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Cinematography in Schindler's List

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The paper I decided to do was on “Schindler’s List”. I have seen this movie four times and yet had not really noticed the many ways in which the director, Steven Spielberg, used the camera to emphasis a “million words”. It was interesting, when watching this film from this stand point, how I was able to see the importance of the way the director uses sounds and color to make some much significant points of a film.

I decided to emphasis the way certain close ups and facial expressions were used to show very significant emotions of the characters in the film. In these particular scenes, no words had to be used. The camera focuses on the character involved in the scene and one can tell exactly what is going on in the mind of the character.

The other aspect of the movie that I wanted to discuss is the music that was used. This movie won seven academy awards. Not surprisingly, one of awards was for “ Best Original scene”. The use of music in the scenes was very appropriate. I’m going to discuss several of the scenes of the movie and how music contributed to the scene.

There is a scene in the movie where Oskar Schindler is put in jail because he kissed a Jewish girl, this scene has Schindler in a cell with another person, Schindler says that he is incarcerated because he kissed this Jewish girl. His cellmate makes the remark “ Did your prick fall off”, the cellmate begins to laugh, and Schindler joins him in the laughter. Suddenly the camera pans up to Oskar Schindler’s face. His face shows a man that is no longer laughing but, without words, you can see in his face that he doesn’t find the remark humorous. Further, the close up on his expression reveals a man that has a revelation. The revelation is that he is horrified that Jewish people are thought of in this way.

The close ups of Amon Goeth, the monster SS guard that ran the camp at Krakow, are some of the most revealing scenes without words. One scene shows a conversation between Schindler and Goeth. Schindler is trying to explain to Goeth that true power lies in forgiving when you don’t have to forgive. For a while Goeth tries to do what Schindler says, pardon those Jews that do him wrong. He lets the stable boy that dropped his saddle of the hook. He tells the guard to let a woman go back to work; the guard was going to shoot the woman. Goeth goes upstairs and finds a boy cleaning his tub. The boy is ...

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...ifferent from the one in the other two scenes, and so was the one in the scenes where Goeth was beating up his maid.

Schindler’s List is an incredible movie. Every time that I walk away form watching this movie, I feel emotionally wrecked. I think this is the intention of the film and why it is so great. I think that Steven Spielberg’s intention was to make this unforgettable so that it could never happen again. I chose to talk about the silent moments where a camera shot emphasizes an emotion. I also chose to discuss some of the music. There are so many other things that are worth discussing. The way the film was done in black and white. The way that the scenes in the death camps were so realistic that you really thought you were viewing actual footage. There are so many things that made it like no other film. I know that a lot of the people found the movie disturbing because of the violence. Perhaps these people forget that this is not violence done just to make the movie “Oscar “ worthy. This is true violence that was done to 6 million Jewish human beings. A person would hope that one would be disturbed enough to take a stand against anything like this ever happening again.
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