Style of Acting in The Wizard of Oz

An important aspect of mise en scene is the role of the actors. Studying The Wizard of Oz I am going to focus on a few of the main cast members Judy Garland as Dorothy, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, and Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow.

In The Wizard of Oz Judy Garland is considered to be an interpreter actress. For she has taken the material and put her own stamp on it (Jacobs & Goodykoontz, 2014). Shirley Temple, who was closer to the age of Dorothy portrayed in the book and a much bigger star than Garland was the original choice to play Dorothy. However, despite not being the first pick Garland’s innocence and youth made her the perfect fit for the role of Dorothy. She was able to take the material and give a heartfelt performance as though the story of Dorothy was her own. The prime example is the end of the opening scene when Garland sings “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. Garlands grace, simplicity and heartfelt performance in this scene won viewers over as she indeed put her own stamp on the song.

Jack Haley, or the Tin Man was cast as a character actor. An actor who is “able to fit invisibly into a wide variety of disparate characters, adapting to the needs of each script and director they work with” (Jacobs & Goodykoontz, 2014).  Haley was also a second choice actor. Buddy Ebsen who began filming the movie had an allergic reaction the aluminum makeup and the part was recast to Haley, a singing and dancing comedian. Haley has a widespread work portfolio proving that he could adapt to the script and needs of the director.

For his role in The Wizard of Oz as the Scarecrow, Ray Bolger can be considered a personality actor. He was a singer and dancer as well as an actor.  His very first role was in The Great Ziegfeld (1936) in which he played himself.  While contracted with MGM he was cast in many song and dance films and later found himself on Broadway. In the movie he is most famous for her number “If I Only Had a Brain”.

Bolger had always been cast in roles where he could be considered a personality character. Whether on film, Broadway or television sitcoms he continued to sing, dance, and play roles as himself or portraying his own personality.

References

Jacobs, C. P., & Goodykoontz, B. (2014). FILM FROM WATCHING TO SEEING. Bridgepoint Education Inc, LLC.

YOUTUBE. (2011, MAY 26). If I Only Had a Brain – The Wizard of Oz (4/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD. Retrieved from MOVIECLIPS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nauLgZISozs

YOUTUBE. (2011, May 26). Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz (1/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD. Retrieved from MOVIECLIPS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSZxmZmBfnU

The Dark Knight

Lighting can greatly shape the way a viewer responds to a film. Lighting is an important component of visual design in film and can create a significant emotional impact. In the film “The Dark Knight” we see how lighting can be used to highlight the characters.

For example, certain effects of lighting on The Joker combined with his composure highlight him as the antagonist. Most of The Jokers scenes are filled with dark and/or low lighting and dark shadows. In contract to Bruce Wayne (not Batman), the protagonist, the lighting on this character is mostly bright to enhance his heroism.  We as humans have a deep connection to darkness and light. The brightness cast on Bruce Wayne shows us he is someone who can be trusted and Vis versa with the darkness cast on The Joker. While we look to Batman to be a hero, not Bruce Wayne it is important to notice that the Batman character in this film is portrayed with light and dark. This is to show the good and evil with the Batman being a vigilante.

In the interrogation scene we see The Joker in very dark room sitting at the table with the light of a dim lamp barley hitting him. We then see Batman appear out of the shadows of the rooms darkness, and soon enough the room brightens when the cops on the other side of the glass turn on the light as Batman is now on the scene. Even with the fluorescent lights on, there is still a shadow that casts over The Jokers face – symbolizing him as the antagonist in the scene.

Majority of the movie is filmed in low lighting. Portraying the streets of Gotham as a place of chaos and mayhem, The Joker as a chaotic villain, Batman as a vigilante struck by chaos, and Bruce Wayne, living a life of chaos in the shadows of also being Batman.


Resources

Advameg. (2015). Film reference. Lighting. Retrieved from http://www.filmreference.com/encyclopedia/Independent-Film-Road-Movies/Lighting.html 

Superhero Media. (February 2, 2014). The Dark Knight: Interrogation Scene -4k.[Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7LsBMA-rKg 

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Title: Frozen

Writer: Jennifer Lee, Hans Christian Andersen, Chris Buck, Shane Morris, Dean Wellins

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Year: 2013

Actors: Kristen Bell (Anna), Idina Menzel (Elsa), Jonathan Groff (Kristoff), Josh GAd (Olaf), Santiono Fontanta(Hans)

Story: The new Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power cursing the land of Arrendelle by turning everything to ice and snow. Her sister Anna goes after her with an iceman names Kristoff and a magical snowman, Olaf hoping to help Elsa stop the storm and bring back summer.

Plot: Anna sets off on a journey to find her sister Elsa after she flees the kingdom of Arrenndell. Along the way Anna encounters an iceman named Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. She convinces them to help her reach the North Mountain where Elsa has fled. Anna and Kristoff meet a magical snowman named Olaf, who was created by Elsa and agrees to lead them to her ice palace. Elsa has run to the North Mountain live in isolation, afraid of her magical powers to create snow and ice. Scared by the memory of striking her sister Anna as a child and nearly killing her, Elsa fears she cannot control her powers and is a danger to everyone.

When Anna, Kristoff and Sven reach the ice palace Anna is once again struck by Elsa’s powers, this time in her heart. Kristoff brings Anna to the trolls who advice only an act of true love can keep her heart from freezing and turning her to ice forever. They race back to the palace of Arrendelle to find Hans, the prince Anna has fallen in love with. Instead of kissing Anna, Hans locks her in a room to freeze. He lies and says she has died, and that Elsa should be charged with treason and sentenced to death.

Olaf finds Anna and leads her outside to find Kristoff, her real true love. Outside Anna sees Hans holding a sword over Elsa’s head and rushes to save her. Just before the sword reaches Anna the her heart is frozen and she turns to ice. As Elsa realizes what happens Anna’s heart thaws because of her Act of true love.

Elsa then realizes it is love that will control her powers and she removes the curse from Arrenndelle finally brining back summer. 

Chronology: The story line is told in chronological order. This is significant to the ending of the movie. If the movie had been told in nonlinear format the ending would not have been as emotional and significant. Had we already known Elsa over came the fear of her powers, the movie would have been less interesting.

Resources:

Google. “Frozen Cast”. https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&biw=1517&bih=741&q=frozen+cast&oq=frozen+cast&gs_l=serp.3..0l10.939273.940705.0.940919.11.9.0.2.2.0.202.732.8j0j1.9.0….0…1c.1.64.serp..0.11.737.Cu1dy_ZLqps

Sven the Reindeer. Frozen-Anna’s act of true love. (2014, January 8). [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEanDh702O8

Walt Disney Animation Studios. Disney’s Frozen Officical Trailer. (2013, Septembe 26). [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbQm5doF_Uc