Sunday, 7 September 2014

Representation-American Beauty

The representation of Lester Burnham

When studying Lester Burnham I will consider what the sound is like, how it is edited, how the camera is worked, and I will look at the muse en scene.  The muse en scene is how the scenes are laid out and what is positioned where. There is normally a reason for where everything in the shot is placed. The editing is about whether the film is fast pace or slow pace. What I mean by this is how many times the scene changes maybe from one character to the next. If it was slow pace, it would stay on one thing for a while, normally in a monologue or emotional scene, whereas in a fast pace scene the shot changes quickly from one thing to the next. This normally occurs in dramatic or more elaborate scenes.

Dialect and non-dialect

Dialect and non-dialect is to do with the use of sound. Dialect is the use of sound within the scene itself. This could be something like the radio, dialogue, a crowd or ambiance. Non-dialect is when the noise is on the outside of the scene. This is normally a voice over narrator or sound track music. An example of this is at the very start of the film studied, ‘American Beauty’. Lester does a monologue of himself, setting out the scene but as a voice over. It also uses music to portray a certain environment and feel to the film.
General Thoughts

·       Lester doesn’t seem content with his life and seem distant from his surroundings. This is highlighted when he does his voice over at the start of the film and also in the way he acts.

·       When walking around and seated, Lester appears to have poor posture and slouches. To me as a viewer this shows initially that he lacks confidence in himself and can be quite lazy.

·       When he talks about his wife, Lester appears to have a dislike to her and speaks about her in a negative way.

·       As Lester gets in the car, he sits in the back seat rather than in the front and his daughter sits in the front instead of his. This shows a lack of respect from his family and also, in some ways, shows again how unconfident he is.

·       Because Lester’ wife doesn’t help or support Lester in anyway when he drops his case as he walks to the car, it almost looks as if the roles are reversed. The wife is also standing lent on the car telling him to hurry up whereas stereotypically that would be the husband’s job.

·       Lester appears to have a very boring job, just looking at numbers all day long.

·       At the start of the film, Lester jerks off in the shower and says how that is the highlight of the day. This suggests he has a sexless marriage and has to do things himself rather than with his wife. Following this it gives the impression of a lack of love in their relationship and an unhappy lifestyle.

·       Throughout the opening scenes Lester has a very monotonous voice.

·       Finally when watching the first part of the twice over I noticed that there was a colour scheme of cream, red, white and blue. The cream was most commonly seen in the bedrooms and living areas, office etc. This giving his life a sense of dullness. And the red white and blue just as three prominent colours that are used throughout the whole film. The red however representing the red roses that often appear.

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