways, so that he becomes cross at first, and impatient. Over time he mellows, however, and there are many camera shots of the two of them together, the boy in Alfredo’s lap, or on the handlebars of his bicycle, as if the little boy is in the shadow of his protective grandfather figure. At the time when Toto grows up and leaves his mentor, the old man has become weak, and the young man has become strong, reversing the relationship in a poignant way. Salvatore is first seen in the city behind the windscreen of his car, which puts his face in a wide angle frame. After that he goes to his bedroom and looks out through a window, which makes the frame tall and narrow. When the flashback to his village begins, it shows the dusty scene through the square opening of the bell tower, as if the eye of memory looks out from a small space into the wider world. The child Toto is shown clutching scraps of film in his hands through the frame of an internal window. The adolescent Salvatore looks up at Elena’s window with longing, and his first kiss takes place in the same small projection box in which he learned about love. The message here is that life comes through the window of the cinema screen, and this is made most clearly of all in the long scene where Salvatore watches the collage of screen kisses that Alfredo has left to him. This arouses Salvatore’s affective memory, reminding him of the impoverished childhood that he had, and the longing to grow up and escape from the constraints of his village to experience love and real life in the world beyond. Part Two The character of Rick in Casablanca is quite similar to the character of Alfredo, in some ways. He is portrayed as a somewhat distant and unfeeling person, hiding under his hat and smoking quietly so that no-one can guess what he is thinking. He is at home in the dark night club scenes, with shady characters and this is conveyed by the dim lighting of Rick’s cafe. The skill of the director is evident in the way that the audience is at first led to believe he is a bad character, always in the shadows but in the end the farewell scene shows that his gloom is because of sadness at the loss of his love, and he really is a noble character. Like Alfredo, Rick needs the presence of a completely different person to bring out his true nature. The female lead character is often shown in close-up and her acting is expressive. She reacts to Rick’s enigmatic silences with passionate looks, and provides the other side of the story that Rick is not telling anybody. There is a whole back story that only gradually is revealed. Ingrid Bergman has is open and sympathetic, where Humphrey Bogart is cynical and deceptive. Both films show how opposites attract, and enhance each other, but there is an element of nostalgia about them, since separation is the only way that they can live their lives. In both films kisses are the force that heals their pain. In Casablanca Rick and Ilsa’s bittersweet kiss is not a standard happy ending, because there are too many obstacles in the way for them to be together, especially Ilsa’s husband. In Cinema Paradiso the collage of kisses are like an intense reminder of all that is most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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