The Lives of Others Essay

The Lives of Others Essay

Length: 1482 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

‘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

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Movie ' The Lives Of Others ' Essay

- Within the German Democratic Republic, there was a secret police force known as the Stasi, which was responsible for state surveillance, attempting to permeate every facet of life. Agents within and informants tied to the Stasi were both feared and hated, as there was no true semblance of privacy for most citizens. Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the movie The Lives of Others follows one particular Stasi agent as he carries out his mission to spy on a well-known writer and his lover....   [tags: The Lives of Others]

Powerful Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

The Movie ' The Lives Of Others ' By Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck Essay

- Following the Berlin Wall’s construction in the 1960’s, citizens within the East German state were under heavy surveillance from the Ministry for State Security, or the Stasi, in an attempt to “know everything about everyone.” Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the movie The Lives of Others follows one particular Stasi agent as he carries out his mission to gather information on a well-known writer and his lover. As the film progresses, the audience is able to detect the moral transformation of Stasi Captain Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler primarily through the director 's manipulation of the script, colors and lighting, and music....   [tags: The Lives of Others]

Powerful Essays
1127 words (3.2 pages)

The Lives Of Others By Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck Essay

- I have always been one to spend my time watching things that others wouldn 't think to watch. I have seen things like “The Wind Rises” by Hayao Miyazaki, “Queen” by Vikas Bahl and my favorite “Mary Kom” by Omung Kumar. From documentaries to animes, to silent films. I have dabbled in a little of everything so far. I am known to watch a few of these to pass my summer as well. So, when it came time to watch the foreign film “The Lives of Others” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, I was fully aware of what to expect....   [tags: The Lives of Others]

Powerful Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

The Lives of Others Essay

- ‘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....   [tags: Film Analysis, Techniques, Style]

Powerful Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on The Lives of Others

- 1984, East Berlin. 100,000 East German Secret Police. 200,000 informers. In a society where more than one-third of the population is victimized by surveillance, people are forced to choose: to betray or to silence. A secret police Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) and a successful playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) in The Lives of Others are no exception. At first, they appear to be securing a firm stand. Upon Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert)’s death, however, they start questioning their stances. The movie unfolds as the two main characters become alike....   [tags: film movie]

Powerful Essays
1591 words (4.5 pages)

Melting The Stone Heart Of The Stasi Essay

- Melting the Stone Heart of the Stasi Following the Berlin Wall’s construction in the 1960’s, citizens within the East German state were under heavy surveillance from the Ministry for State Security, or the Stasi, in an attempt to “know everything about everyone.” Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the movie The Lives of Others follows one particular Stasi agent as he carries out his mission to gather information on a well-known writer and the writer’s lover. As the film progresses, the audience is able to detect the moral transformation of Stasi Captain Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler primarily through the director 's manipulation of the character’s verbal and nonverbal communication, colo...   [tags: The Lives of Others]

Powerful Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' The Lives Of Others '

- Film Paper The film that I watched was called “The Lives of Others.” The Lives of Others was based on East Berlin in 1983. However, the language of our movie was in German. It had English subtitles that helped my partner and I out a lot. We got a great feel for the movie once we saw that. The director of the movie was a man named Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He’s an outstanding director on the movie stage. Donnersmarck was born in Cologne, Germany on May 2, 1973. Florians parents were both from East Germany....   [tags: East Germany, Germany, Berlin Wall, West Germany]

Powerful Essays
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Blood And Honey And The Lives Of Others

- Love is a very ambitious situation, if you are not careful, it can make you do ridiculous things. As much as it is beautiful, it is also dangerous. At times you have to be attentive and be sure that the person is feeling the same as you do. Someone once told me that people fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected time. In the two movies The Land of Blood and Honey and The Lives of Others, there was unexpected romance that arose from both films and it all happened at the wrong time....   [tags: Love, Interpersonal relationship, Stasi]

Powerful Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Moral Change: The Lives of Others Essay

- The movie The Lives of Others is based in East Berlin in 1984. It involves an agent of the secret police, Wiesler, who is invited to a theatrical premiere by his old school friend, Lieutenant-Colonel Anton Grubitz. The play is written by German playwright Georg Dreyman and the leading character is played by Dreyman’s lover, Christa-Maria Sieland. Dreyman has a certain notoriety among DDR officials because he’s one of the few East German writers whose work is read in the West. Wiesler suspects that Dreyman’s loyalty to the party is not as strong as it may seem....   [tags: Film Analysis, Artificial Virtues]

Powerful Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Transcendent Nature of Sound in The Lives of Others

- The human ability to perceive sound is often taken for granted and is erroneously considered, by most, to be secondary in importance to sight. It is true that our primary understanding of the world develops through sight, but sound is responsible for our ability to communicate with one another through both concrete and abstract means, as well as for defining the nuances that shape our surroundings. Without sound, humans would be alienated in their own uncertainty; unable to express the fears and aspirations which are common to our condition....   [tags: Florian Henckel von Donnersmark]

Powerful Essays
1320 words (3.8 pages)