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Which clippings match 'Window Frame' keyword pg.1 of 1
21 OCTOBER 2012

Rosemarys Baby: editing through frame selection

"Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel by Ira Levin. ... Farrow plays an expecting mother who fears that her husband may have made a pact with their eccentric neighbours, believing he may have promised them the child to be used as a human sacrifice in their occultic rituals in exchange for success in his acting career."

(Zach James and Rich Raddon, Movieclips)

Fig.1 excerpt from "Visions of Light" (1992), Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105764/]

[Jump to 7:54 to see Polanski's skilful use of framing to heighten the audience's interest and sense of intrigue.]

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TAGS

1968 • anagram • apartmentbaby • Charles Grodin • child • cinematic frame • cinematographycompositioncultdemonic presencedevil • door frame • editing through selection • Emmaline Henry • expecting mother • frameframed by the windowframinghorror filmhousewife • human sacrifice • Ira Levin • John Cassavetes • Maurice Evans • Mia Farrow • mise-en-scenemysterious • narrative immersion • neighbour • obscured • obscured viewoccult • occultic ritual • pregnancy • pregnant • psychological horror • Ralph Bellamy • raperitual • Roman Polanski • Rosemary • Rosemarys Baby • Ruth Gordon • satan • Sidney Blackmer • tannis root • Visions of Light (documentary)visual designvisual intriguevisual perspective • William Fraker • window frame • witch • witchcraft

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 SEPTEMBER 2011

Welles and Toland's use of deep screen space in Citizen Kane

"It begins with young Charles Kane in long shot, playing with his sled in the snow. The camera then pulls back to reveal that it has been shooting through a window. This effect creates a visual metaphor. The boy playing in the snow is not as free as he at first seems. Just as his image is suddenly confined by a window frame, so his life will be circumscribed by a decision that is being made for him inside the house. Kane's mother appears at the window calling out to her son to 'Be careful,' and 'Put your muffler around your neck, Charles.' As the camera tracks back, wards from the window into the space of the house, it reveals Mr. Thatcher standing at the right of the window. He says, 'We'll have to tell him now.' Ignoring this comment, the mother replies, 'I'll sign those papers now, Mr. Thatcher.' From frame left Kane's father appears, saying, 'You people seem to forget that I'm the boy's father.' The camera tracks backwards as Mrs. Kane walks over to a desk in the foreground of the image and sits down to sign the papers, with Thatcher seated next to her. An argument ensues in which the father, who appears in the middle ground of the image, strongly protests the mother's decision to hand his son over to a bank and threatens to take the case to court. The mother is icily adamant in honoring the agreement she has made with Thatcher. In exchange for the bank's full assumption of the management of the gold mine (the Colorado Lode), the bank which Thatcher represents will assume full responsibility for all matters concerning the boy's education and place of residence. Mr. and Mrs. Kane will receive fifty thousand dollars a year as long as they both live. This last bit of information, which Thatcher reads aloud, silences the father, who mutters, 'Well, let's hope it's all for the best.'

Throughout the scene, while all this activity takes place, we can see the boy Charles playing with his sled far in the back of the image, in extreme long shot, framed by the window pane, and totally oblivious to the momentous decision his mother has made about his life. Because of the length of the shot and the careful blocking of the action, our eye is free to focus on whichever player we choose, or our attention can wander from one player to another, as if we were spectators in the theater.

At the same time, the camera places us sufficiently close to the actors in the foreground of the image that we can read their expressions with much greater clarity than would be possible in the theater. We can look for clues in the frozen but somehow anguished expression of Mrs. Kane for why she is so determined to separate herself from her son. We can wonder in observing the slightly exasperated and nervous expression on Thatcher's face what kind of guardian he will make for a young boy. Or we can observe the father's angry, worried expression and wonder why he backs down. The father's position further back in the screen space makes him seem smaller than his wife and Mr. Thatcher, his diminished size somehow appropriate to his lack of power to influence his son's fate. The crowning brilliance of the scene is the tiny image of Charles Kane far in the depth of the screen space. Although the film is about him and in later scenes he will loom large indeed, here he is a tiny speck. On first viewing the film, some may not even notice him. But his understated presence playing outside the window, shouting 'Union forever' as his mother is about to send him off into the world without her, is one of the most poignant moments in film."

(Marilyn Fabe, 2004, p.85–86)

3). Marilyn Fabe (2004). "Chapter 5 Expressive Realism" in "Closely Watched Films: An Introduction to the Art of Narrative Film Technique", University of California Press (3 Aug 2004)

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TAGS

1941bank • blocking of the action • boycamera • Charles Kane • cinematography • circumscribed • Citizen Kane • Colorado Lode • composition • confined • deep focusdepth of the screen spacedesign formalism • diminished size • editing through selection • extreme long shot • fatefigures in spacefilmframe • frame-within-a-frame • framed by the windowframingfreedom • gold mine • Gregg Toland • lack of power • length of the shot • long shot • long takesmise-en-sceneOrson Wellesphotographyplayingscene • screen image • screen space • significant actions • sled • snowsnowballtheatrical spacetracking camera • union forever • visual designvisual languagevisual metaphorwindowwindow frame

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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