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.

The Lady Eve

 

This is without a doubt my favorite movie we’ve viewed so far in this class. I think it must have been the humor.  The jokes were definitely more straightforward in this film compared to the rest of the films I’ve seen in class. I would classify it as a romantic comedy, but not like the romantic comedies that come out these days. The story line was unlike any other movie I have ever seen before, which in my opinion is a very rare case. The humor in this movie was like no other. Although the jokes were simple to understand compared to the jokes in other movies we’ve watched in this class, they did require a little thinking, unlike jokes in most movies that come out nowadays, which is something I appreciated.

 

When I first started watching the movie, I was under the impression that  Eve was just going to be another golddigger like the other females in the movie trying to get Charles Pike’s attention and eventually gain his affection. Then it appeared she was clever and knew exactly how to get his attention and affection – by being different. Charles Pike character was different than what I’d expected. I assumed that due to his money he would be pretentious and uppity, but he was actually quite down to earth and even kind of dumb, in an innocent way. Naive would be a good word to describe him. It was evident he had good intentions and a big heart, and he was very sweet, especially to Eve.  I thought they really made a nice pair, until I learned the truth about Eve’s “father” (I’m still not sure if he was actually her father or not?) – that he was a card shark, and so was Eve. I have to admit I loved the idea of the father-daughter scam artists.

 

One thing this film had that you don’t see often is the element of the surprise. I was completely taken aback when the truth was revealed about Eve and her father being professional gamblers, trying to rip off Charles Pike. I was even more surprised when it was revealed that Eve’s father was consistently lying to Eve about not trying to rip off Pike. When it was shown that he actually kept the 32,000 dollar check he received from Pike after beating him (by cheating) in a card game, I was shocked. I really believed that he ripped it.  I loved that this movie kept me on my toes, that is something I always look for when determining if a movie is quality or not.

 

It was sort of silly and hard to believe that Charles didn’t recognize the difference between Jean and Eve. At first this was turning me off from the validity and quality of the movie, but after a while things got explained more and it made sense. I believe it was said that Eve and Jean were supposed to be twins? I’m not sure if I’m right about that or not. It was funny how Charles was feeding the same lines to Jean as he fed to Eve, but in a way I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal because they were in fact the same person. It was also HILARIOUS how the horse kept ruining the scenes when he was trying to be sweet and romantic. I liked that Charles noted the similarity with the perfume Eve wore and the perfume Jean wore. This related to the movie “M” because it showed other senses than sight can help you realize something – in “M” the whistle of the murderer is what caught him.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. It was clever, funny, original, and unexpected. The work of the actors and actresses was definitely notable. There is really nothing I can complain about, I would rate this movie 5 stars. A masterpiece, and a classic.

First post…

Trying to get familiarized with this qwriting blogging…seems pretty simple. I’m really excited for this Reading Film class; my aunt is a screenwriter and this class will definitely help me understand her work better. Anyway, I’m going to finish reading everything about the course and then maybe edit the appearance of my blog. See ya 🙂

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