Monday, January 9, 2012

Blog Homework 6 1/9/11

Critical Analysis of the Coen Brothers' "Raising Arizona":

A whole relationship is told through taking mugshots and
H.I Dunnough's and Edwina's short interactions during them.
Ethan and Joel Coen both helped pioneer and cement a new form of comedy: the screwball/zany adventure comedy. "Raising Arizona" is a pitch perfect film, due to its use of story, humor, cinematography, music, and even editing. The film starts off on the right foot: it immediately establishes the tone of the piece and the backstory needed for much of the story to make sense. This is all done through a quick pre-rolling-credits sequence that is told through mugshots and the interactions between H.I. McDunnough and Edwina during these mugshots. Through motivated and quite humorous editing, we progressively learn along with H.I about Edwina and her past. We see H.I's progression and how he falls for her- because these events are in such rapid succession and the general humour of the whole scenario, the Coen Brothers even set up the tone much needed at the beginning of the film for the audience to prepare themselves for the crazy antics and characters to come.

In this shot, the wide lens choice highlights H.I's struggle: he is completely
stuck in a seemingly giant and torn apart room as the criminals flee with his baby

The cinematography in this film is phenomenal; not only is it aesthetically pleasing to look at, but it is also motivated above all else. One prominent aspect of the cinematography of the film is the variegated lens choice- most notably the numerous wide shots. These wide shots add to film and even add to tension in some moments, such as the baby stealing sequence near the beginning of the film, by increasing the depth, as in making the distances between things appear greater, and emphasizing character.

The editing and its synthesis with music greatly contributes to the success of the film as well. For example, in the chase scene when H.I Dunnough is running away from the cops, the cuts are done to the music at a point where the chase just becomes comical. Also, it even progressively escalates in accordance to the music, thus making for a very zany and borderline cartoon-like chase sequence, which is what added so much to the scene. Click to view: "Raising Arizona" Chase Sequence

Last, the characters in the film are so defined and beautifully absurd. Each character has their own character voices as well as their own ticks that add so much to the humour of the story. However, all these characters are at least bound in some reality, a facet many modern screwball adventures seem to forget nowadays. By having these characters somewhat bounded in reality, their tribulations are relatable and the audience is able to feel for these characters despite their antics and by the end feel like they have truly watched something not only entertaining, but also with a great story.

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