The Lives of Others

1482 Words3 Pages
‘Das Leben der Anderen’ (The Lives of Others) is a striking example of how a director can convey narrative links within a film by employing various styles and film techniques. The Lives of Others relies upon these visual means to assist with the telling of the story as much as it relies upon the script. In this selected sequence of the film, several narrative links are drawn here to form the conclusion of ‘Operation Lazlo’. These narrative links are further cemented by Donnersmarck’s use of various lighting styles, diegtic and non-diegtic sound, revealing camera shots and intricate mise-en-scene. In order to analyse this sequence, the narrative links that are drawn here must be addressed. After Dreyman’s long-term friend commits suicide due his ‘black-listing’ by the Stasi, an infuriated Dreyman is driven to write an anonymous article about concealed suicide rates. He sends this article to be published in the West German magazine, ‘Der Spiegel’. All typewriters are listed in the GDR in order to track all authors, so in order to avoid arrest, a miniature typewriter is smuggled across the border. This typewriter is concealed beneath a threshold in Dreyman’s apartment. After one unsuccessful search by the Stasi, drastic measures are taken in order to bring down Dreyman. Under interrogation and blackmail due to her perscription drug addiction, Christa-Maria, reveals to the Stasi where the typewriter is hidden. However, before the Stasi can search the apartment for a second time, Wiesler removes the typewriter, unbeknownst to both Dreyman and Christa-Maria. While the Stasi are searching the apartment Christa-Maria sees the horrified look on Dreyman's face as he realises she has disclosed the typewriter’s location. Guilt-ridden, sh... ... middle of paper ... ...successful collaboration of sound, colour, camera positioning and lighting are instrumental in portraying these themes. The techniques used heighten the suspense, drama and mood of each scene and enhance the film in order to convey to the spectator the intended messages. Works Cited Hayward, S. 1996, Key Concepts in Cinema Studies, Routledge, London, United Kingdom Kaes, A 1994 Reading a Film Sequence UCLA Spring Monaco, J. 1981, How to Read a Film, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom The Lives of Others- Film Education 2007, Education guide, Lionsgate, viewed Monday 4th of April 2011, Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) 2006, DVD, Buena Vista Pictures, Burbank, California, United States of America. Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
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