Seeing the end of the world

The films throughout this semester all deal with different imaginations of the world. Each film we have watched has used different cinematography to showcase what it believes the end of the world is like.

One example is Mad Max: Fury Road, which establishes an intense world. It uses extreme long shots of its wide-open desert to established a brutal, unforgiving, and unending space that the main characters must battle through. However, in one of the first extreme long shots of the citadel we see a green grassy oasis on top of one of the mountains, which could symbolize a slight glimmer of hope. Hope is something that the main character, Furioso, will cling to throughout the film as she heads toward the green place. The film also envisions a world filled with battle and action, shown through the lens of a camera that seemingly covers every angle of the intense, lively car action sequences. The camera, which looks to be on a slightly shakier Steadicam, constantly moves throughout the action, adding more motion to increase the intensity of the action-packed car chases.

Another example is Wall-E, which uses locked off extreme long shots to establish the world, but the camera consistently moves in medium and close-up shots on Wall-e. These shots create a visual shift between the dead, empty, and boring world Wall-e lives in and the lively Wall-e. Then, as Wall-E moves onto the ship the camera almost never stops moving. This addition gives a contrast to a lively and entertaining world that the characters within want, versus the boring and dull world below them that currently exists.

In film, the audience sees the world through the lens of the camera. If a film’s cinematography was altered, would the message and focus of the film change?

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