The Crucible Film Analysis

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The artistic choices made in the production of cinema have a great impact on the way the audience will perceive certain aspects of the performance. One director may choose to highlight a certain scene, while another director may push it aside as trivial. A majority of the symbolism behind theatre lends itself to open interpretation, but some underlying messages have a widely accepted truth. In Nicholas Hytner’s 1996 interpretation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, lighting and camera angles help accentuate the importance of particular moments throughout the film. I chose to analyze the courthouse scene in which Deputy Danforth asks Elizabeth whether or not John Proctor committed the crime of adultery. Within this scene, many changes in lighting…show more content…
The utilization of sudden zooms and points of view add another dimension of truth to the story. One of the first camera techniques uses a dutch tilt. The dutch tilt adds to the discomforting tension in the room, causing the audience to be unsettled. The tilt also makes John Proctor appear even more taller than he already is. The staggering height difference between John and Abigail demonstrates the superiority John possesses in morality, age, and sensibility. The height difference may also represent the fact that the audience views John as the protagonist, therefore above Abigail. Because Abigail is lower, the dutch tilt displays that the scales are tipping in Abigail’s favor for the entire duration of the trial. The second camera technique discerned in this scene involves what the camera focuses on during the confession. When Elizabeth enters the courthouse, the camera shows the backs of John and Abigail, symbolizing how this decision lies out of their hands. There are many close-ups of Danforth when he is questioning Mrs. Proctor. These close-ups represent how Danforth’s verdict will affect the lives of the accused and the accusers. The camera also zooms in on Elizabeth many times. Elizabeth’s close-ups add suspense to the scene due to their emphasis on the importance of her words. The basis of the whole trial up to this point depends on whether or not Elizabeth admits to her

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