Examiners Comments example

The response should provide analysis and evaluation of how fluid, horizontal tracking shots capture the intensity and virtuosity of the cellist’s performance as camera technique, mise-en-scene and music combine together to create a dynamic sense of movement in the sequence;
• the onset of the physical illness is signalled by a sudden change of camera speed and camera angle, beginning with a low angle medium shot of the cellist;
• the subjective experience of the cellist is conveyed by a series of stylised, slow motion shots that seem to distort time and space. Reality is fractured as we are offered a series of unusual perspectives of the cellist, including unbalanced compositions from oblique angles, extreme close-ups of the face, eyes and fingers and extreme low angle shots, framing the cellist and her instrument along a diagonal axis, at a canted angle. These expressionist slow motion shots convey an unnerving sense of the loss of control of motor functions, as if the woman is undergoing an out-of-body experience;
• the mise-en-scene has a powerful expressionistic quality with the scarlet backdrop evoking a palpable sense of anguish and dread. The tight framing of the cellist against a fiery red that matches her lipstick conveys the feeling of a descent into hell;
• the interplay between diegetic and non-diegetic sound in the sequence is eerie and disturbing.
The cellist’s total immersion in the hauntingly beautiful diegetic classical music she is playing is violently interrupted by the non-diegetic amplified sounds of the high pitched scraping of the bow and straining of the strings and the atmospheric sounds of thunder and lightning fl ashes. These disquieting sounds seem to represent inner screams of pain and distress as a storm rages inside the woman;
• an operatic camera movement accompanied by the final ominous notes of the epic score brings the sequence to a dramatic close. The low angle forward tracking shot slowly grinding to a halt in front of the stricken cellist is a frightening vision of stillness and paralysis.

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