Shot-by-Shot Analysis #1

The Lady Eve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ7X5JDKmSI

I chose a scene from the beginning of the movie that seemed to entertain the whole class when we watched the film. It is the scene in which every female on the SS Southern Queen was trying to gain the attention of Charles Pike. Eve was sitting apart from the other women, watching them all through her mirror and mocking them and Charles’ clear disinterest in them. It is a very humorous scene.

Shot 1 – CU. Straight on angle. Eve is just beginning to notice all of the girls trying to get Charles’ attention. Everything is black and white. People are walking around behind Eve but they do not seem significant. There is slow, sort of romantic music playing. The focus is soft, and there is not much else to focus on but Eve herself, and her flashy attire. There is smoke coming from Eve’s left, presumably from her father or someone else at her table. The lighting is a bit on the dim side, but the room is well lit for the most part. The camera is a tad shaky, but this shot focuses on just Eve. It transitions in to the next one by instantly cutting to the view from Eve’s mirror.

Shot 2: MS. A bit shaky on the camera but a rather straight angle. The focus is on Charles and the particular female trying to get his attention. Behind the table where Charles is sitting, alone, is a bar with 2 bartenders and 2 waiters, one waiter making his way through the crowd to serve somebody. In front of Charles sit two women, and to his left another woman. Charles is just focused on his book, though, and hardly seems to notice the women going out of their away trying to get him to notice them. Another female walks past Charles and the camera follows her. She drops her handkerchief, hoping he will offer to retrieve it for her, but he doesn’t even look at her. This whole scene is being shown through Eve’s mirror, and there is still room around the edges of the shot where we see people in the background walking around. This shot is about 22 seconds long, a bit on the lengthy side. It cuts smoothly back to focusing on Eve.

Shot 3: CU. Focus on Eve. This time, there is no smoke cloud to her left, possibly meaning she is now alone. Nothing about the shot seems to have changed since the first shot of Eve. She is looking in her mirror, pretending to speak to Charles, calling him “Bookworm” and telling him to look to his left to notice a girl. Charles obviously cannot hear her, and is not looking at the female that Eve is advising him to. This shot lasts about 12 seconds. It cuts to the female Eve was apparently telling Charles to check out, the view being through Eve’s mirror yet again.

Shot 4: MS. The focus is on a nicely dressed female sitting at a table with a man in a uniform. Two waiters walk by in front of her, ruining the view of her somewhat, but it isn’t too big of a deal. It is evident that the female is trying to get away from the man but she doesn’t want to be rude. She gets up and he gestures for her to stay, and her face shows that she is politely declining. It looks like he asks again, but she doesn’t care. She gets up and walks over to Charles, and starts talking to him. Charles actually looks pleased to see her. Eve is narrating this scene, mocking the female and pretending she knows what she and Charles are saying. She is saying that the female is asking Charles if she went to school with him, pretending she recognizes him from somewhere. He seems to be saying no and that is what Eve pretends he is saying. After a very short conversation, the woman walks back to her table, probably offended that Charles didn’t invite her to sit down. Charles looks around, then looks down at his tie and adjusts it. “I wonder if my tie is on straight, I certainly upset them, don’t I? Now who else is after me?” Eve says, mocking Charles. Another woman walks past Charles trying to seduce him, but he doesn’t budge as usual. Then the camera cuts back to Eve.

Shot 5: CU. Focus on Eve, still nothing has changed. This is a very short shot which consists solely of Eve teasing, “Oh, you don’t like her either? Well, what are you going to do about it?” referring to the female who just walked past Charles. It immediately cuts back to Charles.

Shot 6: MS. Another short shot. Charles is getting up to leave. As he walks past, everyone around him turns their heads to look. “Oh, go sulk in your cabin!” Eve mocks. He begins walking in her direction, and the shot is over, cut back to focusing on Eve.

The dynamics from this scene are repeated in the film in the sense that there is a lot of sudden movement, and quick back and forth cutting to different shots and views. However, watching a scene through a mirror only occurs during this part of the film. Eve mocking Charles, or anyone else for that matter, also doesn’t occur again in the film. Just during this scene. In almost every scene in the movie, there are a lot of people around, but just like this scene, the camera is always focused on Eve and/or Charles.

I believe the directors used this approach for this scene because it was quick and witty and humorous. The tempo matched the humor. The scene wouldn’t have been nearly as funny or original had it been just shot from a distance showing both Eve and Charles simultaneously while she mocked him. I think by showing them separately, it enhanced the fact that Charles had no idea Eve was looking at him.

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