How to Read a What? Yes… a Movie!

When I was reading Robert Ebert’s short piece there were many things going through my mind. When most folks, including myself, watch a movie we do not tend to pay attention to every small detail presented by the director. The viewer will take in all of the big scenes and put them together into an overall theme. This is the way I have always watched movies, but Ebert’s article and the way he watches a movie has changed my opinion.

While this article was a short one there was a lot of useful information. Some of the information he talked about, we have already learned through our photography lessons. I guess in a way photography and cinematography are similar. It is all about the angles and visual compositions. One way they are the same is what Ebert calls the ‘golden ratio.’ This is equivalent to the rule of thirds in photography. It says that a person located somewhat to the right of center is ideal. When this person is more toward the right they are more positive, and if this person is to the left they are more negative. Ebert believes the right centered character is the strong axis. This also goes along with the idea of positive and negative. He thinks there is a tendency of your mind to believe people on the right represent the future, and people on the left represent the past. And that the person on the right seems to appear more dominant than the person on the right.

All of these things he educates us on are very useful but you will not know what is going on until you immerse yourself in the art of movies and angles and scenes.

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