Best shots of Hitchcock: analysis
The Wrong Man is a look at a true story about a case of mistaken identity that left a man, Manny Balestrero, in hot water and on the hook for robberies which he did not commit. As the story is being told by Hitchcock and is billed as suspense, some parts of the actual events were left out to have the audience hold their breath. This was a great film and the Hitchcock film which I’ve enjoyed most in my look at his filmography so far, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of cinema. Part of my recommendation comes because of how beautifully the story unfolds on screen and there a a few shots which are amazing (one particular shot I’ll be talking about in this article). Here are the things I’ve learned from my look at The Wrong Man:
Quick cuts analysis:
Quick cuts don’t always make for a choppy film. From the films that I have seen earlier this week in Hitchcock’s library, I noticed that a lot of his shots that contain exposition are longer and allow the actors to convince the audience of a situation’s importance. In TWM many moments of explanation and dialog are cut up into several short and fast shots. One section in the beginning of the film in particular has about 4 lines of dialog delivered and 6 or 7 shots all within about 30 seconds. The use of these quick cuts and short clips was startling at first given the fluidity of the other films I’ve seen by Alfred, but once I got over the initial shock I found I really enjoyed this style.
Experiment With Shots:
This is a bit of advice that I am going to give myself and pretend that it came from Hitchcock himself: Do not be afraid to experiment and try new shots. There is one section in the movie that illustrated this point to me in a crystal clear way. There is a point when Manny is first taken to jail, he is scared and a bit confused as he knows that he is innocent, yet nearly every single person around him is just as certain he’s guilty. There is a low angle shot which we see Manny looking at the wall in his cell and contemplating how he ended up in this situation, when suddenly he hears a noise and goes to the door to see who it is. As he crouches and moves quickly to the door the camera pulls back and we see that the shot was taken through the slot in his cell door. Fantastic!
Right around that same time in the movie, Manny accepts the fact that he is going to spend the night in jail as an innocent man and he closes his eyes, the camera then begins to move in a circle vertically, swishing around and around keeping his face in frame. An interesting shot? Sure, can’t say I’ve seen it before. One that I was impressed by or thought fit perfectly? Not a chance.