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English Patient

.. Christmas. Next, there is an appearance of a cross on the head of Almasy. Along with the separation of the two by the window, these other factors are attempting to hint to them not to go through with their plan. The cutting rhythm of this scene is quite dynamic.

After we see the shadow on Almasy’s face, the camera cuts numerous times in a quick manner and displays the faces of numerous characters. The camera pans as Katherine walks back to her original position before going to the window. At this point she is located around the upper left to upper middle portion of the screen. The only lighting observed is the key lighting coming from the sun. To the right of her is the table where the soldiers sit.

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They are dressed in uniform, facing one another across the table as they prepare for a toast. In unison, everyone in the room raises their glasses and chants Merry Christmas. At this precise moment the camera is located at a high position directly above the courtyard, tilting down. The downward tilt gives the feeling of being controlled, restricted, or even spied upon. This adds to the suspense and drama of what is yet to come. Immediately following the toast, Katherine begins to follow up the conspicuous plan.

Minghella uses on a normal lens for this shot. Both Katherine and her background are in focus. Also, in view at this time is Count Almasy, still in his position behind the bars of the window watching the acting Katherine. The window is shown at the middle of the right third of the screen. Katherine fakes an illness and then denies permission to an escort who offers to take care of her.

She meets up with Almasy in a doorway and walks behind him as they hold hands and go into a back private room of the Embassy. The lighting in the doorway is dark. At no time during this scene is there any artificial lighting. The sound heard at this time is of people talking as they congregate just outside of where the two are interacting. The viewers see a close up of the Katherine and Almasy through a telephoto lens when Almasy begins to undress Katherine Clifton.

A beautiful cutting rhythm is incorporated as the camera swiftly moves from the face of Katherine to the face of Almasy back to the face and body of Katherine and then a shot of both of their faces. When shown, the heads of the characters dominate the entire screen and little background in visible. To add irony to the situation, the song Silent Night has sounded during their interaction. This music starts precisely when Almasy puts his hand on the dress and bra strap of Katherine and gets louder as they proceed to undress and climaxes as they are having sex. In addition to Silent Night we also hear echoes coming from an orquestra.

Katherine and Almasy contradict the lyrics of the Christmas carol. The emphasis here reinforces the fact that it is Christmas and they are committing a severe wrongdoing. As the scene progresses, there is a zoom in on the neck of Katherine. The camera focuses on the neck of Katherine. It is specifically on the sensitive section right above the collar bone.

This shot foreshadows a later remark made by Almasy during a sequence when he and Katherine make love and Almasy states: I claim this for me. The other object which is in extreme focus and is zoomed in on is Katherine’s pearl necklace. The pearl necklace, which is a valuable accessory and could also be used as a term which contains sexual reference, is representative of Katherine’s marriage to Geoffrey Clifton, her current husband. The off white color of the pearls suggests innocence, a characteristic which Katherine obviously contrasts. The shot cuts to show the man playing the bag pipes.

The musician is located on the left half of the screen leaving the right side displaying a window characterized by smoked glass. Through this window, we are able to see shadows of Almasy and Clifton making love. The music reaches its climax in terms of intensity and loudness at this point and the suspense also reaches a maximum. The scene cuts to Katherine one final time and her head is dominating the entire screen from left to right. The sound of Silent Night fades out and the scene cuts back to the courtyard where the soldiers are sitting. The camera at this point is where it was for the original toast, high above, tilting down.

The scene ends with the soldiers raising there glasses for another toast. The toast shows satire as it appears as if they are drinking to the fact that Katherine and Almasy just finished their lovemaking when they are actually making a toast with regard to the war or holiday. The English Patient utilizes all aspects of cinematography so brilliantly which is why there is such a tremendous amount of meaning. The dialogue is so deep and significant that every line should be carefully listened to and thought about. Although the dialogue was limited in my scene, the sound of Silent Night and the music from the orquestra played a significant role in determining the scene’s meaning.

All of the rest of technicalities of the scene are consistent with the rest of the film. In the scene, along with the rest of the film, there is no artificial lighting. Most of the key lighting came from the sun or the moon. For scenes inside, either light came through windows or certain objects that were used on the set gave light. For example if a character utilized a flashlight, that would provide the source of light.

Other examples include light from bonfires and lanterns. The type of camera lens which dominated my scene and most of the film was a telephoto lens. The telephoto lens is characterized by a shallow depth of field. Given that, only the close objects are in focus while the background images are blurred. Minghella’s use of a telephoto lens time and time again during climatic points also highlights and emphasizes the two themes mentioned above.

I feel it is also necessarily to complement the superb job on the costumes and makeup. It added a sense a realism in an extraordinary amount. Lastly, the cutting rhythm during my scene and the entire film were similar. Although sometimes slow, often times they were quick creating a sense of realism and suspense which made the viewer want to watch on. Films and Cinema.

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