Cinematography in Far from Heaven





Cinematography in Far from Heaven

Far from Heaven is a film that highlights major events in the life of a married woman in the 1950s. At the beginning of the film, her lifestyle appears to be ideal although she faces various problems. This plot is the basis used by the scriptwriter to address various societal issues in a typical community. Some of the major themes in the movie include sexual orientation, social class, racial discrimination, and the roles of different gender categories. In order to capture the attention of the audience as well as discuss these elements effectively, the involved professionals use various aspects of cinematography throughout the film. To begin with, the choice of different colors in particular scenes is a symbolic approach utilized in the production of the film in order to generate certain thoughts in the audience with reference to the highlighted themes and setting of the movie (Goodridge and Tim 92).

            For example, in the scene focusing on Eleanor, Cathy, and their allies, they all wear bright colors such as green, red, orange, and yellow. This indicates their sophisticated lifestyle and exciting personality. Moreover, particular colors are evident in scenes that appear vague in terms of the proceedings. For instance, he uses green as the main color in such scenes as a way of increasing suspense among the audience. This is apparent when Frank enters an entertainment spot frequented by homosexuals. Additionally, the film comprises a similar color theme in the scene when Cathy visits an eatery in a region with a large percentage of people from the black race. In addition to the suspense effect, these color effects are an effective tool in discussing major themes including the element of social segregation based on one’s sexual orientation and racial background (Patton).

            The angles and shots used in the production of this movie are also an effective element of cinematography, which creates the setting of the film. For instance, the illumination techniques portray a unique brightness associated with ancient movies (Goodridge and Tim 96). This creates the 1950s period, which is the main setting of the plot. The use of lens filters is also a useful mechanism. Additionally, use of different angles in various shots puts emphasis on vital scenes in the film. For instance, at the beginning of the movie, a combination of various shot compositions is used as Frank and Cathy embrace. The camera movements relates to the activities of the couple, an element that aids the audience to connect with the characters due to the used angles. As they lie on the couch, the angle of the camera shifts in line with their position.

            Sound is also a crucial aspect of cinematography utilized in various scenes of this film. For instance, as Frank breaks down, the frequency and pitch of the music increases as a sign of the existing tension. Likewise, the end of the music occurs on a low and prolonged note as Frank moves away from his wife. This is an indication of the extreme anxiety and embarrassment experienced by this character. Furthermore, the voice of the two characters in this scene creates a particular setting in addition to putting emphasis on certain themes highlighted in the movie. For example, as Frank sobs, Cathy uses a low tone to signify that she cares about him. This deliberate cinematography approach utilizes sound effects to create the personality of the characters as well as discussing various themes (Keating 121).

            The cinematography elements used in the scenes of this film are also vital in generating certain atmospheres among the audience. For example, in the scene depicting an argument between Cathy and Frank, the lighting and colors used in the background aid the audience in comprehending the emotional and bodily detachment between the couple. The depth of field and movement of the two characters is also effective in illustrating this distance. Similarly, towards the end of the movie, certain visual and audio elements aid the viewers in comprehending the Cathy’s emotions and the events related to her psychological state. For instance, the angle of the shots focuses on the facial features of Cathy (Patton). This is a deliberate technique aimed at highlighting her emotions. The use of narrow lens frames and a one-dimensional depth of field also enhance the attainment of close shots.

            The screen graphics in different scenes also highlight the physical and mental aspects of the characters. The composition of the scene following the physical assault experienced by Cathy from her husband illustrates the effects of graphics in cinematography. The left region of the screen comprises of detailed outlines while the right side has curving lines along the staircase and blue table. This contrast highlights her vulnerability and emotional pain. Furthermore, the shadowy effect incorporated in this scene is also effective in emphasizing the mental state of Cathy following the assault. This is in line with the editing style, which involves the A-roll technique (Keating 130). The transitions create a connection between Frank and Cathy, an element that sets a particular mood among the audience. It also relates this scene to other portions of the film.

Works Cited

Goodridge, Mike, and Tim Grierson. Cinematography. Amsterdam: Focal Press, 2012. Print.

Keating, Patrick. Cinematography, 2014. Print.

Patton, Jody, Christine Vachon, Todd Haynes, Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn, Edward Lachman, James Lyons, Elmer Bernstein, Sandy Powell, Mark Friedberg, and John Wells. Far from Heaven. Universal City, CA: Universal Studios, 2003.

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