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Lighting in Cinematic Production

Technical Production: Lighting Aspect
Cinema 200

Marty Lighting Analysis

Marty: Analysis on Lighting Aspects

Although light may seem trivial, overtly simplistic in terms of cinematic production, it is one of the most powerful tools that a director can use in the advancement of character development and mood. Depending on where light is focused, it may serve as an imaginary "pointer" guiding the audience towards a certain object or person. In contrast it may also serve to block out images that the director doesn't wish to reveal. One film that uses lighting to provide a direct interpretation of symbolism, character development and mood is Marty. The role that light plays within Marty is as important as a role played by an actor because it illustrates Marty's interior emotions as well as his hidden insecurities between his mother and Clara. The fact that Marty is a black and white film also enhances the use of the semblance of light. Throughout the entire film Marty's emotions seem to rollercoaster from peaks to valleys. It seems that at his most happiest moments in life are when he's either interacting with Clara, or at the butcher shop. It's evident that whenever he's with his friends or with his mother, the lighting drops a couple of hues. This is in direct representation of his insecurities and his indifference to those people. Marty's mother and his friends are just there to replace time that he would spend alone. Moreover they control Marty's life and chose girls that he's not really interested in and when shows little interest in their suggestions they either give him a guilt treatment or make fun of him. It seems that he doesn't have a really strong connection to them.

Another use of lighting within the film is one specific scene where is friend dumps his date in order to pursue a more attractive girl. While he is telling Marty this, he is standing next to a mirror. The mirror is positioned so that it seems that there are two images of him; one of his real self and the other, a façade of what women perceive him to be. The director takes advantage of this opportunity and directs a strong stream of light focused on the mirror, while dulling the light with the intention of displaying his true...

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