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Cinematography in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo - Essay Example

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While Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo has been recognized one of the most intensely debated films in the American movie history, it is the interpretations of its narrative that attracted most critical works (White 910)…
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Download file to see previous pages a kind of a disabling sensation which describes people’s feeling that they (and the world around them) are in the state of constant movement, so is the cinematography of the film (“Vertigo”, A Dictionary of Nursing). Carefully sequenced and innovative shots, elaborate camera movement, effective use of light and color, as well as other cinematographic tools all contribute to the fact Vertigo’s cinematography ideally fits in the overall vision of the film and effectively serves to create the intended feeling in the audience, namely that of horror. At the same time, the cinematography in Vertigo helps to create hidden meanings and set the story’s tone and mood. My goal in this paper is to discuss how cinematography is used in Vertigo and how exactly it effect contributes to the story unfolding. In particular, I will focus on the film’s techniques of lightning, color, matte shooting, and camera movement used in order to manipulate the audience’s opinion and produce the scaring effect. First though, I will explore the meaning of cinematography and provide a necessary theoretical background to the research. Cinematography as an Art of Creating Films While cinematography is usually understood in terms of its technical, photographic value for the ‘big picture’ of the film, it is certainly an art. Specifically, the following definition by the American Society of Cinematographers seems appropriate: “Cinematography is the art and craft of the authorship of visual images for the cinema extending from conception and pre-production through post-production to the ultimate presentation of these images.” (“Cinematography”, Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers) ...
aphy”, Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers) Explaining the vision of cinematography, the author of this definition further states that cinematography is about the effective use of photography in a film subject to a variety of organizational, interpretive, physical, image manipulating, and managerial techniques (“Cinematography”, Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers). Hence, cinematography is a process both creative and interpretative which results in an authorship of a unique work contrary to mere recording of a given event. Similar understanding of cinematography is expressed by Brown in his recent book Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors. Brown links the concept to the literal meaning of the term “cinematography” based on the Greek root translated as “writing with motion” (Brown 2). For Brown, cinematography is about creating an original visual world through the use of a cinematic technique. In particular, he explains that at the heart of cinematography is shooting. Yet, cinematography is more than this. It should be seen as “a process of taking ideas, words, actions, emotional subtext, tone, and all other forms of nonverbal communication and rendering them in visual terms.” (Brown 2). Technically, cinematography is based on photography of moving images while the motion picture is being made. Konigsberg in The Complete Film Dictionary says it is about the use of camera angles, movement, and distance, lightning, color, etc (“Cinematography”, Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers). Brown, in his turn, identifies the following tools of cinematography: the frame, the lens, light and color, the texture, movement, establishing, and point of view (Brown 4-10). Respectively, a variety of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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