Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bi-Monthly Frame: April (#1)

Movie: The Immigrant (1917)

Shot type: Medium long shot

Synopsis: On their voyage to America, Chaplin, his newfound female friend and her mother along with a group of other immigrants are barricaded off as the immigration officers processes them.

Click the jump for an in depth look at the frame.

Why I like it: In a simple fluid action that ties both comedic outrageousness and serious social cometary, Chaplin and his fellow immigrants are crammed together as they travel to the land of liberty. This shot ties together spacial composition and narrative context, and at the same time juxtaposes comedy and the sternness of reality. While the action of seeing a bunch of people crammed together was comic, the result reverberated a serious tone of prejudice and injustice. The feeling of separation is achieved and felt by the rope that slices right through the middle of the frame creating an imbalance of space: a void to the left and the people crammed to the right. In just a few seconds this film was able to switch from a comedic and romantic moment, to serious satire of society.

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