Cinematography In Schindler's List Essay

1481 words - 6 pages

The paper I decided to do was on “Schindler’s List”. I have seen this movie four times and yet had not really noticed the many ways in which the director, Steven Spielberg, used the camera to emphasis a “million words”. It was interesting, when watching this film from this stand point, how I was able to see the importance of the way the director uses sounds and color to make some much significant points of a film.
I decided to emphasis the way certain close ups and facial expressions were used to show very significant emotions of the characters in the film. In these particular scenes, no words had to be used. The camera focuses on the character involved in the scene and one can tell exactly what is going on in the mind of the character.
The other aspect of the movie that I wanted to discuss is the music that was used. This movie won seven academy awards. Not surprisingly, one of awards was for “ Best Original scene”. The use of music in the scenes was very appropriate. I’m going to discuss several of the scenes of the movie and how music contributed to the scene.
There is a scene in the movie where Oskar Schindler is put in jail because he kissed a Jewish girl, this scene has Schindler in a cell with another person, Schindler says that he is incarcerated because he kissed this Jewish girl. His cellmate makes the remark “ Did your prick fall off”, the cellmate begins to laugh, and Schindler joins him in the laughter. Suddenly the camera pans up to Oskar Schindler’s face. His face shows a man that is no longer laughing but, without words, you can see in his face that he doesn’t find the remark humorous. Further, the close up on his expression reveals a man that has a revelation. The revelation is that he is horrified that Jewish people are thought of in this way.
The close ups of Amon Goeth, the monster SS guard that ran the camp at Krakow, are some of the most revealing scenes without words. One scene shows a conversation between Schindler and Goeth. Schindler is trying to explain to Goeth that true power lies in forgiving when you don’t have to forgive. For a while Goeth tries to do what Schindler says, pardon those Jews that do him wrong. He lets the stable boy that dropped his saddle of the hook. He tells the guard to let a woman go back to work; the guard was going to shoot the woman. Goeth goes upstairs and finds a boy cleaning his tub. The boy is frightened and pleads with Goeth not be angry. Goeth looks at the boy, slowly he tells the boy “I pardon you”… “ Now go”. The relieved boy runs off. The next scene is a powerful scene. The camera does a close up of Goeth looking into a mirror. He is adjusting his hair. He seems to slip into a dream world. He envisions himself the powerful emperor that Schindler describes. He whispers “ I pardon you”. The camera then focuses on Goeth eyes. Without saying anything, the viewer knows that Goeth is far too gone. He doesn’t have the power described by Schindler. He is a mad man.
Another scene with...

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