Week 9 Blog Post

Mephisto was definitely a long movie. In my opinion, I liked it the least of all our movies. I want to analyze the scene in the movie where it shows a passage of time as he moves from costume to costume and role to role. This scene was interesting to me so I thought I would pick it to bits and pieces.

First, the scene shows him in a show. He is the main character and therefore under the spotlight. The lighting is always on his face to show his expressions. It is also dark around him and there is contrast as the deep shadows are behind him. Most of the scenes have a black backdrop that emphasizes the center, which is him.

The costuming is always different depending on the role. I noticed that each costume has a little bit of black, and I have not really seen Hendrick without any black in his outfit. This might signify that he is a little dirtied, or there is something about him that cannot be covered no matter what. In most of the shots also, he is holding the same smug looking face. This seems to allow him to remain the same character and you can see his confidence over the time span that this scene is accelerating.

As far as the shots go, the editing is quite harmonious. The shots are very straight forward and the camera actually follows the main character’s movements sort of like a person watching a show. He is always coming out of something like doors or curtains as transitions also.

There is not much to the scene as it was very short, but it did catch my attention near the beginning. To be honest, I really did enjoy the ending as you realize that he was a puppet instead of gaining all the power he has bragged about. The movie was interesting, but I think I am good with watching it only once.

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2 thoughts on “Week 9 Blog Post

  1. It is insightful how you analyzed the background and lighting as they play up Hendrick’s idea of his image where he is always in the spotlight. It illustrates how passionate and adamant he is about his job as an actor. You are also correct when you say that the lighting draws attention to his dramatic facial expressions. As far as his costumes always having black in them, I think it reflects more on how this job is taking over every aspect of his life and deep down the farther he goes the more miserable he becomes. The smug look on his face definitely puts things in perspective as he plays different characters but remains the same person. This is important to the movie as a whole because he tries to distinguish the difference between himself as an actor, and himself as a person.

  2. Out of all the movies seen in class, I too agree with you in that Mephisto is my least favorite. The film relied heavily on quick cuts in order to show the passage of time and the condensing of the plot. Consequently, this leaves viewers having to fill in many of the wholes between such transitions. However, this particular scene is able to make beautiful transitions between each costume cut so that it naturally flows for the viewers.

    The transition into the costume montage was also really interesting. The previous scene ends with Hendrik leaving the screen by hiding behind curtains. Immediately after, the costume montage begins with Hendrik emerging from the curtains on stage. This is probably one of the only times in the movie in which the cuts carry a natural flow to them. Through this technique, the audience is easily able to interpret what is happening on screen. This scene truly goes to show how skillful editing can give the movie its narrating flow.

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