Everyone lives in a different reality, that is why people enjoy watching movies. It gives insight into the world’s of others. Film directors strive to portray their characters’ lives as believable as possible. Many help set up the authenticity with costumes and such. In The Governess Goldbacher sets the historical reality with subtle elegance. In the scene where Rosina enters the dining area to inform her employers of her departure, all are dressed in attire associated with the English Victorian era.
The son in an oversized baggy shirt, the father with a smart suit and a string bow tie. The daughter is sporting a child like dress which drops just below her knees, and the mother in a high neck lace dress. Although the scene is somewhat dramatic with Rosina’s abruptness about leaving, she retires with the calm gracefulness women were expected to conduct themselves with in that day and age. As she begins speaking to them the camera zooms in some, and then follows her as she makes her way over to the Mistress and presents her with the nude of her husband. In Elizabeth director Kapur did an excellent job portraying the many different phases in the Queen’s life. From her carefree days before her rein where she wore long flowing and light dresses, to that of her rebirth as the “Virgin Queen.” In her last phase she dons the most elaborate attire, huge and stiff dresses with high neck lines.
She even cuts most of her hair off and paint herself white as a display of her personal sacrifice and commitment to her subjects alone. Towards the movie’s beginning we see Elizabeth being interrogated on treason charges. From a God’s Eye view she is seated alone in the middle surrounded by three men moving around her. The shot mirrors that of the opening burning at the stake. When the camera recedes to her eye level, occasionally cross shaped windows are visible on the back wall of the castle.
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This piece illustrates how she must continually stand alone against those are out to oust her as their right full ruler, the caste’s vast open space also helps to confirm her lack of support among the nobles. The windows portray the on going religious battle. In Raging Bull Scorsace portrays Jake LaMotta’s life as a constant battle. At the turning point with the montage sequence of flashbacks we see many short clips of his numerous bouts mixed with colorized home video of his late courtship to early marriage with Vicky. This shows that he has no distinction between the boxing ring and life in general.
The home video having color only means that this was the point in his life where he was most happiest, and he will always remember it vividly. In Rocco and His Brothers Visconti conveys Rocco’s strength through his self and moral sacrifices. This is most evident in the scene on the bridge where Rocco denies himself and breaks up with Nadia by telling her to go back to his brother Simone. It’s not that Rocco doesn’t love her, it’s that his “moral law” prevents him from carrying on the relationship knowing his jealous brother is against it.
Rocco’s loyalty is always with his family no matter what. From close ups on the couple we see that he truly believe the choice he’s made is the correct one, regardless of any contradicting feelings. From these four works by Goldbacher, Kapur, Scorsese, and Visconti we see how the different realities were shaped using mise-en-scene.