This scene within the car is fuelled with a ruthless dialogue and fast editing thus helping to exasperate the turbulent times of the moment. It shows us the way people can be with each other in a love affair going bad and this gives the audience the feeling that they are watching something very personal and something they shouldn’t be seeing. This is evident from the explicitly sexual statement made by Julie Gianni towards her unrequited love as to their previous encounter ‘the other night’. This explicitness sends the ultimate shock wave down the spine of the audience and, in my opinion, truly captures the films essence of reality, and ironically shows us how brutal love can actually be. “When you sleep with someone your body makes a promise whether you do or not.”(Diaz, 2001).
From this dialogue, the editing pace becomes quicker and is parallel to the speed of the travelling car showing that the quicker the editing the greater sense of speed the audience will feel the car is travelling. The music has now faded away and the only sounds are of the dialogue, the roar and screeching of their car and the traffic in their way. These dialogue edits are interspersed with cuts to long shots of their car swerving uncontrollably as Julie becomes unstable at the wheel.
This can also be used as a metaphor to describe their unsteady relationship. We see more use of the first person perspective camera angle, again letting the viewer know how it would seem were they to be inside the car looking out. The edits are now so sudden that they appear in quick flashes as the car approaches the railing fence, mimicking the realistic ‘it all happened so quickly’ feel that occurs in accidents like these. Again there is a glimpse edit of the headlights of the car; the car can be seen as an image of Julie herself because now she is in control not him, as opposed to their relationship.
The crash off the bridge itself uses a camera from beneath the falling car, a mounted camera on the bonnet (extra realism) and a ‘closing’ establishing shot of the car in its broken state amplifying the broken people inside. The crash is also brutally random as in reality and the mess of car and its surroundings is now eerily silent. This image stays for a while making sure that the audience feels a darkness creep over them from the impact they also seemed to feel.
To successfully analyse film form we need to draw upon many aspects of its structural techniques by individually examining them closely; the camera work; the editing; mise-en-scene; sound; narrative; and the social themes that permeate the film. We then learn that these themes are a result of the convergence and use of the practical elements (a music score to signify sadness or a warmly dressed set to show love), with the audiences’ own perception of how the film relates to their lives and the issues of cultural/social importance that are covered within. The films entire structure comes together to show”…stunning visual trickery…snappy dialogue, human characters, and a welter of music/pop-culture references.” (Graydon 2002) 11
The genre of film itself has to break the barrier and appeal to different cultures for it to reach its mass audience. “…culture of all kinds and brows produces, reproduces, and/or legitimises forms of thought and feeling in society and that the well-being of people in society is crucially affected and shaped by this.” (Dyer p.8)12 We learn that a film has layers not unlike the layers of an onion; once we peel back one layer another appears and another and so on. Each apparent layer of the film exits within the previous, meaning that each theme, spoken word or camera-movement all affect each other as to their prominence; this applies to my chosen film Vanilla Sky because within its core the “…soundtrack is essential to the mise-en-scene and, itself, becomes a character in the film.”
13 Pop culture is a major influence on the feeling of the film and of the emotions its characters share on screen; and in the same way that it’s a genre traversing film this also applies to its soundtrack as it includes an eclectic mix of feel good overtones contrasting with moody pounding beats and poetic lullaby’s. Vanilla Sky is a film that will be debated over long after its viewing; this gives the audience an active participation in the role of making the film come to life within a reality outside of the fiction.