Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"bug"

In William Friedkin's film called "Bug" has various ways of lighting through out the film. Lighting is a huge part of mise en scene. The lighting will help set the mood and location of the film. Not only will it reflect the mood of the film but also how the characters are feeling. In the very beginning of the film we see Ashley Judd's character living in a sleazy motel. There is a bright blue neon light that goes around the motel. The blue is similar to what is seen coming from a bug zapper. I think that gives the audience a clue as to what could happen considering the film is called "Bug" and this blue bug zapping light surrounding the main character's home. The blue light also hints to the viewer that she is very blue and sad. Inside the motel room that she lives in, is very dark with lots of shadows. She is living in the hotel room to escape her abusive ex-husband. The lighting gives us a hint that she is really emotionally hurt by her past. That is why her room is so dark and depressing. He keeps calling her and doesn't say anything. One time when the phone rings she decides not to answer but has a stare down with the phone. She is lit from only one side of her face. The phone is lit just like how she was. Only one side was lit, the other in shadow as if phone was like a real person. "Bug" uses lighting to set the mood of the film and to inform the viewer of how the character is feeling.

1 comment:

J. Schneider said...

Erik,

You asked me to comment on your posts, so I am going to respond with detailed critical response so that you can improve your analytical and critical writing skills. So, in detail:

- "In William Friedkin's film called "Bug" has various ways of lighting through out the film." Vague, and therefore a weak opening.

- "Lighting is a huge part of mise en scene. The lighting will help set the mood and location of the film. Not only will it reflect the mood of the film but also how the characters are feeling." Again, general and also irrelevant. Reads like a report about mise-en-scene and what it is. But that is not your task. Your task is to identify a SPECIFIC and INTERESTING function of the mise-en-scene in this particular film.

- "In the very beginning of the film we see Ashley Judd's character living in a sleazy motel. There is a bright blue neon light that goes around the motel. The blue is similar to what is seen coming from a bug zapper. I think that gives the audience a clue as to what could happen considering the film is called "Bug" and this blue bug zapping light surrounding the main character's home."

Okay... no one would dispute this. But again, what does it prove? What is your argument? That this blue light is simulating a bug zapper light because the film is about bugs? I think you can do better. Consider the possibility that this particular film doesn't afford as many opportunities for interesting analysis.

- "The blue light also hints to the viewer that she is very blue and sad."

Again, you're not digging very deep here. Blue=sad. Okay. But did you need to tell the reader this? Is this what's interesting to YOU, or was it simply the quickest, easiest thing you could say?

- "Inside the motel room that she lives in, is very dark with lots of shadows. She is living in the hotel room to escape her abusive ex-husband. The lighting gives us a hint that she is really emotionally hurt by her past. That is why her room is so dark and depressing."

Same comment. Dark=darkness=dark thing... what about this is compelling? From now on, assume that whatever you write is only worthwhile if it is telling us something from a unique vantage point - YOURS. Avoid being this obvious. I know you have more original insights than blue=sad and dark=depression.

- "One time when the phone rings she decides not to answer but has a stare down with the phone. She is lit from only one side of her face. The phone is lit just like how she was. Only one side was lit, the other in shadow as if phone was like a real person."

This is your best material. This is an observation that is not so obvious, and an example in which lighting is used to turn a look to an inanimate object (then phone) into a shot/reverse-shot pattern more typical of dialogue between two characters. Ideally, you would then go on to say what's significant about that (answering the question, "so what?"): perhaps, it achieves an almost meta-narrative comic effect, or perhaps it projects the threat of the abusive husband onto the phone by lighting it as a person in the room. Whatever it is, it has to come from a real intellectual spark, something you're interested in.

- " "Bug" uses lighting to set the mood of the film and to inform the viewer of how the character is feeling."

Another vague statement. Lighting sets the mood in any and all films. Mirroring character feeling is almost a given. My advice overall: avoid phoning this in and you will learn so much more.