Experimental Film Critique

Within Reach

The initial shot is of two strangers passing by on the street and then it cuts to a close up of their heads to show the man looking intently at the female as they pass by. The close up helps the audience notice this pivotal moment right of the bat. The scene then changes to a room where the male and female live out this daydream of strangers falling in love through a dance.

Something I did not like about this video was the way they transitioned cinematically into this daydream. The girl walked out of the frame to the left and then the man walked out of the frame to the right. Immediately after they cut to the scene in the other room. They had the girl walking the same direction, however, because she walked out of the frame to the left and then was walking in the frame to the right the continuity seemed a little off to me. I know it had her walking in the same direction technically but it was accompanied by the way the man entered the new scene that threw me off even more. The man exited the last scene to the right but entered this scene in a whole new directional pattern, coming straightforward from the back of the room. If they were trying to continue from the scene on the street, they should have had the man chasing after the woman or something that matched the first scene.

The first shot of the daydream dance scene is filmed slightly above the dancers. This gives the audiences the perspective of looking over what is happening. In this moment we are not apart of the action, just observing from above. The camera switches to a straight on angle where the composition is strong. The two dancers are standing back to back in the center of the frame and there are features in the wall behind them that match their verticality.

The camera plays with a lot of different ideas in this film. It is constantly switching from medium shots to close ups to extreme close ups, high to low angles, and moving or still camera work. The extreme close ups were used effectively for parts where the director was trying to draw the attention to touch. The camera would focus on the hand touching the face to evoke feelings of intimacy. A lot of the camera work would actually move with the dancers. It made the audience feel as if they were moving with them, trying to watch the dance from a 360-degree perspective as opposed to just straight on.

As for the positioning of the dancers in the space, there were parts where the dancers would move in front of the window and the lighting would darken the image of the dancers. They should have kept their movement along the windowless wall to keep continuity in lighting.

I think they were filming in a tight space because there were moments that were medium shots, but still cut off some of the movements. These didn’t seem intentional because most of the body was in the shot, except for parts of the limbs and it cut off the lines and movements of the dancers.


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