Analysis of the Film Narrative "Wendy and Lucy"

analytical Essay
997 words
997 words

The film Wendy and Lucy, directed by Kelly Reichardt, presents a sparse narrative. The film has been criticised for its lack of background story, and as a short film, much of the story is left to the viewer to infer from what is presented in the plot. However, Wendy and Lucy is able to depict the intimate relationship between Wendy and her dog as well as reflecting more broadly on the everyday, and commenting on the current economic state of the film’s setting in America. This essay will examine how film form contributes to the viewer’s awareness of the story in Wendy and Lucy and allows a deeper understanding of the themes presented. The aspects of mise-en-scene, shot and editing and sound in the film will be explored. Elements of mise-en-scene in Wendy and Lucy help to convey aspects of the story that are never explicitly expressed in the narrative of the film. Wendy and Lucy does not present a large amount of background story information, for instance, the scene where Wendy calls her brother may cause some viewers to wonder about their strained relationship and his role in Wendy’s current financial situation. Moreover, Wendy’s financial situation is never truly discussed in the film, only implied, yet the viewer is still aware of it. Facets of mise-en-scene helps to convey the information that fills the gaps left in the story. Kolker defines the concept of mise-en-scene as a way to “explain how images, through composition, camera movement, lighting, focus and colour, generate narrative event and guide our perception through a film” (Kolker 1998, p.17). An essential element of mise-en-scene is setting and sets. Wendy and Lucy is presented in an entirely naturalistic setting. The small town Wendy is passing through gives the fi... ... middle of paper ... ...elp convey this story and present themes and motifs central to the understanding of the film. Mise-en-scene, shot and editing, and sound are among these elements. The film form in Wendy and Lucy contributes strongly to the sense of realism that it leaves with the viewer. Works Cited Bordwell David and Thompson, Kristen. Film Art: An Introduction. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Corrigan, Timothy and White, Patricia. The Film Experience: An Introduction. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. Kolker, Robert. Film, Form and Culture. 3rd ed. New York; McGraw-Hill, 2006. Lehman, Peter and Luhr, William. Thinking About Movies: Watching, Questioning, Enjoying. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. Reichardt, Kelly (Director), Raymond, John and Reichardt, Kelly (Writers), Williams, Michelle and Robinson, John (Performances). 2008. Oscilloscope Pictures, 2009. DVD

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how film form contributes to the viewer's awareness of the story in wendy and lucy and allows a deeper understanding of themes presented.
  • Analyzes how mise-en-scene in wendy and lucy conveys aspects of the story that are never explicitly expressed in the narrative.
  • Analyzes how shot and editing convey the overarching themes of the film. isolation and loneliness are emphasised through shot.
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