Film Analysis- Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

The scene I chose to analyze is the ending scene from the movie Bonnie and Clyde (1967). The movie is set in the United States during the Great Depression. Bonnie and Clyde was one of the first movies to ever present sex and violence in the ways that it did. This movie broke down barriers and attracted a younger audience. Movies began to be geared toward wider audiences and it was not as formal to go to the movie theater as it was before. Bonnie and Clyde is definitely a movie that changed the way movies are made and presented to the public. The use of camera angles in this movie was revolutionary for this time period. Camera angles are a good way to set mood in a film or to show emotion in a character. A good use of camera angles can make the difference between capturing your audience and boring them to death. One thing worth noting is that I feel like the director was influenced by the poem written by Bonnie Parker because of way he portrays the ending scene.
The ending scene begins with Malcom changing his flat tire and when he takes the tire off of the truck he looks down the road as if he is waiting for something. The camera looks down the road and you see nothing and he goes back to work on his truck. The scene cuts to Bonnie and Clyde driving down the road talking about going back to get C.W Moss in 20 minutes. Clyde says “if that boy didn’t have his head strapped on him he’d lose it”, Bonnie laughs and reaches into the back seat of the car and grabs a pear. They share the pair and the scene cuts back to Malcom pumping air into his tire while looking down the road. The camera then looks down the road and you see Bonnie and Clyde’s car appear in the distance. The scene cuts back to inside the car and Bonnie notices that Malcom is having trouble with his truck. Malcom walks into the middle of the road and waves them down as Bonnie laughs. Clyde pulls the car over and proceeds to get out to give Malcolm a hand with his truck. The camera then switches to behind Bonnie’s head as she watches Clyde walk over to Malcom, she moves over to the drivers seat. The camera cuts to Malcom and Clyde talking and back to Bonnie’s face. It then goes back on Clyde and then shows Malcom with a surprised look on his face as a car drives down the road. The camera quickly jumps back to Clyde as if something startles him and a flock of birds fly out of the bush and he smiles. Malcom, Bonnie, and Clyde all look at the birds fly away and Malcom looks back over at the bush. Malcom jumps under his truck and both Bonnie and Clyde look at Malcom and Clyde laughs then they both look at the bush and notices something is wrong. Clyde jumps and turns around towards Bonnies’s direction and they make eye contact. Clyde tries to run over to Bonnie but gun shots begin to be fired from the bush and strike both Bonnie and Clyde. Their bodies shake as the bullets strike them, Clyde falls to the floor and Bonnie screams while falling back in her seat. There is non stop gun fire as Clyde rolls around on the ground while being hit with bullets and Bonnie falls out of the car but her legs are still inside. The gunfire stops and Clyde rolls over and you can see his face, Bonnie’s hand falls to the floor and the camera pans out, you see the pair lay there lifeless.

I noticed that in certain parts of this scene elements of Bonnie’s poem can be seen. In the part of the poem Bonnie writes “If they try to act like citizens and rent them a nice little flat, about the third night they‘re invited to fight by a sub-guns rat-tat-tat”. Bonnie and Clyde are driving down the road like normal people when they pull over to help someone having trouble with their car and they are gunned down like it is said in the poem “by a sub-guns rat-tat-tat”. Bonnie mentions pigeons in her poem and before the gunfire breaks out a flock if pigeons flies out of the bush. This could be a symbol of the law that Bonnie talks about in the poem as “pigeons, spotters, and rats”. She also writes “Someday they’ll go down together; They’ll bury them side by side; to few it’ll be grief, to the law a relief, but its death to Bonnie and Clyde”. The very last time you see Bonnie and Clyde in the film they are killed together and lay next to each other like how Bonnie writes they will go down together and bury them side by side.

One of the first things I noticed in this scene is that there are a lot of camera angles used. The camera switches from inside to the outside and on either side of the car. There is also a lot of close ups and long shots used in this scene. I think that the long shot is used in order to create a sense of suspense to the viewer. When the camera looks down the road from a distance it makes you wonder when the car will be coming. The close ups on the characters show the emotions of the scene very well. The close ups on Malcom make it easy to tell that he is nervous and that he is up to something. While the close ups in the car show that Bonnie and Clyde are all happy and don’t have a clue as to what is about to happen. The many different angles set up the entire scene where you have seen almost every part of where it is happening that you can imagine you are there. You are basically looking at the situation through the eyes of Malcom and through the eyes of Bonnie and Clyde. You can feel the tension that Malcom gives off and you can feel the tension he has with Clyde. When Bonnie and Clyde look at each other you can see the fear in their eyes as they are about to be killed.

Umberto D and Pather Panchali

I just want to put these two movies together as the two movies that I disliked the most this semester. Umberto D and Pather Panchali. I don’t want to say that I hated these movies but I enjoyed these the least of all. There were a couple of parts of Umberto D that I enjoyed because there was some sort of change of pace in the movie. Different things happened; he was in the hospital, he lost his dog, etc. I think the one thing in Umberto D that kept me watching was the dog, because I am a huge dog lover. When he tried to leave the dog and he came back to find him it broke my heart a little. That little dog saved that movie for me. But in Pather Panchali I just felt that nothing ever changed. It was just one depressing thing after another. I don’t think I could have handled one more tragic event in that movie I just wanted to say “I get it, your life is terrible, can we please move on now”. As bad as it sounds that is how I felt in this movie. I guess not every movie you watch can be the “best movie ever”.

Citizen Kane-Orson Welles

Citizen Kane. By far my favorite movie that we have watched this semester. I don’t know what it was about this movie that made me enjoy it so much but I really thought it was amazing. I was excited that we would be watching this movie because I never saw it before and I have heard that this was “the best movie of all time”. I don’t know if I would call it the best movie of all time in my own opinion but I definitely enjoyed it a lot. The entire movie you feel like you’re going to go crazy if you don’t find out what “Rosebud” means.  By the end of the movie you are so relieved to finally know what it means because the ending scene makes you feel like you will never know. I really liked how the entire movie was from different people’s point of view who were associated with Charles Foster Kane. Throughout this movie you watch a simple mans rise to the top and then watch everything crumble around him as his entire life falls. This was a really great movie that I would recommend to anyone I know.

Psycho-Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is such a great horror movie. No matter how old I am I will still get the chills from watching this movie. I believe this is a timeless thriller. While watching the movie you think you know what is really going on but you can never be too sure until the end. It really is a sick movie. The guy dug his own mother up from her grave and put her in the house and he carried the skeleton around the house like it was a live person. He even had full on conversations with himself in two different voices because he believed he was speaking to his mother. You definitely know that there is something seriously wrong with this man. My favorite part of the movie is the last scene where he is sitting in the police station and you hear the voices in his head. This is one of the creepiest movies I have ever watched and I love every second of it.

The Public Enemy- William Wellman

I was always a fan of the old gangster movies. I never saw The Public Enemy before this class but I knew that I would like it. The one thing that interested me the most about this movie was the violence in it. The violence in this movie is so much different from the violence in today’s movies. In The Public Enemy you never see someone get killed, it would always take place off camera unlike today where you watch people get completely butchered on screen. It amazes me how much these things have changed and how audiences have changed. Even for back then this movie was a big step forward because of the last scene. The dead body falling into the open doorway was so graphic for those times and it seems like nothing to us when we watch it now. I find these movies so funny because of the way the characters act. For this time period the were thought of to be so tough and people we be scared of them but now it is just funny to see the way they act. I guess it’s just another way you can see how much things change over time. This was a really great movie and it inspired me to watch so many older gangster movies.

M- Fritz Lang

The first movie we watched in this class was M by Fritz Lang. To tell the truth I was not thrilled to be watching this movie. Before I started this class I barely ever watched movies that predated the 1970’s and I never really gave these movies a chance. I think that this was perfect choice of film to open my eyes to movies I would not normally watch. This movie was a pleasant surprise I was so interested the entire film that I could not look away from the screen. It was such an interesting story that you would normally not think to hear about in a film from the 1930’s. To me it seems like the idea of a child kidnapper/murderer is such a modern topic to be shown on screen.  I think that the deep psychological story behind the murderer is the most interesting part of the film. You don’t know if you should despise him because of what he is doing or if you should feel bad for him because he obviously has a problem. This was a really good film and recommend this to anyone who is interested.

Film Analysis

      The movie Citizen Kane was made in 1941 and directed by Orson Welles. The story begins with a little boy who is being forced from his home to live in the city. This boy grows up to be one of the largest newspaper tycoons around the world. He is viewed as one of the richest men alive. The film’s central focus is on Kane’s last word before he dies “rosebud.” The entire movie takes you through one detectives mission to understand the meaning of rosebud and why it was so important in Kane’s life.

     The scene from Citizen Kane that I chose to analyze was the ending scene because this seems to me to be the most dynamic scene of the entire film. At the beginning of the scene you feel as though you will never understand the meaning of rosebud and that all hope has been given up because of the journalists and detectives leaving the mansion. The camera starts off close to the people discussing the meaning of rosebud and slowly falls back away from the people. The detective makes a reference to a “jigsaw puzzle” describing his mission in trying to find out what rosebud meant. As the people talk you can hear their voices echo which seems to me is an indication that they are in a very large room. The camera continues to move away from the people and begins to show the large amount of treasures that Kane has collected over his lifetime. The music starts up slow at this point and the camera slowly moves across the treasure almost giving you a feeling that you’re searching for something in the piles of Kane’s things. Every item that the camera passes you look at thinking could this be rosebud? Then finally the camera zooms in on the sled Kane used as a young boy and it is thrown into the furnace to be burned as “junk”. As it burns the camera shows a close up of the sled and the word “rosebud”. The music swells and you get the feeling you have been searching for the entire movie. You finally understand what rosebud is! The camera cuts to the outside of the mansion and the smoke coming out of the furnace showing you that the meaning of rosebud is now lost. It returns to the same scene you saw at the beginning of the film of the gates of the mansion leaving you with a feeling of nothing being accomplished because the detective never figured out what rosebud meant but, you have.

     The detective says “I guess rosebud is just a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, a missing piece.” In my opinion this quote has to deal with the missing part of Kane’s life that he never got to experience; his childhood. Kane, for his entire life referred to this missing piece as rosebud. The entire film seems like a jigsaw puzzle to the viewer because throughout the film the viewer is looking for this missing piece of the puzzle.

     This sled with the name rosebud printed on it is what we first see Kane playing with outside of his home which is also the last time he sees his parents. This could be a traumatic experience for anyone. Kane suppresses this memory with all his success and all of his treasures. It seems that Kane should be a really happy man because of all the things he accomplished in his life. Even though Kane is one of the most powerful men in the world he is still unhappy because of this missing piece of his life. This film shows you that no matter what materialistic items you possess it can never make you truly happy. It is the simple things in life that can make you happy such as a sled used as child. This sled was Kane’s fondest memory because it holds a time where he was truly happy with not a care in the world playing in the snow. He holds this memory his entire life and brings it with him to his death bed and his dying word is the name of his sled.

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