In Wednesday’s seminar class, we watched the movie, Manhattan, directed by and starring Woody Allen, one of the most iconic actors of the 20th century. His acting and directing style are definitely unique to say the least, and his witty and quirky personality is reflected in every role he plays. After watching Manhattan, I noticed the little parts of the movie we discussed as the miss-en-scene:
1 & 2) The camera angles in Manhattan are not very direct and ordinary. In some scenes, such as the beginning of the art museum scene, or when Woody Allen interrupts his friend’s class and talks to him in the classroom, I noticed that the camera puts the characters in the side of the frame, or in the background, rather than right smack in your face. This has the effect of making all those watching feel like they really are present in the movie and just eavesdropping on everything that is going on,;rather than having the characters perform for you, you are just watching what is taking place in their lives. The camera isn’t perfectly steady, but this all adds to the onlooker feel.
3) The black and white camera adds a simplistic and minimalistic feel to the film. At times, the frame is very dark and soft, to portray a romantic or very emotive feeling.
4) The scenes are generally quick and to the point. They don’t carry on too long to lose your attention.
5) The dialogue in Manhattan is typical to Woody Allen, but not very ordinary when compared to other movies. Woody Allen has a famous dry sense of humor that is inserted well into the dialogue. He has the ability to get the point of the scene across and almost remain serious while adding his witty and quirky sense of humor into the dialogue.
6) The costumes in the film aren’t elaborate and colorful like the ones in Turandot; rather, they are typical streetwear of people in 1979. This enhances the intimacy of the film and makes it seem casual, rather than feeling like the characters are performing written material in front of an audience.
7) The music creates dramatic effect. When Woody Allen is frantically walking down the hallway to his friend’s classroom, a whimsical yet frantic tune plays with fast horns and drums rising in pitch as he gets closer to the camera. The music is not too frantic to seem like he is about to murder someone, but it is whimsical and frantic enough to let us know that he has something on his mind he is determined to speak about.
8) The set of the movie is realistic and simplistic. It is set in Manhattan, obviously. The intro scene is a vivid view of Manhattan to set the scene in, well, Manhattan. The scenes are crafted and chosen to realistically simulate being at a social gathering, a museum, or a classroom.