You need to start researching Van Peebles and the context in which he made his film. Including the significance of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song. You may think it’s crap but why do people still think it’s so fab?
For now you need info on what was happening in America in the late 1960s 1970s…
A2 MIA Mock Films.
The Kings Wake John McCloskey 2000.
The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari Robert Weine 1920 Germany.
Examine the following two sequences. Compare and contrast how each director uses film language to create mood and atmosphere.
With reference to at least two scenes from the film discuss how director uses genre and visual style to explore this theme.
Examine two sequences. Compare and contrast how each director uses narrative for dramatic impact.
The Kings Wake 2000
Irish language animation. In the third century BC, Ulster’s battle with Connaught ended in victory. Years later, King Connor MacNeasa looks back on his life from his deathbed.
It’s the feast of Samhain (Halloween) in Ancient Ireland and in the large hall of his castle, King Connor MacNessa is alone with his memories. As ruler of ancient Ulster King Connor has been a powerful king who has ruled through violence and intimidation of his people and craves the legend which has been built around him by his Chief poet, Aherne.
Appearing before the king come the ghosts of Deidre, known as Deidre of the Sorrows. Deidre was the most beautiful woman alive, but her fate was to bring sorrow to all the men she knew. Finally she committed suicide by throwing herself from a chariot. And there was the Ulster hero Cúchulainn ( or Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Culann).
The atmosphere is black and disturbed. It becomes even blacker at the end as the king is murdered by someone who is well known to him(his chief poet Aherne).
The narrative of the animation is told in flashbacks(very similar to The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari). Revealing the King in a very different light to the stories that are written about him.
The animation is a combination of drawn and rotoscoped scenes(I think can’t find any reference but looks the most likely).
A use of the full range of German Expressionistic techniques:
highly stylized visuals, strange asymmetrical camera angles, atmospheric lighting and harsh contrasts between dark and light. Shadows and silhouettes were an important feature of expressionism and help create the mood of despair and despondency that this story is all about.
Mise-en-scene. Manages to suggest a pre-christian world that seems barren and hostile, apart from the one scene of a group drinking and listening to music. The world represented is claustrophobic and full of enclosed spaces, the castle, corridors, cellars, all create the atmosphere of being trapped. The King cannot escape from his past.
Sound. The Sound reflects the intense claustrophobic atmosphere that the mise-en scene and the cinematography are trying to promote. The non-diegetic rumblings, threatening powerful orchestral score(use of the kettle drum to moments of heightened tension) is counter pointed by the kings almost whispered confessional narration. This despondent tone is kept up throughout the film and ominous and eerie sounds, and use of spooky choir like voices are all through the film. It’s the typical repertoire of horror sounds to create a eerie, threatening soundscape.
Editing. The film is mostly told in flashbacks with the king revisiting scenes from his earlier life that show him as the ruthless tyrant he was. Most of the editing, even though it’s an animation fits into the cinematic style of continuity editing that is the dominant style of editing we are most used to. Different editing transitions are used at times to suggest the dreamlike quality of the kings visions, particular fades when the king visits the cellars of Queen Maeve.
How To Analyse A Film Sequence.
Identify the intention of the scene. What is the scene actually doing? Ask why the scene is important to the film and what makes it important. What meaning or mood is being created? What emotional response is the film trying to create in its intended audience?
Look at how scene is structured. How does it start and finish? What happens in between? Additionally, observe how the scene builds, where the climax of the scene takes place and how it resolves. See if the build, climax and resolution flow with the dialogue and character action of the scene.
Study the cinematic elements. Listen to the specific sounds and/or music in a scene. Study the editing. Observe the style of cinematography — steady or handheld camera, for example — and the colors in the scene to note if these filmmaking techniques enhance the mood and content of the scene and make you respond emotionally.
Sequences to watch:
Touch Of Evil Orson Welles
Vincent Tim Burton
City Of God Ferdinand Meirelles