JCM412512/Analytical Exercise (Discussion)
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- Briefly describe the mise-en-scene of the scene in which Sugarpuss kisses Bertram the second time (see illustrations below and this online clip). How does mise-en-scene function in term of the narrative? That is, how does it help to build the characters and their relationship? Be sure to discuss setting, costume, lighting, and the positioning of the actors. (15 points)
- Based on the "second kiss" scene from question #1, draw a single diagram of the professors' work room from an overhead, "bird's eye" view. Indicate the main camera and actor positions. Label the camera positions for shot "1," "2," etc.--similar to Television's 180-degree diagram, but do not include the side-view frames of the people (below). Be sure to account for all 14 shots. Does the editing adhere to the 180 degree system? Explain.
- Explain in your own words what the concept of "sound perspective" means. How would you describe the sound perspective in the "second kiss" scene? Judging from how it sounds, what conventional position of the microphone was used? Explain.
- What is the central narrative enigma of Ball of Fire? Comparing the film's beginning and ending, how is that enigma posed to the viewer and is it resolved or not at the end?
- How do the story time and the screen time of Ball of Fire differ in order and duration?
- Does Ball of Fire follow the narrative conventions of classical cinema—its narrative form, as the Television textbook explains it? Refer to individual scenes to discuss these aspects of classical cinema:
- Single protagonist
- Narrative enigma
- Cause-effect chain
- In one shot (see below), Bertram speaks with Sugarpuss soon after she arrives at the professors' workroom (still wearing her nightclub outfit). Note: This shot is not from the scene of the second kiss, which is to be used in the mise-en-scene and editing questions. Discuss the cinematography (especially camera angle, framing and depth of field) of this shot in terms of how it supports the narrative.
The "Second Kiss" Scene: Questions 1, 2, and 3
Sugarpuss arrives at the professors' workroom: Question 7 only
- Jeremy G. Butler, Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture (New York: Routledge).