Blog Prompt #1 (1/30/2018)

First, watch this five-minute video that presents side-by-side the opening and final frames of 55 different movies.

The Tree of Life 00:00 The Master 00:09 Brokeback Mountain 00:15 No Country for Old Men 00:23 Her 00:27 Blue Valentine 00:30 Birdman 00:34 Black Swan 00:41 Gone Girl 00:47 Kill Bill Vol. 2 00:53 Punch-Drunk Love 00:59 Silver Linings Playbook 01:06 Taxi Driver 01:11 Shutter Island 01:20 Children of Men 01:27 We Need to Talk About Kevin 01:33 Funny Games (2007) 01:41 Fight Club 01:47 12 Years a Slave 01:54 There Will be Blood 01:59 The Godfather Part II 02:05 Shame 02:10 Never Let Me Go 02:17 The Road 02:21 Hunger 02:27 Raging Bull 02:31 Cabaret 02:36 Before Sunrise 02:42 Nebraska 02:47 Frank 02:54 Cast Away 03:01 Somewhere 03:06 Melancholia 03:11 Morvern Callar 03:18 Take this Waltz 03:21 Buried 03:25 Lord of War 03:32 Cape Fear 03:3812 Monkeys 03:45 The World According to Garp 03:50 Saving Private Ryan 03:57 Poetry 04:02 Solaris (1972) 04:05 Dr. Strangelove 04:11 The Astronaut Farmer 04:16 The Piano 04:21 Inception 04:26 Boyhood 04:31 Whiplash 04:37 Cloud Atlas 04:43 Under the Skin 04:47 2001: A Space Odyssey 04:51 Gravity 04:57 The Searchers 05:03 The Usual Suspects 05:23

Choose a movie that you have NOT seen and review both the first and final frames of that movie. Based on your analysis of each frame–mise en scene, composition, camera angle, point-of-view, lighting etc.–discuss the relationship between the first and final frames. Then, based upon your analysis and discussion, speculate about the movie–its setting, theme, “feel”/”mood,” conflict, etc.

Do not do any research about the film! Make this all of your speculation; there is no correct or incorrect answer and you will not be assessed that way anyway.

By the way, if you click on the video above and go directly to the youtube video, the “time-links” will work.

Drop a Quiz!

If you would like to drop a quiz grade, watch the film that you used for the frame analysis and reply to your original post. How accurate was your prediction? Why do you think you were correct and/or why do you think you were incorrect? Most important, what relevance do the first and final frames have on the film in its entirety?

Print and bring a hard copy of your reply to class.

15 comments for “Blog Prompt #1 (1/30/2018)

  1. Glenn Walters
    January 28, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Glenn Walters

    Blog Prompt 1


    I did my review on the movie Birdman. Birdman tells the story of a washed-up actor looking to reclaim his former glory. The first scene shows a fiery meteor falling from the sky. The mise en scene or the arrangement of scenery and stage properties is non-existent in the first scene of the movie. The composition of this shot is primarily the smoke and clouds in the sky to depict the meteor. The camera angle is a high angle shot. The point of view is a wide third person a that shows the view of the meteor crashing from the sky. The lighting is dim and allows the spectator to focus on the asteroid falling out of the sky. The final frame depicts Emma Stone looking in awe at Birdman walking on air. The arrangement of scenery correlates with the opening scene and uses very little props to portray the scene. The composition of this shot is omniscient and shows a look down view of Emma staring at Birdman in wonder. The camera angle is a crane shot showing the depth and reality of Birdman walking on air. The point of view is third person like the first frame. The lighting is much brighter and used generously to show the actor and the building.

  2. Lilly Lightsey
    January 29, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    For this assignment I picked Birdman which are the scenes that start at forty-three seconds. I really like these two frames side by side because it almost looks like the girl in the right frame is watching what is happening in the left frame.
    When we look at the frames they are both very dark. The first frame features no people and is instead something crashing that appears to be on fire. It is hard to tell if the object crashing is coming through smoke or fog, but it looks more like smoke rising from something on the ground. Other than the light from the object crashing, the rest of the scene is very dark. So dark that nothing in the background can be made out. The camera is using a long shot so it makes it even harder to tell what the object that is crashing towards the ground might be. As this object is crashing towards the ground, the camera moves down to follow it. This movement of the camera feels as though it is from the point of view of someone or something watching as the object comes down.
    As in the first frame, the last one is also very dark, but it features a girl. It appears she is standing in a window frame. In the background there is a white object that could be an edge of a bed or some kind of seating. Behind her in the dark there appears to be a door with just a little bit of light coming in under it. To the left of her you can see the reflection of buildings like you would in a city. The girl, herself, is very pale. This paleness is only multiplied by her very blonde hair and black t-shirt which has some sort of design. She is also very skinny. She is staring off into the distance at something the camera cannot see. As the scene goes on her hair blows in the wind that is coming from the open window she is standing in. Whatever she sees makes her go from a neutral expression to smiling as the scene progresses. Also as the scene progresses the camera angle changes. At first it is eye-level but as the scene goes on the camera zooms out from the girl and also raises to a high angle shot.
    These two frames give off different feelings. The beginning is dark and ominous. The viewer does not know what the object crashing is or where it is going. However, the ending scene has the girl who smiles and looks excited for whatever she is watching. It is more hopeful than the beginning. With all of this in mind, this movie feels like a post-apocalyptic/end of the world/science fiction type movie. The thing crashing at the beginning was the end of civilization and the girl smiling at the end is smiling because society has been saved and repaired itself from the edge of ruins, evident by the buildings reflected in the window beside her. The crashing object sort of looks like a ship so it is possible that this movie sees the human race enslaved or destroyed by aliens. The girl in the last scene may be so pale and skinny as she has been in hiding from said aliens.

  3. Patrick Copeland
    January 30, 2018 at 9:15 am

    The movie Gravity is introduced with a frame of space, looking over the planet earth. In the second frame it shows a woman staggerly walking on earth. These two frames tell a story from a woman’s perspective in space. Following the frames, she seems to have had a crazy adventure in space, maybe a struggle, and she finally ends up back on earth. Through all of the intense things she experienced in space she still happened to walk away from those things safely.
    The story that is portrayed from these scenes, to me the viewer, is that the woman was apart of a crew in space that was on a mission to take pictures of the earth from an out of this world point of view. As they are taking pictures of the earth something goes wrong with some of the equipment that the crew is using and either the power of the space shuttle is cut off, or something terrible happens to the crew while they are outside of the shuttle, both causing all the crew members get cut off from each other. The crew then has to try to communicate with the earth, but with no success. In this story through the frames, I infer that the woman had a lover in space with her that she lost, or she had someone back on earth that she had to get back to and this is the reason that in the ending frame that she is the only person that we see walk away from what I think to be the shuttle crashing onto the earth.
    While the crew is in space, I’m guessing a crew of about five members, they all think of each other as family and they all have specific talents in which they use to get the pictures and transmit them back to the earth. These talents kept the crew safe and close together while they spent time in space with each other. Something bad could have happened to the lead astronaut which could have sent the crew into distress, losing one of the talents that were keeping the crew together suddenly made the crew slowly become isolated from each other and made them all in the end, except the woman in the final frame, die or get lost in space.
    As the crew tries to adjust to losing their leader, they each want to become the leader and due to their selfishness they each get picked off. All of the crew dies except the woman, who I’m guessing is the main character. She uses her quick thinking and sacrifice from the other crew members to get back to the shuttle that either, eventually comes crashing back down to earth, hinting the name of the movie Gravity, or she uses an escape pod from the shuttle to escape space and make the long and intensely terrifying fall back to earth. I believe that the woman has a loved one that she is trying to make it back to the earth to see and reconnect with and that the other members of the crew knew this, so they helped her survive. I also believe that through the movie this person back on earth is made clear so that the audience is made aware of the main reason why she is fighting to try and make in back to earth.
    While the woman is making the ferocious fall back to earth, I believe, that she has flashbacks of the entire journey, the things that she had risked to get to go space, and everything that she had given up in space, the crew, the friends that she had turned into family. In the end, the escape pod, or the shuttle comes crashing down onto the earth landing safely in the ocean close to a beach or island. Because of the intense heat in the shuttle, she is not wearing much clothing, and she staggerly walks away from the crash ready to get back to her old life with her family,but she knows that she will never forget this adventure that she had spent in space struggling to get back to the ones that she loves.

  4. Anthony Hanks
    January 30, 2018 at 10:19 am

    I chose to analyze Boyhood, the scenes start at four minutes-thirty nine seconds. The first scene seems to really capture the the idea behind the title of this film, the young boy laying in the grass looking up to the sky. Everyone knows what kind of thoughts run through ones head when staring up at the sky. Since the title of this movie is called Boyhood I can only imagine the thoughts running through his head, but i think it is safe to assume that this movie will be about that boy growing up. In this first scene, it is hard for me to tell if that is a hand held shot starting low on the actors face and rising up slowly, or if it is being zoomed out. I’m going to say that it is a handheld shot, which could possibly make the scene seem more realistic, I just couldn’t see if it was jerky or steady like zooming would be. The action of starting tight and expanding the view seems to give the scene a since of journey, like widening the view literally makes a big picture so that we know there is more than just a young boy lying in the grass coming in this film. The last scene is your typical young couple in love scene. I don’t know that they are in love, but they are both centered in the frame and the last thing you see is the two of them looking down smiling, this gave me a feeling that the journey of growing up was a success for the little boy in the first scene. The lighting in this scene was a little darker because it was taken either at dusk or dawn, like the night was ending or just getting started, hard to tell, but the seen looks like the camera was still giving the scene a sense of completedness. I will be watching this movie now when I get off work tonight to see if any of these guesses are even slightly accurate!

  5. Samantha Fox
    January 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

    In the film Under the Skin, both the first and final frame are of a guy playing the drums. The mise-en-scene of the first frame shows a long hallway with an open door at the end and a guy playing the drums at what seems to be late at night with no one around, while in the final frame the camera moves from the conductor to zoom in to the same guy in the first frame playing the drums in a band which seems to be in front of a lot of people at an orchestra concert. The first frame is a long shot to where the actual subject of the frame is at a distance while you see more of the hallway, i feel like the director did this to show that it was late and no one else was in the building. In the second frame it starts at a medium shot and zooms into a close up of the guy on the drums, which the director probably did to show that now he has an audience and a band that is accompanying him. Both the first frame and the second frame are taken from eye-level shot. While the first frame is only a shot with one person, the final frame is a master shot which shows the whole set of the frame. I believe that what this director was trying to communicate with his audience was that this guy who played the drums late at night while no one was around got really good at what he did and overcame his fears to where eventually he played as part of a band in front of an audience.

  6. Joshua Whitley
    January 30, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    The film The Godfather II depicts the same guy contemplating something in the first and final frame. He seems to be moving something around with his hands in the first frame and in the final frame he’s thinking about the consequences of what he did. In the final frame he has his fist to his lips and is staring at the ground. The angle in the final frame is a close up angled so that there is a shadow across his face signifying that he might have just done something horrible. In the first frame its a motion camera being used as he looks like he’s in the process of doing a terrible deed. The mise en scene is dark in the first frame and in the final frame the background shows what looks like rubble and dirt. The movie The Godfather II seems to be about an early 30’s guy who is forced to do a terrible deed perhaps for a gang or mob. He knows he must do it even though it’s wrong and then contemplates about the effects of what he did. The mood of both frames depicts that film as very dark, sinister and evil. Conflict between various people should definitely occur within this film and may result in deaths.

  7. January 30, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Upon my own personal observation, the two frames from the movie Kill Bill. Vol.1 displays a hidden message. The first frame shows a black and white screening of a woman lying down being tortured. It creates a mood of misfortune and apprehension judging by her severe scared and exasperated facial expression. The mise-en-scene here shows a huge representation of pure agony and helplessness. The representation of this frame is shown through all the elements like the close-up shot of the woman’s face, and the high angle shot of the camera.
    In comparison, the frame beside it shows the complete opposite. The eye level shot of the two people creates a different setting. They appear to be happier and enjoying the simplicity of life. The mood is much more positive, and this is especially shown with the variety of color displayed. The symbolic message I would infer about the first and final frame here is rather analytical. It shows how the most difficult aspects of life can be turned around for the better. In the first frame she looks like she is brutally captured and held hostage against her will. The final frame shows her reunited with her daughter and appreciating the life she was given. I find it interesting how the director contrasted both frames in regard to the change in mood, lighting, and camera angle. He may have been trying to depict the alternate, dark side of life and then reveal the enlightening positive outcome that grows from it.

  8. Kymberly Conaway
    January 30, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I chose the film 12 Years A Slave. The first frame of the movie is a group of African American male slaves who are standing in a field. In the first frame, the mise-en-scene shows men standing with miserable expressions on their faces, sweating in the middle of a presumably hot and sunny field. The composition of the first frame is still which I assumed was meant to emphasize or dramatize the amount of time the men spent in this area. This frame is a long shot because it is from a far away distance from the subjects and it shows a good bit of setting/ background. The lighting of the first frame is not dark but it has a grayscale overcast which gives it a gloomy appearance. Based on the first frame, I infer that the setting is mostly dark and horribly sad. The final frame of the movie is a group of well dressed African American people hugging. In the final frame, the mise-en-scene shows a smaller group of well dressed African Americans hugging inside a house. This is a close-up moving shot which I infer means that these people have made or will make some progress. The composition of this frame tells me that the people are celebrating or congratulating one another because they are huddled and one man is rubbing the woman’s back. The lighting isn’t bright in this frame but it is brighter than the first frame so I assume that they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. These frames tell the journey of an enslaved man that finds his freedom. In the first frame, they are miserable and by the end of the film, they are liberated.

  9. Carolynn Fisher
    January 30, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    The first and final frames of Shutter Island are both different and alike. They share similar imagery but have two different feelings. In both frames, the background is white and we see towering figures. In the first, the scene is foggy and unclear, and we see a ship cutting through towards the camera. In the final scene, the image is clear and we see a light house with birds flying away. In the first frame, we are looking directly at the ship straight on while the final scene gives an angle from the ground. The lighting is low in both frames, with the first being a little darker than the last. From these frames alone, we can infer that a someone (or someones) in a ship are heading toward the island, which is maybe dark, confusing, and hard navigate. Light houses, as the name suggests, provide light in order to guide ships through the fog. Seeing as there is not any fog or ships in the final frame, I assume that whatever dark fog the characters are caught in, they have been guided out of it.

  10. Justin Boneparte
    January 30, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    I did my review off of the first and last frames that peaked my interest the most, Twelve Years a Slave. These two frames tell a story in itself that seemingly relate directly to the title. Of course it is not a coincidence, that the movie starts by showing what appear to be slaves. The first scene is arranged so that you can see a group of slaves in a field. They’re dirty, sweating, outside in the sun, and they don’t look happy about whats happening. The camera angle appears to be just below eye level, but not quite a low angle shot. It is angled in such a way where you can sort of get a glimpse of how everyone is feeling. The composition of this shot makes you focus on the men primarily, the field and the sky are secondary, but lets you know that work is about to happen. With this shot, it really makes you feel what the characters are feeling at this certain moment. I feel that although the camera is focusing on the slaves, it is giving you their point of view and shows how they feel about what is happening. The lighting is bright, outside on a sunny day, which also shows why the men appear to be hot and sweaty. Many of the men are wearing big hats to help block the sun. In the final scene it appears to be the opposite of the first scene. Instead of slaves in a field we see a group of well dressed African Americans rejoicing. I noticed that the final scene includes males and females, where as the first is all men. It gives the perception that they are no longer slaves. The camera angle is similar to the first except the camera is zoomed in closer and blocks out most of the surroundings. Being that it is a closer shot, the composition really wants you to focus on the people hugging and being much happier that in the beginning. The point of view is from everyone in the scene, and it gives the vibe of happiness and togetherness. The lighting appears to be darker than the first frame, but only because it is symbolizing peace and comfort.

  11. Kallen A. Miles
    January 30, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    I chose the movie Whiplash because of the similarities in both of the frames shown in the video. However, they also possess attributes that make them both different as well. The mise-en-scene shows a young man at the end of a dimly lit hallway, presumably playing the drums. The composition of this frame is symmetrical, minimalist, with the viewers focus solely on the man himself. The shot of the first frame starts far away from character and n most films, shots like these are representative of beginnings. The lighting is dark, with a few lights shining in the hallway and the brightest one focusing on the man at the end (this emphasizes that he is potentially a main character in the film). I believe that this first frame is made to not only set viewers up for the film, but to also serve as a contrast to the final frame. In the last frame, the shot is zoomed out and, as it progresses, begins to move in on the young man playing the drums (potentially the same one from the first frame shown). The composition is more erratic. Several objects are placed in the shot, many of them being instruments. From this we can see that the characters shown are a part of a concert of some sort. While there are many additions in this frame, the shot takes us back to the focus itself. The action here is more fast paced than in the first frame and the lighting is brighter, with deeper yellow tones and highlights that bring a focus to the main character and his craft. In addition to that, there is also a flickering of lights along with it. I believe that this signals the end of the movie, a dramatic finale of sorts that coincides with the lonely feeling of the first frame. While both shots provide emphasis on the main character and the assumed beginning and ending of his journey, the difference in the lighting, structure, and movement of the shots are what sets them apart. The consistency of the story remains the same, with minor details changing at what point the story is being told. I can infer from this that this film is about the journey of a musician from his beginning periods of being a solo performer, to immersing himself into the world of playing with a band while still maintaining a sense of individuality.

  12. Erica Dovre
    January 30, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    In the opening scene of Whiplash, the viewer’s eyes are meant to be drawn to a young man at the end of a hallway, playing the drums. The location seems to be some sort of practicing area, designated by the drummer. The low lighting creates shadows and dark corners, making the the hallway look eery and empty. One can infer that the scene is taking place at night due to the darkness. This short opening automatically gives me the sense that the drummer is an underdog of sorts. You see him at this place, practicing what seems to be either late at night or very early in the morning, before anyone can be there to bother him, and you wonder “why there and why at that time is he practicing the drums?” The young man has a lot of motivation, obviously, early on in the film.

    The final frame of the movie shows the same drummer playing the drums, in some sort of show, very enthusiastically. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, just by comparing the beginning and end scene, you almost want to cheer for this character without second thought. The whole scene is very electrifying. The lighting is much brighter and the camera movements are a lot busier. You can notice that the lights are flickering on behind the drummer, something that makes the scene upbeat and happy. Then, the camera focuses on the drummer only, and you notice that he is sweating and getting to do what he practiced so hard for in the first scene. The underdog seems to have won, here. Even if it is only in the end scene.

  13. Cecil Maddox
    January 30, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    The first and final frames of the film “12 Years a Slave” can be found at minute 2, second 3. The first frame is a medium distance shot, depicting 16 African American men from the waist up, in a clearing within a field of tall, green plants. They are standing in a two row line, some dressed in dirty farming clothes or other common clothing, including a few in sun hats. The lighting in this shot is a natural, mid-afternoon cloudy day light. Based upon facial expressions some of the men seem sad, others apprehensive, and many defiant. Since the title is “12 Years a Slave,” I can only assume that these men are slaves standing in a field on some Southern plantation in the mid-to-late 1800’s.
    The second frame is darker, clearly still in natural daytime light, but indoors rather than outdoors. It is another medium shot, taken from the waist up, with all the characters in the center of the frame rather than spread across its entirety. The characters are all African American, with one woman and three men sharing an intimate group embrace. They almost look as though they are praying or perhaps crying together. The man in the center is being kissed on the cheek by the woman in the frame. Perhaps they are lovers, or maybe even just close relatives like siblings. The most stark difference between the first and final frames is the clothing worn by the characters in the scene. In the first frame they are dressed in common clothing, some even looking like farmers with dusty shirts and sun hats. However, in the final frame, the clothing worn by the characters is clearly made of nicer material and looks more upper-class.
    Perhaps the story takes place over the course of 12 years, beginning with characters being enslaved and ending after the emancipation proclamation, with the same characters finding better, free lives for their family.
    The mood depicted to me by these frames is definitely somewhat sad, with sparks of hope within the facial expressions in both frames. I would imagine the film deals with themes of loss, death, and freedom.

  14. Michael Anzalone
    January 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    For this assignment, I chose The Searchers (5:12 on the video). Both shots use a high- and low-key lighting combination to contrast the darkness inside of the house with the brightness of the daytime desert landscape. In the first shot, a lady walks out through the door of a house as the camera follows her in a tracking shot, displaying the landscape around her. It makes it seem as if she is searching for someone or looking for something, yet fearful of the outside. The final shot depicts a man leaving a similar looking house and walking into a similar looking environment in a static shot. He stumbles as if drunk but also is walking in a deliberate movement to walk out of the house and into the desert area, contrasting with the reluctant woman in the opening shot and being further evidenced by the closing of the door at the end of the shot. Judging by these observations, I believe this is a Western film with a slow pace and likely focusing more on personal relationships than action. I feel as if these two may be spouses, where the woman is at first looking for her husband, and in the end the husband is escaping his past and moving toward a new beginning.

  15. Shemar Muirhead
    February 8, 2018 at 3:51 am

    I chose to analyze the frames of the film Somewhere (3:10 on the video). The first frame is a lonely country road on a plain with empty, unoccupied land on both sides. An extreme long shot is used to highlight the vast, desolate landscape that goes as far as the audience can see. The road is slant and runs from the lower left to the upper right of the screen. The frame has a warm lighting due to the fact there is sunshine in the sky above the horizon although the sun itself is not visible. Based on the brighter sunlight to the left of the frame the sun would be positioned off-screen left. A third person limited point of view is possible because the audience is yet to be introduced to a character, implying that the film is going to be about a character’s journey to find his\herself throughout the course of the film.

    The final frame is a close up of a white male wearing a blue round neck t-shirt. He is in his mid- thirties and his head is slightly leaned towards the right. There are green pastures in the background over his left shoulders and an empty country road in the background over his right shoulder. There is a yellow line in the middle of the road with broken lines in the lane headed toward the horizon. The sky is clear and vividly blue. A third person point of view can be concluded based on the shimmer of sunlight on the forehead of this character to suggest that he is the star of this film.

    Based on the analysis of the first and final frame, I believe that this film is about the character portrayed n the final frame. The setting of this film seems to be in a rural area such as a country side or a small town a good distance away from any major city. this film should convey themes such as loneliness, hardship as well as self belief. This is because there is only a single character portrayed on both the opening and closing frame of this film as well as the lonely roads on both frames. The theme of hardship may arise from adversities faced by the star to be standing with an emotionless face in the final frame. This character faced conflicts throughout the course of the film which results in him leaning towards a significantly straight road or path in comparison to the diagonal road in the opening frame.

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