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With detailed reference to the three scenes in 'The Magnificent Ambersons', explain how the narrative is portrayed via the various technical codes.

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Introduction

With detailed reference to the three scenes in 'The Magnificent Ambersons', explain how the narrative is portrayed via the various technical codes We watched three scenes from The Magnificent Ambersons, directed by Orson Welles. The first of the three scenes was The Snow Scene, in which several members of the family, including Lucy and George are riding inside the horseless carriage invented by Eugene. In this scene, despite the fact that it seems to be a happy family occasion, vertical framing, which suggests entrapment, is used quite a lot, both with the trees by the side of the road and the upright supports of the car. The lighting in this scene is used especially well to show the differences in the personalities of George and Lucy. There are a lot of shadows on George's face, which make him look harsh, as though he's hiding something - such as his selfishness. Lucy is in soft focus, which makes her look friendly and approachable. The majority of the sounds used in this scene are diagetic: the people in the car singing and talking and the sound of the carriage wheels on snow. ...read more.

Middle

The second scene - the funeral scene - starts with a shot of the front door of the house with a wreath on. Combined with the cheery atmosphere and snow of the last scene, this could have the connotation of Christmas. However, non-diagetic, sombre sounding music starts to play and shows that it is actually a funeral. The door is opened by a black servant in a bowler hat. This suggests wealth. He lets in Lucy and Eugene, and shuts the door. His shadow can be seen on the glass window of the door. The next shot is inside the house. It is a subjective shot from the point of view of Wilbur (who is dead). The low angle of the shot makes all the mourners seem superior to Wilbur, as though he was above them in life and this is the only way they can be better than him. The only person who shows any emotion in this scene is Aunt Fanny. There is an extreme close-up on her face, which shows the emotion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Aunt Fanny and George sit quite separately. They never make eye contact, suggesting the metaphorical gap between them. The lighting is all on George, whereas Aunt Fanny sits slightly behind him, in his shadow, once again suggestive of George's selfish personality. After Fanny slams the door, the lighting on George is less, and the Uncle is lit up. The sounds in this scene are largely non-diagetic weather sounds. Up until Fanny leaves the room, thunder and lightning can be heard; after she leaves it is just the sound of the rain, suggesting that the storm is a metaphor for Aunt Fanny's state of mind. The thunder is heard especially in the gaps between speeches. The conversation between Aunt Fanny and George is a long shot, which makes it seem more real. It is a two shot which allows us to see both of their reactions and means that there is no need for camera movement. After Fanny runs out, the camera pans to the left and follows George over to the window. Hazel Chudley ...read more.

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