The film I've specifically chosen for my micro-features analysis essay is Sam Mendes's Academy Prize winning motion picture American Beauty being successful numerous Oscars and reward from critics. The narrative employs the unpleasant and mundane lives of the Burnham family consisting of Lester, a middle older man who is facing a severe mid-life problems and is incredibly depressed, wedded to Carolyn who's an unbiased business women and housewife and their naive girl Jane. The films promotional tagline 'look deeper' subconsciously means that the appropriate suburban lifestyle depicted within the narrative is not as ideal as at first perceived, therefore checking out the corrupt and dysfunctional Burnham family fuelled completely by materialism. The quick sequence chosen for microanalysis is the exposition, normally known as the opening which establishes themes or templates, characters, inner and outer existence and the entire world they inhabit. Sam Mendes, the director must specifically use a contribution of all micro-elements including sound, mise en field, cinematography and editing in order to grasp the viewer's conscious attention and propel the narrative forward efficiently, nevertheless the two micro-aspects I have chose for examination consist of mise en scene and cinematography which create so this means and evoke reactions from the audience.
American Beauty immediately commences with Jane Burnham being noted by an anonymous character, the dialog between the two is extremely personal based on her ultimate intention to kill her dad. The unpleasant atmosphere compliments the engaging dialogue as it the amateur taking strategy is specifically found in order to create realism which grasps the audience into a submissive position because of the characteristics of the camera taken moving into an intimidating low angle shot which consists of Jane dominating the framework with direct vision associates creating an overwhelmingly intense atmosphere. The light within the room is significantly limited thus being partially lighted which creates an area filled up with sinister shadows creating an ominous ambiance which emphasises her monotone clothing developing a inexplicable persona that is unconventional on her behalf years, more specifically sixteen therefore contradicting the normal 'cheerleader' stereotype. Jane's eyes range match within the camera shot detonates persistence, zooming at a subtle pace whilst looking in a sinister way into the camera engages the viewer based on the cameraman refusing to permit her to escape voyeurism.
Carolyn Burnham is seen doing traditional female associated activities predicated on her natural characteristics hence her growing and retaining the bouquets within her garden, more specifically the roses are often associated with love and romance which is reflective of her provocative image possibly fuelled by her motives to find another sexual partner no matter her husband's consent however one could consider gardening psychologically satisfies Carolyn which inevitably reduces her dependence on love-making, although as an audience we really doubt Lester cares credited to his lacklustre body gestures. Lester perhaps outcasts himself from which sadly makes him unseen and unnoticeable, captured significantly during the scene where he's seen eavesdropping on the dialogue between Carolyn and the homosexual next door neighbour. The intentional use of your 'slice in shot' shows his lack of presence and involvement within his wife's life, get better at shot initially establishes the dialog which is predictably accompanied by shot-reverse-shot, the focus ruthlessly shifts between your dialogue where in fact the previously distorted and blurred shape is seen in the window thus representing his fragmenting romantic relationship with his wife and overall exclusion from culture. Lester's perspective shows his helplessness to accomplish approval hence his much more laid back approach to life, rather than mundane lifestyle used by the majority suburban human population, possibly aspiring to occupy a more hectic lifestyle however regarding to his proven motivational issues in the exposition this seems highly improbable. The outside of the house is illuminated entirely by day light thus being much more glamorous therefore more appealing however he still contains distain towards it, in contrast the interior of the house is fuelled by nominal lighting which is significantly more realistic. In addition the interior of the home is also impractically dark which coincides with Lester's shade during the voice over narration thus showing two conflicting worlds; however he occupies the miserable one by itself.
Lester remarks on the coincidental matching of Carolyn's apparel and gardening apparatus, 'cope with on those pruning shears suits her gardening clogs', stating it isn't an accident which may be applied to the significance of the entranceway and its shade, more specifically as an intense tone of red which distinctly different from majority of white therefore position out with exceptional prominence which denotes violence which is depicted ruthlessly within the exposition and can be considered an important theme within the narrative. Lester has recently foreshadowed his imminent death via voice over thus building the climax, building constant anticipation making the viewer become emotionally attached to the protagonist thus evoking empathy towards him and his scenario.
The explicit performance of Lester through the masturbation field in the shower reflects the reasonable approach to the film, the initial shock of this field can be uncomfortable for less older audiences, and however it entices the audience into the genuine world of Lester which is uncountable to a lot of the population who enjoy similar activities. The claustrophobic experience in a bathtub cubicle can metaphorically represent a jail cell thus being imprisoned into a mundane suburban lifestyle. His body language during this scene is noticeably drained, the position of his head on his own shoulder blades displays his insufficient stability and main goal to sexually satisfy himself by his own means during the current moment irrespective of anyone's opinion, especially Carolyn thus referring to it as the 'point out' of his day without sarcasm. Lester's pleasured body language is because of the masturbation; nonetheless it could potentially be exaggerated based on the thrill of doing something resistant to the norms of world hence the use of 'high light'. Certainly the severe insufficient intimacy and chemistry with his wife is most likely the reason behind the masturbation alternatively than traditional making love, perhaps he is probably bored with sex similar to other things anticipated to his refusal to abide by social norms to keep a stable marriage on order to fulfill one another's needs.
Whilst the Carolyn and Jane are holding out impatiently for Lester to proceed for the noticeably expensive yet convention middle income car, basic techniques such as making certain the suitcase is shut appropriately emphasises his severe lack of motivation and commitment alive. Lester sometimes appears casually collecting his work from a high angle perspective, kneeling down within an substandard position to his wife puts significant emphasis in his subordinate role within the dysfunctional family, thus switching gender roles with his wife, which in today's society is acceptable although not mainly for the original male ego especially for dignity and delight; however the behavior exhibited by him means that his couldn't service less. Carolyn's performance such as the raising of the eyebrows shows utter disappointment since she is married to an individual who is such a useless contribution to contemporary society thus making him obsolete or elsewhere redundant, as he is expendable. Her formal makes her appear significantly more financially independent, reinforced by the low angle point of view of Lester, making her appear a lot more intimidating and authoritative thus not necessitating his assistance, potentially holding her back economically.
The camera reduces to the family motionless within the automobile, unresponsive to one another with a significant lack of acknowledgement reinforced the magnitude of the households communicational malfunction, Lester sometimes appears sitting on the trunk seat of the car slumped, potentially asleep whilst his partner and princess sit in the front eager to get on with their sociable life, whether it's work or institution. Lester positioned between the two within the medium shot, exhibits his prominence however his physical presence is missing, possibly lost during the recent years which he has been completely consumed by the capitalist population. The clothing worn by Lester is consultant of his communal class; social signals including his house, car and clothing coincide with the typical middle class person. Natural light is present within the field but is obscured by the tinted house windows, thus being limited to reach its full probable, therefore subconsciously representing his constraints metaphorically hence the muted tones emphasising the lifeless atmosphere.
In summary the micro-features within the exposition of North american Beauty establishes key topics within the narrative, consisting of love, sexuality, individuality, etc become more and more dominant as the narrative eventually progresses conveying numerous meaning during this quick sequence therefore dictating the people personality and determining the choices they'll make.