Falling Down was released in 1992 and directed by Joel Schumacher,
other films of his including The Client(1994)and also 8mm(1998). The
opening sequence of Falling Downuses many techniques to portray the
emotional and psychological effects of the events taking place around
Michael Douglas' character.
The first technique that is apparent to me is from the very beginning
of the film. The openings to many films are action packed sequences
with a whole lot of sound effects and music to accompany them but
Falling Downuses none of these, just a silent, black screen over which
the credits roll. This effect leaves the audience in suspense of what
is going to happen straight away in the film. There is a sense of
unawareness almost immediately. It is almost like a last resort before
the pandemonium that is about to ensue hits you.
When the action begins it is of a full close up of a man's sweaty
forehead. The camera pulls away to reveal the whole face of the man
and he is completely soaked in beads of sweat. His hair looks as
though he's been in an electric shock and he's wearing thickly rimmed
dark glasses. The glasses serve to make his eyes look heavy and
wearisome. He wears a smart shirt and trousers with a black and white
tie leading to the conclusion he is some sort of businessmen. He also
carries a briefcase that becomes apparent later in the sequence. This
is also where the first use of sound comes into the film. As soon as
his soaked head is on the screen he's making heavy breathing sounds as
if trying to calm down. The camera angle then slowly pulls away to the
side of the ca...
... middle of paper ...
...e traffic works.
Throughout the whole film I think it is evident that the narrative is
pulling us towards the conclusion that, through Michael Douglas'
characters actions and within the mise-en-scene, he is indeed having
some sort of mid life crisis and that this is the day which sends him
over the edge. The noises, actions and people around him are just the
everyday sorts of hustle and bustle and compiled with the heat of the
day, it all takes its toll.
So in conclusion, through the actions of the character, the diegetic
sounds constantly being present and the sights of shouting, arguing
angry people, I think that it is safe to say that the narrator wants
us to think that he is on the verge of some sort of mid life crisis
and has finally reached breaking point, leaving us to wonder what he
is going to do next.
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