Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Movie Analysis

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“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is a short story detailing the coming of age of a teenage girl named Connie and the predatory advances made on her by a man named Arnold Friend. It was adapted into a film titled Smooth Talk which expands upon the short story by providing more characterization to both Connie and the various people around her. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is told in a third-person limited omniscient perspective. Connie acts as the story’s protagonist, and Arnold Friend acts as the story’s antagonist. Given several context clues such as drive-in diners and handheld transistor radios being commonplace, it can be inferred that the story takes place in 1960s America. After deciding not to attend a barbeque with her family, Connie is home alone on…show more content…
While the short story became terrifying as a result of clever use of imagery, Smooth Talk utilizes framing and acting to create unease. After being left home alone, Connie moves to investigate the loud car approaching her home. Since the scene takes place during the afternoon, the lighting outside of the house is high-key. In contrast, the interior of the house is much darker. The setting adds to the sense of anxiety within the scene. Due to the seclusion of Connie’s home, the viewer understands that she cannot obtain immediate help from anyone. In order to add to the tension within the scene, the shots begin to hang longer as the scene progresses. Several cinematic techniques are employed in order to make Arnold more intimidating, such as him occasionally being shot from a low angle. Though the scene consists mainly of medium-length shots, Arnold will sometimes move uncomfortably close to the camera which makes the viewer more uncomfortable. Connie also has several close-up shots, but they mainly serve to show her becoming more frightened as the scene
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