The green Mile By Stephan King- Execution Scene (1999)
With this Narrative told using flashback qualities a broad number of camera angles and composition are established throughout the film. Within the execution scene, a select number of Medium close ups and close ups are used between John Coffey (protagonist) and Old Paul Edgecomb, this gives the audience a greater understanding of the relationship between these characters that have been established throughout the movie. By using close ups and extreme close ups on John Coffey, emotion can be felt more intensely as we see John Coffey plead that he’s afraid of the dark and tries to calm himself down before being electrocuted. The use of audio here is significant in the fact that you can only hear the voices of Old Paul and John, whispering, this creates a feeling of hopelessness but also creates a very personal relationship, not wanting the witnesses to hear that they are in fact close. Old Paul is seen through Medium close ups which adds to the relationship that although Old Paul and John are close, Old Paul cant be seen by the witnesses as having a relationship with a criminal thus in using these shots, it creates a sense of tension between whats about to happen, with the truth. A panning shot is also used in this scene to show the emotion on each guards face in relation to wanting to save this man because he is innocent, paired with the fact that only the witnesses want Paul Coffey dead because they don’t know the truth, thus they have to follow their orders. This adds to the emotional tension of the narrative.
An over the shoulder shot is used, with John sitting in the electric chair and Old Paul being prompted that he has to give the order to begin electrocution. The Witnesses are also seen in the background of this shot adding to the idea that they only see a criminal and Old Paul must electrocute an innocent man. An extreme close up of Old Paul and Johns last handshake is the peak within this scene, this is Old Pauls’ way of saying goodbye to his friend before stepping back into Medium close up shots between Old Pauls face and John Coffey being electrocuted.
The sound scape throughout is extremely quiet, we can hear the emotion of each guard rather than the electric chair. This creates tension and a strong sense of emotion. The guards don’t want to be a part of killing an innocent man and having to watch.
The lights above them explode into sparks, marking the idea that it wasn’t right to kill this innocent man. However within this particular moment we cannot hear the electric chair or the lights explode, instead the sound is directed towards Old Paul’s face as he is watching John be electrocuted. This direction of sound, draws direct focus to the emotion of killing an innocent man.
The black Swan (2010)- Opening Scene:
The opening of this scene although looks incredibly simplistic is anything but. The use of a single instrument, Piano, represents the idea that this movie is entirely personal with a solo performance. The use of gentle non-diegetic sound within the opening, can automatically be linked to ballet music. A black pastel is also scene drawing on paper in soft flows to match the music, which could be interpreted as the main protagonists journey throughout the film as a way of reflection. In pairing the drawing with the beats in the music, audience members can feel a strong sense of connection between the way in which one hears music and interprets that through their movement, adding to the portrayal of a dancer.
As the music increases in intensity and the pastel breaks we experience the feeling of aggressiveness in relation to the solo characters mental and physical journey throughout the film adding a dramatic sense of irony. Glass breaking is also a strong component within the opening of this scene. It has no relation to the piano we have been hearing, this creates a sense of chaos among the audience. The extreme close up of the pastel scratching over the page, gives the audience the idea that this will be a very challenging film both physically and emotionally and that we will be given front row seats to the events that are going to be taking place in this persons life. The use of glass breaking coincides with the dramatic reveal of the drawing which is the climax within this clip.
The use of audio build up paired with the drawing adds to the idea that the character could go through an immense build up of pressure. This is reflected in the music, with both speed and intensity. The drawer seems to add more and more pressure to the pastel as it draws over the page, reflecting that of the characters aggressive side.
Panning is the only camera movement throughout the opening scene, the rest of the clip is still with only the drawer creating a sense of movement. This keeps the audience tightly focused into what is happening within this clip and why it is significant.
More about camera angles in Cinematography can be found here: