Film Analysis of Amelie
This analysis covers a comprehensive account of Amelie. The main purpose of the analysis is to examine the designs and stylistic methods used by the producers to improve the efficacy of the film. The paper concentrates on the practical aspects of every scene in terms of their autonomous influence on the audience in addition to how they manipulate the staging of other sub-sections in the film. For this purpose, the whole assessment is a review of all the artistic methods applied in the development of Amelie. Several scenes will be selected and used for analysis.
In order to accomplish the laid down objectives in the motion picture analysis, the main research plan involves watching the complete film while discovering the significant scenes. Furthermore, the essentials emphasized in this assessment report come up from an inclusive study concerning the shots in the selected scenes.
Several scenes make up Amelie. One of these sub scenes is the ‘heart beat’ scene. It is a major scene in the film and has an important effect on subsequent scenes in terms of highlighting the subjects in addition to grasping the concentration of the audience. Initially, the soliloquy in this scene provides a deeper understanding of the thought process of characters such as Amélie Poulain and Nino Quincampoix. This is significant to the viewers since they can link previous sections with the succeeding scenes. Moreover, the precise artistic elements integrated in the scene are vital in stressing the themes in addition to the complete plot. An investigation of this scene exposes a number of stylistic methods involving editing, sound effects, cinematography, and mise-en-scene. This debate is the thesis statement that strengthens this discussion. In terms of the technical aspects, the film is excellent. Jeunet, the chief director was a specialist in effects, and makes use of innovative methods-in conjunction with editing Herve Schneid-to make Amelie’s world alive (Ebrahimian 36).
Part A: The ‘Heartbeat’ Scene
Amelie is a creative, lively character that fits properly in this rapid velocity film. One day she found a box concealed behind her apartment wall. It was packed with small toys and souvenirs that belonged to a young child who hid them years before. She embarked on a mission to locate the owner and return the items. She promised that if her assignment ended positively, she would dedicate herself to performing kind acts. This contributed to several emotive, humorous and picturesque adventures where Amelie expends her own version of justice to different characters, both good and wicked. Along the journey, she fell in love. Amusingly, she transformed it into a game of secrecy and attraction, coercing her lover to chase after her, without the man knowing her identity. In the heartbeat scene, Amelie was strolling through a train station in Paris while carrying a garden gnome (Ebrahimian 21). She became aware of a stranger looking for thrown passport photos. The scene opened with an illuminated wide angle shot that was coordinated with the arrival of trains, and describes it as a morning scene. All through the movie, the camera man made use of green and to create a fantastic ambiance common in Spanish paintings particularly works of at created by Fabio Marcelo. While the camera zooms in on Amelie, she appeared adorning a red dress covered by black coat. Combined with the red dress, the camera’s green lens filter worked to create a surreal mood as the scene progressed. As she strode towards the man in the passport booth, the tension was amplified by the increasing sound of moving trains in the background. The camera then moved to her feet and captured the whole sight of the squatting stranger. As her pace reduces and she takes time to examine the stranger, her motions are synchronized by the noises of a train halting at the station.
This look in the film was achieved mainly through alternating the saturation of colors. When viewing the movie, the color green was applied in several scenes. As a harmonizing color, red was used and occasionally, a solitary blue object was included in the frame. The director planned to apply color correction techniques to give the motion picture a fairytale or storybook sense. As the motion picture is a romantic comedy, it was suitable to use yellow to build an optimistic mood throughout. The color yellow represented the contentment and transformation. Even though the start of the film was relatively disheartening, there was an aspect of comedy that eased a little of the depressing sentiment (Brown 12). The film draw attention to Amelie and her efforts in trying to do moral deeds for her society while looking for contentment and love. Because the story was set in France, the traditional romantic feeling generated by Amelie in her efforts to find true love are intertwined in the plot. The color correction technique was effective in alleviating the nature of the movie and making it fitting for the romantic comedy genre.
The soundtracks in this film consist of piano and instrumental music that furnished the film with an old-fashioned feel. At the beginning of the motion picture, the music inserted was a melancholy piece played on the piano and used to illustrate the sordid and difficult childhood that Amelie experienced, and how it affected her development when compared to other children. Music was also used to create tension for instance in the scene where Amelie reorganizes Collignon’s house. In this scene, when the owner of the houses realizes the changes, the music is used to compliment the tension every instance he discovers yet another adjustment in his residence. The music effectively builds up the tension to a climax until Collignon finally takes a rest.
The director’s objective concerning music in specific scenes as well as throughout the film was to create an anticipatory mood as Amelie approached Nino (Brown 67). As the music played, the viewers become more excited and nervous, as they believe that fated lovers would be eventually reunited. Regrettably, Amelie’s dread of being rejected and taking opportunities overwhelms her and she made up her mind to turn around. After the tram departed, clearing her passageway, she mustered some courage, only to discover Nino left. Therefore, the deafening, echoing pound towards the end displayed the desolation that Amelie felt because she lost another opportunity to express her true feelings of love to Nino. In this view, Amelie finally mustered the nerve to challenge her secret lover. Her strides towards Nino are complimented by a combination of soft, yet jittery piano and accordion music. However, the appearance of a tram carrying boxes and supplies that blocks her pathway puts her in doubt and fear and this is what the music captures through the dragging accordion note followed by a sharp and loud echoing bang that acts as a final seal on her fate to never tell her true love of her feelings (Ebrahimian 18).
Several shooting styles are collectively used to achieve a perfect scene or subsequent scenes. Each of the styles and techniques has its benefits warranting the usage of different shots and angles for a wholesome result. There are several close-up camera shots of Amelie’s face in the course of the film. This style maintains the audiences’ attention; it keeps them conversant with her inner thoughts and her feelings. Close up shots have the advantage of bringing a high sense of intimacy between the audience and Amelie. Whenever she achieved her own undertakings that pleased other people, the camera offered a close up shot of her face displaying her big smile. This is to make known that she was satisfied with influencing other people’s fate into more fortunate ones. This also helps in understanding the lead characters appropriately. The usage of close ups for most scenes containing Amelie circuitously relate to the subject because these shots displayed her reaction to her own destiny. For instance, in the scene where Amelie got wind that Nino had eloped with Gina, the close up shot of her face enabled the audience to see her disappointment and the consequent breakdown (Brown 44). In the motion picture, several shots are nonstop and linked. These styles of tracking shots are typically made possible by the use of dollies serve to provide the viewers with a sense of non-interruption: as if proposing that every element coalesced into another smoothly. The shots would also imply the stream of ramifications that go after a decision, in a similar manner to a falling line of dominoes. In the movie, the primary actors are often recorded using high camera shots to furnish the viewers with a sense that the actors are being scrutinized by an unidentified supreme being, which could be their destiny. This category of camera angle creates a sense that the major proponents behave according to the wishes or command of their own destinies.
In the shot showing the panoramic city view, there were non-digetic elements inserted by the editor during post-production. The texts inserted symbolized Nino’s residence throughout the film as well as Amelie’s house. It was surprising to see that they were separated from each other by about 5 miles making it a significant factor considering that it seemed like their fates were destined to cross. In other parts of the film, the director made use of split screens and bringing about certain elements of parallelism. The editor inserted this style with the purpose of displaying the similarity between the two characters as well as their high level of compatibility.
Many sections involving Amelie carried the feeling of being theatrical and impracticable as a person, linked with Amelie’s creativity and denial to acknowledge reality and let it control life. She regularly perceived life like a sport for instance, when she was playing games with Nino, and this is evident through out many scenes in the motion picture. The blocking used during the elaboration of her youth was a suitable example, as regardless of the vibrant depiction of her childhood, the cinematography and the blocking choices contribute most to develop the peculiar extraordinary mise en scéne. The whole movie could simply have occurred in her imagination, and the manner in which that reality and idealism could not be totally separated is an acclamation to Jeunet who created a unique tone and style that was maintained throughout the whole motion picture. Another significant element in the staging in Amelie is the absence of a fourth wall (Brown 34). On several occasions, Amelie peers into the camera and at the viewers, giving the idea that audience are in her head, and inspecting her imagination transform otherwise possibly tedious or uncomfortable situations into jovial and amusing ones. Several instances in the movieshowed Amelie’s characterin an intense close up, orlocated very near to a camerathat acts to inform the audienceof the change in perception to that of the Amelie’s point of view. Nino, Amelie’s ultimate love concern, was also portrayed in a similar manner to Amelie, and extraordinary occurrences were included in scenes that involved Niño. The similar staging of these characters suggested their pending relationship, and toyed with the notion of destined lovers. In the initial scenes, Amelie and Nino were located in different locations from each other, for instance, during the park scene. However, as the plot unfolded, the two protagonists gradually shaped their paths into finding each other (Katz 48).
Locations are very useful in this movie, as the contemporary artistic elements blended with French accordion music and French-like locations that created the peculiar tone. It can be considered similar to contemporary girls adorning hipster garments that were a revival of a fashion from the 1960s and 70s that exudes the complete look a detached yet somewhat self-aware eccentricity. The most vital scene is perhaps the train station where Amelie ultimately managed to get Nino’s photo album. The location portrayed all the aspects of a tourist spot for visitors interested in catching a glimpse of authentic France. The long steps, fountains and the absence of glass windows are a common feature in contemporary architecture that resulted in a sarcastic juxtaposition with the advanced camera work and unique tone of the motion picture that makes the complete scene feel bizarrely old-fashioned. However, as the rest of the film is similarly peculiar and does not really care for the opinions of other people, it fits in flawlessly with the flow of the film and the mise en scéne (Sonnenschein 56).
The analysis of the ‘heartbreak’ scene as well as other shots in the motion picture offered a comprehensive insight into the complete film. By assessing the vital occurrences in the ‘heartbreak’ section, the viewers were able to understand other scenes that happened during the rest of the movie. The reason for this is that the audience may be oblivious of the thoughts of Amelie or Nino until later towards the end when the reasons for their behavior are fully revealed. It is evident that different aspects and styles contributed towards building and effective plot. To begin with, the experts in the film set concentrated on particular areas of video and audio production. This included video editing, lighting, sound/ music and cinematography to produce a setting that befitted the plot and timeline of the narrator and author. As a result, the audience was always in touch with the traditional romantic French setting even though most of the styles, approaches and even machines used were contemporary. The combination of these artistic features and infrastructure served to make Amelia a successful film.
Brown, Blain. Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Imagemaking for Cinematographers and Directors. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Focal Press, 2012. Print.
Ebrahimian, Babak A. The Cinematic Theater. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2004. Print.
Katz, Steven D. Cinematic Motion: A Workshop for Staging Scenes. Seattle, WA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2004. Print.
Sonnenschein, David. Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice, and Sound Effects in Cinema. Studio City, Calif: Michael Wiese Productions, 2009. Print.