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The significance of the use of lighting in the film mystic river

Published in Movie Buffs Directors' Trademarks: As he began to branch out with new roles in front of the camera, he sought out to have more creative input into the types of film projects that he would be involved in.

One way he was able to accomplish this was by creating his own production company which eventually allowed him to work behind the camera as director.

  • That film found Eastwood returning to the genre that made him a star, but critics complained that his direction simply copied what had been done before;
  • Yet despite all involved, Mystic River never quite equals the sum of its parts.

HIs second film as director was High Plains Drifter 1973in which he also starred. That film found Eastwood returning to the genre that made him a star, but critics complained that his direction simply copied what had been done before. In 1975, Eastwood released his next film as director, The Eiger Sanction, which was a welcome return to action films for Eastwood, but was only marginally successful at the box office and not well appreciated by critics.

Neither film found much success at the box office. Next, Eastwood made another Dirty Harry film, the only one he directed. Sudden Impact 1983 became his most successful film as director up to that point, although critics noted that his work as director still had a lot to improve on.

That film won Eastwood an Oscar for Best Director. That same year he released the similarly-received Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Space Cowboys 2000 was his next film as director. Critics and audiences both loved that film. In 2002 he released his next film, Blood Work, which was a box office flop. He followed that film up with another critically acclaimed hit, Million Dollar Baby 2004for which he won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Directing.

In 2005 he directed two films about the Battle of Iwo Jima. Changeling was released in 2008, and found success at the box office and with the critics. His next film, J. Edgar 2011 also had mixed reviews, and performed worse at the box office.

Review of Mystic River

His big screen adaptation of Jersey Boys 2014 was a disappointment to critics and audiences alike. Once he started directing, he was more knowledgeable about the movie-making process and began to branch out. First, he explored the American culture from a perspective he was familiar with. Play Misty With Me took place in his hometown and reflected on the dangers of being a popular figure.

Bronco Billy also told a story of fame and showbiz in America, and later White Hunter Black Heart told of an obsessed film director. As director he was more than willing to propagate that image by directing himself in films like Firefox, The Eiger Sanction, The Gauntlet, and Sudden Impact. His filmmaking process lended itself well to small-scope films, where he found a lot of success exploring aspects of American history. Music, especially jazz is something that Eastwood found interesting, and so he made films like Honkytonk Man, and Bird.

Later, Eastwood directed stories discussing the dynamics of the American government and justice system in films such as Absolute Power, J.

Edgar, and True Crime. His later films focused on the retelling of important contemporary events such as American Sniper, Sully, and Invictus. Despite a long and varied career, every decade or so Eastwood would return to the western genre in which he cut his teeth, including High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, and finally Unforgiven.

Eastwood made his mark playing the tough guy with grit and wit who overcame extraordinary odds to find victory. Sure, over his career, his characters have changed, but the basic formula has remained the same.

High Plains Drifter, Firefox, American Sniper, and The Gauntlet feature main characters cast in the role of the traditional action hero. In other films, it's a normal person who must overcome great obstacles. In Play Misty For Me, the main character is a victim of an obsessed fan, and is able to outwit her to save himself and his ex-girlfriend. In Bronco Billy, the main character is simply an underdog because he is looked down upon.

  • Here, Butch is an escaped convict who takes a kid as hostage;
  • But they never do a DNA check to see if it belongs to the victim - if they did that, Sean Penn couldn't mistakenly kill him;
  • Both of these actors deliver top-notch performances that are consistent and real throughout;
  • Not exactly traditional hero material.

Million Dollar Baby, is a traditional sports film with unfortunate ending. Despite what has happened to them, they never give up. In The Honkytonk Man, the main character strives towards his big break despite the fact that he is dying.

In Space Cowboys, the characters overcome their age to be astronaut heroes. Scenery is More than Scenery Mise en Scene is the culmination of everything that a film fits into the picture.

From the actors themselves, to their costumes, to the props, and setting - the complete image of these aspects together can often create something greater than the individual parts.

~ Chris's Blog

As director, Eastwood transformed this love for shooting on location into an emphasis of setting. By carefully creating a shot through camera placement, character presentation, lighting, and pacing, Eastwood is able to transport his audiences into the locales of his films.

To convey this feeling to his audience, Eastwood uses a number of long outdoor shots cast in a romantic tone. There is also an opening scene with the main character driving along the coast, and later a sequence with his girlfriend and him completely surrounded by nature while set to a romantic song. Here the audience is introduced to the battlefield in a series of wide, smooth sweeping shots. This is to show scope and scale. The cinematography is dark, nearly black-and-white.

Lighting of Mystic River

We see war as terror and panic, not a spectacle of excitement. The intent of this shot is obvious, to create a focus on a character and highlight their presence. Initially Eastwood used the shot in the same manner as Leone did in the Dollars trilogy, to emphasize a single man into something greater.

High Plains Drifter is a perfect example. Here, Eastwood once again plays a no-name persona seemingly full of machismo and myth. The camera fittingly looks up to him as the hero. However, while Eastwood initially may have used the low-angle shot as a simple way to create a basic physical emphasis of a character, his productions became more sophisticated, and so his characters became more complex.

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Characters had to be defined differently, yet Eastwood still found a way for the low-angle shot to be applicable. In Bronco Billy, the main character is a hero only in the closed-off world he lives in, in the real world he is an outcast. Eastwood frames a great low angle shot of the character performing a stunt, blindfolded, to perfect illustrate this point.

  • Penns wife was your typical grieving mother and then suddenly pulled a Lady Macbeth;
  • I had no problem toying with whether Robbins commited the crime, and then suprising the audience with the real events.

Here, Butch is an escaped convict who takes a kid as hostage. Not exactly traditional hero material. However, the kid has much to learn from the criminal and vice versa.

A great low-angle shot shows Butch with a gun in one hand and the kid in another, a representation of the growth he has made as a person while also becoming someone of significance to the child. Without a large studio calling the shots, Eastwood could make big decisions by himself. As such, his films are famously non-collaborative.

Directors' Trademarks: Clint Eastwood

Starting with Firefox, Eastwood was producer for all of the films that he directed except for The Rookie. They rarely feature an ensemble cast the only real exceptions are Space Cowboys and Mystic River and the scripts are rarely written by more than one writer.

Due to all of this, Eastwood is known to make very efficient films. This is proven by the frequency with which he released his films and the fact that they are almost always profitable thanks to a comparatively low budget. Eastwood is known as a director who will only require a few takes for a given shot. Resources used to write this article: Want more Directors' Trademarks? Check out the last installment: Find all Directors' Trademarks series articles here.