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3 pages/≈1650 words
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MLA
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Communications & Media
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Movie Review
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

The City of Sadness By Hou Hsiao-Hsien Film Analysis (Movie Review Sample)

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film ANALYSIS OF The City of Sadness By Hou Hsiao-hsien

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The City of Sadness By Hou Hsiao-hsien
Introduction
City of Sadness (1989) is a film by Hou Hsiao Hsien a Taiwanese historical drama. The movie tells the story of the horrors experienced by a Taiwanese family as a result of the Kuomintang government. The terrors included many Taiwanese being arrested and executed commonly referred to as the "white terror era." The movie spoke openly of the horrors that authentic leadership in Taiwan was exerting on its people. The film is well known who publicizing the events that occurred on February 28, 1947, where thousands of Taiwanese were mercilessly executed.
The film comprises of some scenes both good and bad the quality of the scenes vary throughout the movie regarding the actors, editing, and the plots. The movies come together as a beautiful piece that has been nominated and won awards over the years. The video continues to be relevant in the 21st century and is used as a teaching tool and continues to be an inspiration to many who can relate to the events presented in the film.
For the purpose of this discussion one extended scene from the movie has been selected. An analysis of relevance to the actors, location, art design and cinematography and mis en scene is carried out. The chosen scene for the discussion being the opening scene in the film. The view was selected due to the "power" the initial stage provides thus capturing the audience’s attention from the word go.
Scene
The opening scene of a city of sadness (1989) is a sequence of credit shot of pitch black darkness. In addition to the dark screen, one hears a somber tone in the voice of Emperor Hirohito announcing Japan’s unconditional surrender in on 15th of August 1945 over a radio broadcast. The setting of the scene is then illuminated faintly by a warm glow of candles. The candles reveal an anxiously waiting Taiwanese household family. The cause of anxiety being the birth of an infant in the middle of a crisis of power failure. As electricity is restored, it gives way to audible cries of agony of a mother birthing followed by sounds of a baby crying.
Actors
The most prominent player of this particular scene is the pregnant women who later in the film is revealed to be one Lin Wen-Heung concubines. The actor plays the part of a travailing woman struggling to deliver a child. Her agony is well expressed in the tone of her voice. The actor’s performance was so incredible that the audience did not require seeing her face of the body to know why she was making the sound. The music made could also not be mistaken for anything else other than the agony of childbirth.
Lin Wen-Heung characterized by Chen Sown Yung displays the suffering and anxiety associated with expectant fathers although the audience does not know the reason for his agony in the first instance. The actor is seen to be anxious and since the scene starts with a radio announcement one may assume in that to because of the anxiety. The actor is seen lighting candles at the altar while smoking a cigarette as he waits for the birth of his son.
. One must note that the anxiety being displayed by the actors is of two dimensions. The first dimension is about the voice on the radio that gives them a level of uncertainty despite providing relief that the war is over. The second dimension being the anxiety that the birthing process entails, for example, the child’ gender and what kind of future will they have especially during a time where political instability is being experienced.
The birth is aroused different emotions of joy, fear, pity among others. The child's voice used in the scene is indeed from a child. The cry is loud and sharp at the same time. The tone of the cry is increasing consistently. The voice presents the element of innocence brought about by new life. The fragility of the human race. The child's cry signifies hope for the future, especially after a war. The cry coincidentally affirms the radio announcement "a new beginning."
Location
The scene's location is simple, yet it provides a greater story as it arouses the mind of the audience. Directors chose a single room in a house. The room initially in darkness is illuminated gradually by candles thus providing shadows as well as allowing the altering the audience. The candles used to give the room a warm feeling of home. The room is immediately identified as a room in a house as opposed to being a room in an office.
The room is homely, and the audience does not doubt if the house is abandoned. The radio adds to the room presenting it as a family room with an altar.The room plays the role of representing a family set up as well as acts as a waiting room. The waiting room position becomes apparent when the voice of the birthing mother and that of a newly born infant following. The roles of the chamber interchange in a matter of seconds without the audience noticing it immediately. It is not without thought to conclude that the majority of the people who have watched the film are ignorant to the existence of the multiple roles of the room.
Art design
The directors of the movie have made a considerable effort in using "authentic" Taiwanese art designs in the chamber. The interior of the house which is the main focus of the scene has an authentic Asian vibe. The family is room contains both contemporary and traditional forms of art. Since this is the first scene much of what is displayed is not vivid enough. The art used is to assist the audience to differentiate the household from one that would be in their country. The altar in the room contains idols used for worship in Asia
Cinematography
Cinematography referred to as the process of developing motion pictures includes some activities. Motion pictures are evaluated about the camera work carried out. The types of shots as well as the amount of light used. The aim of cinematography being to make the story as real as possible. The scenes in the film need to arouse and maintain the attention of the audience.
The cinematography used in this scene was unique as the authors did not concentrate on one form technique but rather combined some them. One point perspective was used when focusing on the smoking gentleman then the technology changed to close up montage that revealed features of the man. The Dutch angle technique was used at the time when the actor was lighting the candles at the altar. The combination of the techniques including use of long shots culminated to a memorable scene
Editing
Movies consist of multiple shots taken by the cameramen. The editor is then required to throw the various shots and create a continuous flow of the shots to create the film. In this particular film that ...
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