Monday, January 25, 2010

Assignment #1 - Analyzing a Scene: "Stranger Than Fiction" Bus Scene

We see Anna walk onto the bus, and upon noticing Harold, she quickly moves away from a medium shot to a long shot, showing her want to be disassociated with him. But she is quickly thrown into a seat close to him as the bus starts moving. As Anna sits in a stable seat, Harold moves with the buses curves and turns. We see profile shots of Harold moving in front of Anna's face, in and out, creating breaks in their conversation and interaction where Harold gets to think and ponder. It almost seems as if he is taking a breath in to calm himself before he starts saying something. Most of the dialogue - his apology to her and slight flirtation - are surprisingly done without the help of the narrator, showing Harold is starting some initiation without the narrator telling him exactly what to do. This is unlike him, since we have never really seen Harold converse for so long outside of a working environment or situation. As they keep conversing, the focal point moves back and forth between them with medium close-ups. But after Harold makes his apology, Anna accepts it and then says "but only because you stammered," and the camera zooms in slightly on her face as the bus makes another slight turn. She turns her head and looks out the window with a small smirk on her face: Anna is a bit surprised by this unlikely behavior but still does not feel much towards him, although by the look on her face, she is a bit pleased to see he might not just be the "tax man" that she encountered in the bakery. Harold begins to start asking her about the bus, moving back to a medium shot, until she leans in closely to tell him about the "weekly evil conspiracy and needlepoint group" and the shots change to close-ups. She is warming up to him, and we can see they are more interested in each other. Then he starts to make small talk about her teeth, moving back to a medium shot, and upon deciding that he would make a fool of himself, he leaves the bus. Through this scene we got to see more of Anna Pascal and warm up to her, as she warms up to Harold.

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