Thursday, December 8, 2011

Compare “Arrival of a Train” and “Damsel in Distress” as they relate to Realism, Classicism and formalism

1.      There is a vast difference between the camera work in “Arrival of a Train” and “Damsel in Distress”. “Arrival of a train” just has one angle and is a static shot. “Damsel in Distress” has multiple angles, varying from wide shots, close ups, and mid shots. “Damsel in Distress” also has camera movement, for the camera tracks the dog, the train as it is stopping, and the man riding on the bicycle.

2.      There are also major differences in the edit of “Arrival of a Train” and “Damsel in Distress”. “Arrival of a Train” has a hint of realism, in its maintaining of a longshot for 50 seconds. This may not be intended to be realism, but the mere lack of editing technology in 1895. The “Damsel in Distress” can be classified as a Classical film. There is cutting to continuity in the fast edits that hold shots for only 2-3 seconds. There is a focus on cause and effect relationships. For example when the damsel blows her whistle the dog gets up in the other shot. There is also cutting for dramatic intensity. The film cuts from the damsel, to the train as it gets closer and closer. It goes between close ups, and mid shots to portray the helplessness of the situation. Then the film cuts to a wide shot, so that the audience can see the train seem to run the damsel over.

3.      In the “Arrival of a Train” there is no specific narrative the director intends the audience to focus on. The audience can create their own story on who ever they wish to, because of the wide angle shot focuses on everyone. This has a realistic effect to it, because the audience chooses the character they want to focus on. The narrative of “Damsel in Distress” focuses on the Damsel, and how she is saved. The camera cuts to close ups of the Damsel, which causes the audience to focus on the Damsel. When the camera focuses on the train the director wants the audience to realize that the train is going to kill the Damsel.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work in describing why "Damsel" can be considered a Classical film.
    Keep it up!