Friday, May 6, 2011

More Screenshots

In the movie, the colours progress from light sunny yellow, to a monotone pale hue, to dark blue, and finally to green. The colour progression shows portrays the underlying emotion of the film, something that goes unspoken in the community.

 This is the shot of Lux as she wakes up on the football field alone the next morning. Another major difference in the movie is added here; in the book, Lux comes home very late at night, instead of very early in the morning. This is the specific scene where the colour tone switches to a dark blue. The colour is cold, and makes the viewer feel lonely, which is a direct parallel to the sunny hues of the beginning of the movie. The shot is an aerial shot, and is also a long shot. This brings attention to the fact that Lux is very alone in her situation, and now feels small and insignificant. Her actions of the night before are now being seen in the eye of the "bigger picture" and she most definitely regrets the choices she has made. I really like that she is wearing all weight in this scene, because white is the colour of purity. This is of course very ironic for Lux's current situation. She is hunched over, searching for her shoes, as the magic of the night before and the reality of how much trouble she is going to be in has faded.

These two screenshots are towards the end of the film, after the suicides have been completed and the boys are left searching for answers. The top frame is the last shot that is shown in the movie. It is of the boys after a debutante party, as they stand on the sidewalk,. staring off into the distance. The camera pans out from them, again making the characters feel very alone. It is interesting to mention that the boys went to a party and met girls, and are now being portrayed as along and insignificant, just as Lux was portrayed after her evening with rip in the earlier shot. This scene, while simple, looked very thoughtful and compelling. It has a very cool colour palette, but is not the darker blue of the earlier shots. It is kind of a green-ish blue, which indicates that the initial sorrow over the death of the sisters has passed, but there is still a remarkable haunting quality to the neighbourhood. Eugenides actually mentions the greenish tinge in the novel, which is then translated into the movie: "It was full-fledged summer again, over a year since Cecilia had slit her wrists, spreading the poison in the air. A spill at the plant increased the phosphates in the lake and produced a scum of algae so thick that the swamp smell filled the air, infiltrating the genteel mansions. Debutantes cried over the misfortune of coming out in a season everyone would remember for its bad smell". The smell in question is actually visible, as a thick green smog that overpowers most of the neighbourhood parties (as seen in the second shot above). To me, this is beyond eerie and works incredibly well. It is almost like the death of the Lisbon girls caused an imbalance in the "great chain of being" causing this otherworldly smog to form, almost as if they were suffocating the neighbourhood with their death. The warm sunny hues and the straightforward "sad" blue tones are gone, and all the neighbourhood is left with is this bizarre green tone. It's not sad, and it's not happy, because the community is neither the former or the latter. This green smog (and how the neighbourhood reacts to it by throwing asphyxiation themed parties) highlights how bizarre and unconventional society really is.

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