Saturday, October 30, 2010

Days of Heaven


1. The camera in Days of Heaven is very mobile, and it often moves with the characters through the scene. Some examples of when this happens are as the farmers are walking through long fields or in the opening scene where the Bill is working at the steel mill and the camera follows him from shoveling to the fire. The camera is extremely mobile in the scene where Bill is being chased by the police through the forest, and it moves along with him as he runs through the trees.

2. The camera shoots different characters from different angles. Bill, Abby, and the young narrator are usually shot from higher angles, with the camera looking down on them. However, the farmer is often shot from lower-angle so the camera is looking up at him.

3. These differences in camera angles show the differences in the characters. When the camera looks down to Bill and Abby, the director implies they are of lower class and less importance. By looking up towards the farmer, it shows he is rich and better than the characters whom the camera shoots from low-angles.

4. The camera angles show which characters are from the same class, like Bill and Abby, who are both shot from high angles. In addition, when there are point of view shots from one character looking at another it shows how they view them. When Abby looks up towards the farmer, it shows she feels below him, but the camera looks straight when Abby is looking at Bill so it shows she feels they are equals.

5. As the film progresses, sometimes Bill and the farmer are shot at eye level, showing that even though class and lifestyle may separate them, they have a lot in common and aren't as different as we think they are at the beginning of the movie.

6. Close-ups are used often, and they show a lot more emotions in a scene. They are used in a lot of the romantic scenes, to show the closeness and intimacy of characters. Also, close-ups are used a lot when Bill and the farmer are arguing, to really make the anger and words the focal point of the scene.


1. The film is set in 1916, in Texas. Most of the film takes place in rural areas, often on a farm, in both the fields and farmhouse.

2. The director uses mostly natural for this film. Almost all of the movie is shot during 'magic hour' where the sun is at the perfect brightness for capturing the right colours and the best appearance of the characters. This natural lighting conveys the thought that the movie is very realistic instead of fake and overedited. It gives the mood of peace and honesty, and helps to relate to the characters because you feel you see them how they really are.


1. The music gives cues about what to expect by using certain tempo and volume. Using fast paced music, such as when the locusts attack, gives the feeling of suspense and urgency, which adds the feeling of fear about the locusts. At calmer moments, like romantic exchanges, the music is soft and slow, to create a mood of love, and show us that the upcoming or current scene will focus on quieter and peaceful moments.

2. The music and sound of this movie tells a lot about the plot and characters. When the farmer is in scenes, the music is usually loud and striking, when makes you feel like he is bad or angry. This is especially useful to the audience when he learns about Abby and Bill being together and the music shows his anger. When the narrator is talking, the background music is usually very calm and soft, which shows her innocence as child.


1. The director uses different editing styles at different parts in the film to create certain feelings. When there are romantic or sad moments, and mostly when the young narrator is giving her inspirational take on things, the editing is smooth and flows together which makes you listen closely to the words. In more action-packed scenes, like Bill being chased by the police, the camera cuts quickly from character to character, adding suspense and intrigue.

2. Point of view shots are important in every movie. When a character is seen through a point of view shot, we, as an audience,  feel as though we are that character an we are experiencing the same things they are. I think the best point of view shot in this movie is during the fire, where the camera circles around the ring of fire they are trapped in and the viewer feels as though they are standing in that scene trapped by fire as well.


1.  When we watch a film ,we identify with characters we feel are similar to us. This similarity can be based on emotions, lifestyle, class, experiences, race, and any other factors that make us feel empathy towards a character.  By identifying with a character, we feel for them and often take their side of the story and feel as though we understand where they are coming from and the emotions they are feeling.

2. This identification can have ramifications, because it shows that we judge so much based on appearance. Although identification is sometimes based on emotions, we usually base it on race or gender. By myself identifying usually with white females, it shows a deeper meaning that we are giving in to stereotypes since we believe that to be similar to a person, we must look like them. By not being able to identify with characters of other races, we are in a way perpetrating racism, and saying that people from different races could not be the same.


1. The film does reach a satisfying ending, because most of the lose ends are tied up. The film does not leave us wondering too much, just simply about what will happen to the characters in the future. The ending is thought-provoking but does not leave you wishing that certain points were cleared up.

2. The film does not end the way I wanted it too! For such a beautiful movie, I expected that Abby would end up with one of the men, and they would live happy ever after. It was very unexpected that both Bill and the famer would die, and Abby would go off to war. In the end, I hoped that it would be more obvious that narrator was happy and had a better life, but they left it so that the rest of her life was still ahead of her, not yet known how it would unfold.