Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Picnic at Hanging Rock was directed by Peter Weir (1975). Is a film set in Australia, Victoria where an all-girls private school take a trip to hanging rock, but three of the students investigate they go missing. This film is often regarded as based on a true story, however this is not true it only creates the illusion it is.
The music score created for this film is perfect. It creates much atmosphere and uncertainty within each scene and compliments the scenes, mainly when the girls appear to lose themselves under the presence of the rock. It encapsulates the viewer to feel the trance like state the girls are in.
Weir has used various different camera effects to great effect. He using the slow motion camera shots to create atmosphere and make the viewer feel more engaged by looking through the perspective he wants you to be looking through. When various shots of Miranda showing her to be angelic and innocent. There is also use of soft lens effects, this accompanied with the slow motion perfectly portrays the dream like state that this film is all about.
There is also the use of symbolism within this film. When they reach hanging rock and the watches stop, this suggests a super natural and unknown phenomenon, and when the girls seem to be hypnotised by the outback and the rock suggests what could be described as a more sexual meaning. Shown as innocent being tainted by the ruthless hostile outback.
The Australian outback has an uncanny atmosphere, it appears to the viewer as something different than nature. Odd structures and the hostile environment creates a mysterious understanding within the viewer.
Suspiria directed by Dario Argento (1977). A young American dancer goes to Europe to join an academy ballet school. When she arrives she sees another young girl fleeing only to be later seen murdered. After many strange incidences and rather obscure occurrences she sets out to discover the reason behind it. Only to find out that the teachers at the school are witches and plan destruction.
This film uses various effective techniques to fill the viewer with fear that they cannot escape. The Lighting used in this film has a prominent effect on how Argento wants the viewer to feel. The greens and reds combined with the long narrow corridors give a sickly phobic feeling. And the lighting is used to highlight certain aspects in the scenes. When the girl is being chased through the building its lit up various different colours to make the viewer feel what she is feeling, and to feel the same kind of sickness people get when fear grips them. The colour green is also a colour regarded with fear and sickness.
The school is also made up of lots of corridors and passage ways.The creates claustrophobia and combined with the lighting used in the film it creates and strong unique feeling which is hardly meet in modern films. When the viewer is following the girl being chased, the corridors are narrow and long. The viewer is made to feel confined and the fear of running into a dead end which inevitably happens.
Through the film the viewer keeps the feeling that something isn’t right, from the beginning of the film when you see the girl outside running and the hanging at the start. From the outset the viewer is made to suspect various aspects in the film which keeps them on edge all the time. There is a notion that the teachers are in fact witches, which isn’t immediately clear as Argento lets the thought brew in the viewer’s mind. It creates paranoia and conspiracy in the viewer about all the teachers in the school.
The Innocents directed by Jack Clayton (1961). It is a psychic thriller where Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) is asked to be a Governess at “The Uncles” (Michael Redgrave) country manor, where he has a nephew Miles (Martin Stephens) and a niece Flora (Pamela Franklin) staying there. But little does Miss Giddens know about the history and the previous Governor and Governess.
The Innocents carries a very eerie and disturbing theme throughout the film, where by not all is what it seems, miles gets back from school and seems to be fine and happy. But he has been in fact expelled from his school and doesn’t want to talk about it. Another way in which the film holds the very uneasy feeling is that the two children Miles and Flora know more than they should, they act like adults this makes the audience unsettled by implementing the super natural through Miles and Flora.
Clayton uses the fact that Miss Giddens has been thrown into the role of Governess where the house is shrouded in mystery, the fact that Miss Giddens doesn’t know about the history creates a claustrophobic feeling, especially when she is looking for answers in the dark corridors. There is also a very uncomfortable and agoraphobic-ness when out in the large open gardens of the manor house. While Flora is singing a song Miss Giddens see the previous Governess across the river, This creates that fear, an inescapable entity which scares the viewer.
Another major factor Clayton uses to get the attention of the viewer is using the viewer’s imagination to take a hold to grip them and create fear, showing subtle little things that set loose the imagination of the audience. This works perfectly alongside the claustrophobic atmosphere that has already been created within the viewer. A few great examples of this are where Miss Giddens sees a mysterious man atop the spire, only to find Miles has been there. When she is walking through the manor and sees a glimpse of a face for a second and it disappears. These little suggest to the viewer there are other entity’s amongst the manor.
The Wicker Man directed by Robin Hardy (1973). A Police officer Sgt Howie is sent to a small village on an island Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a girl. The locals are far from helpful with Howie claiming that the girl doesn’t exist. He is determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance and find the girl.
Right from the outset of the film it shows a subtle hint that the officer is being played and controlled by the villagers. Sgt Howie enters the school, opens the girls desk to find a bug attached to a string nailed to the centre of the desk walking in circles getting closer to the centre. This shows metaphorically what will happen through the continuation of the film.
This film namely works around basic fears which are always close to use. Hardy uses this to great effect within this film. The feeling of paranoia is clear within in this film from the beginning in Howie. The villagers are working together toying and playing with the officer knowing full well what’s going on. When Howie sets off to return, his plane has been tampered with. This on top of the paranoia and conspiracy, he is now stranded on strange lands with no escape.
Hardy also uses the fact that the ways of Summerisle are unfamiliar, playing with the pagan, voodoo and the mystery that surrounds it. This keeps the viewer on edge not knowing what to expect and slowly inducing fear as more of the rituals and ways are shown.There has been a recent remake of this film, this is a symbol that we fear the unknown and unfamiliar rituals of different religions. Where immigrants are coming from abroad and showing there heritage with no fear of hiding it, the unfamiliar ways scares us.