This past Wednesday, we watched Woody Allen’s Manhattan in class. I thought that the absence of color in the movie sophisticates New York city and gives it a feeling of antiquity. The camera also served an interesting role in the film. We sometimes saw the characters from far away, and there were times when we were unable to hear what they were saying. For example,when Ike was touring the city with his son, music was playing in the background and the dialogue was blocked. The camera focused on them through the store window and showed the two arguing over toy boats. This gives the audience a sense that the characters are just one of millions of people in New York. The characters and their problems are really unimportant; we are just getting a glimpse into typical New York life, but these people can be exchanged with any New Yorker. This is further accomplished with the still camera shots of New York between scenes. The city is huge and scandals are common.
Wednesday in class we watched the Woody Allan film “Manhattan” from 1979. The first thing which struck me about this film was that even though it was made in 1979, it was shot in Black and White. At first I didn’t understand why Woody Allan chose to film in black and white, but I feel that he made this directorial decision to remove the distraction of color. There were multiple times in the movie when things were purposefully hidden from the audience, such as the character’s faces. This allowed the audience to focus on the dialogue without the distraction of color and facial expressions. This idea of removing distractions was also evident in the all instrumental soundtrack to the movie. At times when the dialogue and movement was very important, songs with words might be a distraction for the audience. I know that sometimes when I’m watching a movie with a really great soundtrack I sing along with the songs instead of focusing on the dialogue which is occurring over it.
I also found the camera angle to be different than most films that I have seen. At times it felt as though the camera was trying to capture all of the characters in the scene like in traditional films, but at other times it felt as though the camera was a character in the film. During the scenes where they are sitting in the restaurant there were times when the camera angle appeared to be craning over someone’s shoulder to get the shot. I also found it interesting that the actors were upstaged a lot. In plays extras are usually told to walk and move upstage of the scene, but there were times in this movie, such as the scene in the department store when the extras kept walking in front of the actors and obstructing the vision.
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.
Our seminar class on Wednesday consisted of watching the Woody Allen film titled Manhattan. I always knew Woody Allen was famous for his movies, but I was never able to put a face to the name. When I first saw him, I realized that he looked exactly like I expected him to. He was short and scrawny with gray hair and thick glasses. He was also very comical, which I actually did not expect.
Due to the fact that we just learned about Mise-en-scene, I attempted to look for the kind of details we had discussed in class, when watching Manhattan. This was a little difficult for me because, as I previously have said, I find it difficult to look for these details while also trying to give my full attention to the acting.
Regardless, I did pick up on a number of things involving the shooting of this movie. When looking at the way the camera functioned, I realized that there were number of times when characters were talking, but were nowhere to be found. On this occasion, the screen was sometimes blank while the conversation was going on. However other times, such as when the characters were conversing in a car, the moving car was shown instead of their faces. When framing the scenes, it seems the characters weren’t always the main focus. In almost every scene where the characters were outside, the camera would occasionally not be zoomed in to the people. I believe the purpose of this was to show the scenery/setting, which should come as no surprise considering that the film is titled after this city that is being shown. However, when the dialogue was important and we needed to see the characters’ reactions, or focus on just the conversation without distractions, the frame would mainly consist of a close-up of the characters.
The film was in black in white, which I believe made everything seem classier, and helped bring focus to the characters’ expressions and lines as oppose to the colors surrounding them. The lengths of the clips were not always the same. The important, serious, and more emotional scenes seemed to have a longer run from what I remember. The dialogue was very interesting in that there was a lot of intellectual discussion. Decently large words were used, and the way in which everything was said made it apparent that we were listening to writers talk.
The costumes were not very flashy or extravagant. The only purpose of the costumes seemed to be to show the time period. The music in the film was only memorable in scenes when there was no dialogue, and we were expected to just watch what was going on. One of these scenes is when Allen takes his son out for a day of fun. The set seemed to be quite important in that it is what the movie is titled after. As I stated before, one of the goals of the movie was to show the viewers the city of Manhattan, and mainly just the beautiful parts of it. I feel as though this leads the viewers to more easily imagine what it’s like to live in such a city, and be one of these characters.
1. The camera had varying views. The camera was also used to capture the essence of New York City, and what the lifestyle was like. In a way, capturing the scenery set the mood. For example, when the characters took a stroll down Central Park, the viewer felt the calm serene mood. The camera focused primarily on capturing the dialogue over all else. The scene in the museum between Isaac and Mary, we could barely see their faces, but we could clearly understand their conversation.
2. Sometimes the camera followed the characters over their shoulders, as if the viewer was watching from behind them. However most of the time, the camera stayed in place, and the characters came in and exited the scenes. The scenes didn’t always frame the characters as the focus point of the camera. They sometimes appeared on the far left or the far right, this way the setting was also important.
3. The black and white gave the movie a classical look. It also forced the audience to pay a little more attention to the plot line rather than the minor details.
4. From what I remember, each one of the scenes varied from a minute to about six minutes.
5. The dialogue changed based on who was in the scene and the context of the conversation. For example, when Isaac and Marry were walking the dog together, the conversation was a mix of crude and witty language. Throughout the movie though, the dialogue seemed like everyday language, very relaxed. Isaac’s dialogue was often sarcastic, and it added a satirical aspect to the film.
5. The costumes basically showed how the people of New York dressed during the time period the movie took place in.
6. Music did not play much of a role in the movie.
7. The set was New York City. The movie showed the typical lifestyle of a New Yorker while highlighting the common landmarks that we all think of when we remember the city.
On Wednesday, we watched Manhattan, a movie directed by Woody Allen. I really enjoyed the movie’s plot and humor. I was a little disappointed that it was in black in white, because I’m not a big fan of black and white movies, but overall I think that it was a great movie and here is my analysis.
1. The primary function of the camera in this film is to give the viewer a sense that they are a part of every conversation in the film. This is very effective because you truly get a sense that you are in New York with Woody Allen throughout the film.
2. In most of the scenes with people, you can see everyone’s face at the same time and there are not a lot of edits. You can see everyone’s reaction after something is said which makes the conversations very realistic. There are many points where you can’t see an actors face when they speak because of the lighting or because the actor is off screen.
3. Since this movie is in black and white, you lose a lot of details. When the screen is in black and white, the viewer has to use their own imagination, and determine from the reactions of the characters, how pretty the color of a dress is a dress is or how brown a cup of water is. One example of this is when Woody Allen’s character comments that the water is brown, it impossible to agree with him, because it is hard to tell from the screen. However, you can tell by Diane Keaton character’s reaction, that the water is very brown.
4. The dialogue in this film is very conversational. Woody Allen employs a lot of sarcasm and humor in the conversations, which make the movie entertaining.
5. The costumes in this film are casual clothing. In almost every scene the characters are wearing casual clothing, which makes each scene look like a regular day in New York.
6. There isn’t much music in the movie. Rather, there is a lot of focus on what the actor is saying. When there is music, it sets the scene. There is romantic music when Woody Allen and Diane Keaton first hangout, which shows that there is a brewing, romance. There is also intense music when Diane Keaton says that she is in love with Yale and Woody Allen goes to talk to Yale.
7. The set of the movie is Manhattan. The choice of the set is very fitting because the movie was very fast paced and that is exactly what Manhattan is all about.
In class this Wednesday we watched Woody Allen’s Manhattan. I’ve heard the name Woody Allen many times, but I don’t think I’ve seen any of his other movies. However, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this one. It had a well written story and some great actors, including Woody Allen as the star, along with being the director. It drifted between being serious, comical, romantic, and playful.
1) I noticed that the camera focuses mainly on the characters in the scene, but also almost always shows a bunch of items in the background. If they were in an apartment, househeld items may appear. If out in public, random people are always in site. This helps to capture the essence of Manhattan’s crowded streets and restaurants, and often small apartments. The camera was frequently set back looking on the characters in the scene from a side angle, not always directly aimed at them.
2) When filming scenes with people, the camera acts as almost another being in the scene. The camera was always walking with the people, sometimes backwards, behind, and next to them. It gave the audience a sense of closeness to the characters. I felt like a part of their conversation.
3) The black and white color of the movie makes the story feel like it took place in a different time period. It also seems to help drown out the surrounding environment and just highlight the characters and the plot. I also think it creates a sense of romanticism.
4) The clips in the movie last between two-three minutes each.
5) The dialogue in this film is very sarcastic, witty, humorous, serious, crude, and often frustrating in its hypocrisy. Isaac does the majority of the talking in this movie. His dialogue really gives a sense of what a New Yorker is like. They have a lot of problems, often internal ones, and they love to talk about them with friends and associates.
6) The costumes were mainly just normal city attire. The characters were dressed casually the majority of the movie and their costumes helped them achieve their roles of average citizens with some big problems.
7) There was not too much music throughout the movie, yet there were some scenes in which music was very prominent. The opening scene, for example, features some beautiful, romantic music over images of the New York skyline. It gives a sense of the type of movie you are about to watch. Also when Isaac is playing with his son, the dialogue is drowned out by music. This music does a better job accentuating the playfulness and love shared between the father and son than hearing their dialogue could.
8) The set of the movie is in no place better than Manhattan itself. The city streets and other locations capture the director’s goal of portraying Manhattan and its residents as complex beings that are full of variety and spontaneity.
1. How does the camera function?: The camera functioned very differently depending on the scene. Sometimes it looked over people’s shoulders and in many scenes that had a bunch of people walking, it would follow from the front, moving along with them. Sometimes the camera would be in one place throughout the scene. Sometimes, it would go back and forth.
2. What is the director’s approach towards framing scenes with people?: This is one thing I made many notes about because this varied so often. Some of the things I realized was that many times the people were not in the central focus point of the scene. For instance, when Isaac and Tracy were in the apartment, toward the beginning of the film, they were off in the left hand side of the frame.
3. What impact does b.w v. color have?: As many of my fellow classmates, I was confused to why the movie was in black and white. I thought about it all weekend and there is a quote that is about black and white photography but I think it applies to this film as well. Ted Grant once said, “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But, when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.” Sometimes color can be distracting while watching a film and perhaps Woody Allen just wanted you to understand the movie for itself rather than focusing on colors.
4. Generally, how long do the clips (edits) last?: I don’t really remember the exact lengths for different scenes but between three and eight minutes would be my best guess.
5. Briefly describe the dialogue?: This is another thing I focused on quite a lot while watching this movie. The dialogue was relaxed, how people talk everyday. There were “mistakes” like stuttering and rewording in lines to make it feel more realistic and it didn’t sound forced either.
6. What is the role of costume in each scene?: Just like the previous question, the clothes were made to give a more realistic, normal, everyday feel to the movie.
7. What is the role of music in each scene?: Here is another thing I focused on. I think the minimal role music played in this movie helped to add of an everyday feel because, you don’t have a soundtrack playing in your life. The scene when Isaac was going to talk to Yale about Mary and Yale getting back together, the music played gave the audience the same sense of determination Isaac felt and I think that feeling would’ve been lost if the music wasn’t there.
8. What is the role of the set in each scene?: The set exuded the title of the movie. When Isaac and Mary ran for cover from the thunderstorm in Central Park, they ran into the Museum of Natural History, both landmarks in Manhattan.
On Wednesday, we watched Woody Allen’s film, Manhattan. I’d heard of Woody Allen before, and I thought that I’d maybe seen one of his films before and just didn’t know that it was by him. However, it turns out, that this was the first film of his that I’ve ever seen. I found it to be very amusing while dealing with some rather dramatic situations. For homework, we were asked to analyze the movie, and I thought it was a very interesting film to analyze.
1. The camera seemed to be focused mainly on Isaac, the main character. Of course, it focused on the other characters as well, but Isaac was the main focal point of the camera for the majority of the film.
2. Many times, I found that Allen chose to frame the scenes to make the people seem like part of a bigger picture. The camera would be focused on the characters, and yet it would also be zoomed out enough to show what was going on behind them; I think Allen wanted to show that despite whatever issues the characters in the film were dealing with, they were all relatively small compared to the rest of the city of Manhattan.
3. This film was shot in black and white and while I think that in general, shooting in color allows the filmmaker to fully portray the picture that they’re trying to paint, I think that a big advantage of filming in black and white is that it forces the audience to use their imagination to fill in the colors that they can’t really see. I think it can possibly engage the audience even more than a colorful scene can.
4. The clips lasted for a few minutes each before moving into the next scene.
5. The dialogue was very varied in this movie. At times, the characters would engage in intelligent conversation while at others, they would speak rather crudely. It was fitting, I thought, because if you were to take a stroll in Manhattan and listen in on random conversations as you pass by groups of people, I’m sure you’d hear such variety.
6. The costumes seemed like the normal attire you’d see people wearing in New York City. The film was a portrayal of the city of Manhattan, and I think that what the characters wore helped execute that portrayal.
7. There wasn’t much music in the movie, as far as I can remember. When it was there, however, it highlighted the scenes that it accompanied. The one that stood out to me was when Isaac was with his son. The music drowned out the rest of the sound and we just got to see Isaac interact with him, and we got to imagine what was being said instead of actually hearing it. Again, I find it a bit more engaging when the audience has to use their imagination instead of having everything given to them.
8. The set in this movie is, quite fittingly, New York City. The film is meant to portray Manhattan, and what better way is there to portray Manhattan than to shoot the movie in the city itself?
I honestly thought that this was a fun movie to watch, and because of it, I might try to watch some other Woody Allen films in my free time.
On Wednesday’s seminar class we watched our first New York film. It was Woody Allen’s Manhattan (certainly a fitting title for our class). What intrigued me about this film was how similar it was to another film I have seen, also directed by Woody Allen called Husbands and Wives. Both films starred Woody Allen and both dealt with issues of infidelity. During the film I took notes to help answer questions similar to the ones we did for homework the class before. That homework, I should note, was quite enjoyable for me. I love analyzing a film and seeing how it could mean so much more then the plot thanks to the use of a director’s cinematic devices.
1) Throughout this film I would say the camera deviated quite a bit from classical cutting. At some moments the camera would be placed off to the side rather then with one central image and many times it captured the characters in the shadows, for example, when Yale tells Isaac about his affair their discussion is cast in the shadows. And when Isaac and Mary go to the museum the entire image is distorted and brought in the shadows. The camera stays in one position in most scenes of the film, it does not move from character to character when a dialogue begins. It stays stationary instead of showing the other people/person’s reactions.
2) In many of the scenes the director does not frame the characters in dead center of the camera. Instead it could be canted to the right or left and at times only the actors dialogue can be heard over a still image such as a diner. Some shots were also wide angle and depicted the entire setting of the characters rather then just the characters themselves (like with Isaac and Tracey in the large apartment).
3) The fact that this film was in black and white in my opinion adds to the New York image. Most of what makes up NYC is in black and white in its colors and the people that inhabit the city are what bring it life. It could have also been used to have the audience focus on the storyline rather then the colors of the characters and setting. Using black and white also creates many shades of grey, and with issues like infidelity some things really are never black and white.
4) The clips seem to last for a few minutes and they then transition to another clip.
5) The dialogue in this film is sarcastic, intelligent, and at times simple-minded (and even contains some profanity). This multi-dimensional dialogue of these characters is a great representation of the great diversity in only one set of people in New York City.
6) The costumes in this film speak to the theme of black and white and all of the people involved. No one really wears anything extravagant or noteworthy in the course of the film. Again perhaps to highlight the plot, and to represent how it is about working people trying to succeed in New York.
7) The music in this film is at times exuberant and is most utilized when it drowns out the dialogue of the characters. For example when Yale takes his son out, the music gets louder and louder and becomes almost a silent film—where, through the glass of the store window, we see Isaac’s movements exaggerated to display emotion.
8)The set of the film is New York City and it is meant to show the best aspects of it, the museums the parks the streets and the apartments. Shots of the city with fireworks and the pumpkins can be inferred as use of the set to display the passing of time (from the fourth of July, perhaps, to the Fall).
Ultimately, I enjoyed the ending and the analysis of my second Woody Allen film. I can definitely say that I now get a sense of his oeuvre in his films.