Movement

Melancholia is almost purely about human emotion and it’s response to the world around it. Through the use of the camera’s movements through Justine’s world the audience could understand what she was experiencing. Although some may say that Melancholia‘s hand held filming can be disturbing or hard to watch I found that the choice of camera shots really places  you in the film. From the beginning of the film there is a comparison with the use of filming. It starts off with slow dramatic montages and then cuts to a rocky hand held. So immediately you are pulled from this slow dreamy world to an abrupt and chaotic one. This comparison immediately pulls you into the setting and puts you in Justine’s world.

From the beginning you don’t quite understand why but as the first two scene’s unfold you begin to understand why we are there. To understand and follow Justine. To become part of her world and understand the hopelessness that she feels. You can see as you watch her by the way she moved and talked to guests and by the way the film captured her when she wasn’t presenting herself as fine. These are shots that would be missed or not realized if the camera wasn’t so full of motion as it spun you through the depression that Justine was feeling. In addition to the close-up shots the films also contains many long shots with only one or two people in it with a generally clear action. This kind of shot shows the isolation that has been built in the scenes. There is a sense of emptiness in each shot that starts to show how the depression feels to Justine. It is this distance and closeness in the shots that really start to reveal the emotions of the the film. There is calmness and there is chaos. How does this comparison set up the film and how would it be different if the filming itself did not create that comparison as well. Does the filming itself have to convey the theme or can character or scene do the work? If it can, is it as strong as a film that uses every avenue to convey it?

 

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