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Movie Comparison: Magnificent Seven (1960), Magnificent seven (2016)

Updated on July 6, 2017

A film is a means by which we express comparable language. The language and motion pictures, is however not a language of words, even though spoken language has been an important part of motion pictures ever since the late 1920s. Before this period, written caption was produced to explain an action or an event in the film. However, it is important to dwell on the qualities of the images and sounds that must be focused on any good movie. Certain traits of motion pictures can operate with the logic of the natural language, many codes of expression have shown to work naturally or have been included, and a calculation of their effects can be analyzed. This effects and systems occur in all aspects of moviemaking process, and can be categorized into effects, editing, sound, cinematography, sound, the script, acting and design (Bordwell,&Kristin, 2012).

In essence, film producers have various ways to modify the camera’s neutrality, and as a result, they convey what is perceived to be a reality to the audience. It is mainly through the use of these of devices that motion pictures become such an expressive medium. Some of the techniques used include framing- a selection of what is to be added in the film and what should be excluded. Scaling is another technique that is, resizing and placing particular objects or part of a scene about the rest. Another technique is the camera movement; there is also the aspect of color or black-and-white photography. Finally, other highly expressive techniques can be achieved, through the cinematographer’s knowledge and skills of laboratory processes (Ryan, and Melissa). Putting this in mind, we will compare the films; Magnificent Seven (1960) directed by Sturges John, and another film of the modern era; Magnificent Seven (2016) directed by Fuqua Antoine. These techniques outlined above will be uses to compare the two movies below.

The primary focus in framing is to eliminate what does not matter in the motion pictures, to focus on the audience attention to what the film producers deem to be essential. Different aspect ratio has been used in motion pictures. The 4:3 ratios is most common aspect ratio is. For instance, a frame of 35-mm dimensions, by using 70-mm film, an image with wider horizontal and shorter vertical dimensions is achieved that is, aspect ratio 5:2 a wide screen effect can be attained. Using 35-mm film and masking the bottom or top or sometimes both results into a 7:4. The elongated ratio has proved an important aspect of filmmaking to achieve some composition effects (Bordwell 112). For instance, there were early fears of a wide screen not being able to capture some effects, like effects of moving a camera, but this is found to be not necessary as seen in battle scenes of the Magnificent Seven the (1960) film. The wide screen allows the audience’s eyes to wonder in the different visual fields and being able to relate. Unlike standard ratio where this aspect is difficult to achieve, in the 1960 film the aspect ratio used was 2.35:1, while the aspect ratio for the 2016 movie the aspect ratio is 1.78:1, that has a high-definition capability, unlike the 1960 movies.

The scale in films changes through different shots; the audience can be perceived differently about the size of the individual objects in a movie. For instance, an actor when appearing next to a huge table and chair can be made to look like a child or a dwarf. The scale may have a marked effect on the emotional tone of a scene. From a distance actor may seem lonely, helpless, remote, and pathetic; but on a close up, the actor may appear compelling, frightening, and bestial. The scale of shots for artistic purposes ranges from an extreme long shot may make, for instance, a house to appear like a tiny dot on the horizon; though on a close up the same images may seem as enormous that they will fill up the whole screen (Petrie, and Boggs 33).

Different scales are juxtaposed in a single shot at times to make a dramatic effect; important characters are repeatedly framed in either the right or left foreground while at the background an action takes place that disturbs that character. The camera exaggeration generates a dramatic effect on the film (Sobchack, & Sobchack45). This effect can be demonstrated well in the modern films as compared to the 1960 film. However, the director of the Magnificent Seven (1960), John Sturges, tried to utilize his effort in the best way to bring the aspect of scaling

The shooting angle is another element in motion- picture language. Some of the common language phrases “to look down on” and “to look up to” have a connotations of admiration and condescension in addition to their apparent relation to physical viewpoint (Ryan, and Melissa 66). A good example would be beggars, children and dogs will always be looked down upon, preachers in their pulpit, a judge on the bench and policeman on his horse on the hand will always be looked up to. To confirm this, the camera angle either upward or downward is enough to express a mood of inferiority or superiority.

The upward or downward shooting angles raise questions of subjectivity and objectivity. In most of the movies, a camera will switch from one character to another. For instance, the camera may go ahead to take a heroine’s viewpoint, looking with dismay at a villain. At some point, the entire motion picture may be shot from one person’s point of view, especially when the character is narrating accompanying the images. Typically music, a voice-over, or other elements are combined with shooting angle to portray the character’s feelings or thought. Extreme downward or upward angle are too rare, to have applications in motion pictures, but they may express exceptional situations. For instance, like in the 1960 Magnificent Seven movie, the gunmen looked down on the bandit’s leader Calvera, as he was taking his final breath before dying.

Scaling, framing, and shooting angle can be modified by use of camera movement. The filmmaker began experimenting on camera immediately after the motion-picture camera was developed. Pan is the simplest camera movement; this involves turning the camera horizontally so that it sweeps around the scene. The camera can also be tilted down or up in a vertical panning shot or a diagonal pan, as a hen, it follows the actor up a stairway. Panning has evolved over the years, but recently the use of automobiles or even airplanes to transport the camera. Regardless of the level of technical capability, the effect of camera movement depends on the context and the pace of the action. A camera can explore a scene and reveal significant details. If it rose well above the ground and combined with slow motion, the motion effect has very powerful that can draw in the audience imagination. Rapid movement, on the other hand, can express sudden surge of emotions (Stam 99). In the 1960 Magnificent Seven film camera movement has been executed effectively to portray different effects and angles.

The audience is made aware of the whereabouts of a narrator in a movie through camera movement. During an action, when the camera moves independently of the action, the narrator can be thought as hovering above the action while commenting on it. When the camera moves instead to keep the action in view, to follow as many elements as possible, the narrator can be thought of as a reporter investigating, but not commenting on what is seen(Villarejo44). The director’s style may be cataloged by the overall predilection for connecting elements in a scene through cuts or movement of the camera in the 2016 Magnificent Seven film camera movement is excellent for instance, during a battle the audience could easily tell the location of each character all through the fight.

The process of putting together and trimming the lengths of film to make a complete motion picture is certainly the one of the most talked about in the movie language. The term montage, for example, insists on the juxtaposition of ideas that come from the process; cutting stresses on the physical work with the actual strips of the film; whereas editing includes both. Editing may include highly dramatic effects that may not be possible in a single shot. Moreover, editing usually is hidden from the audience, but it is relevant to the eventually finished picture (Petrie, and Boggs 33). It is, therefore, the general editor’s duties to determine the length of each shot, when to end a particular segment basing on the amount of detail it contains, its scale, its context, its dramatic impact about the shot that precede and follow it. The impact of the final edited film depends on the how well editing was done. For example, the 2016 movie under this comparison portrays modern editing techniques and this is probably one factor that makes it one of the favorites in all times.

The time of film language often differs from that of real life. For instance, slow motion can be achieved either by slowing down the projector or speeding up the camera, and accelerated motion is made in the opposite way. Time conversion, on the other hand, can be accomplished through the use of flashback technic or dream sequences. Apparently, there no use of flashback in the 2016 film when compared to 1960 one.

The pace that an audience senses in a movie is influenced by one of the following three ways: the actual rhythm and speed of the movement and cuts within the video, the content of the story and the accompanying music. For most people, time always passes quickly in the happy moments compared to the sad and boring scenes in a film. For instance, in both films, the audience’s attention is at its peak especially when the gunmen ride for the final war with the villain enemy army.

Amplifying sound sufficiently and synchronizing it with the film image for the audience was one of the challenges faced by earlier producers. The sound is a critical aspect of any film to comminute with your audience must, therefore, be properly sync. In both films, the sound quality is good; the audience can be able to listen what the character is saying.

In conclusion, it is clear that the modern era film is better than those of the 1960s. The technology involved in Today’s film production is more advanced than it was in the 1960s; as a result, the quality of the films today is better compared to then. Due to this same technology, it is easier to execute complex ideas, for instance, science fictional films. In the1960s, capturing aerial view was difficult to execute, but in the advent of such technology as the camera drone shooting from angle is much easier. In essence, Modern films are of high definition and quality with 3D capability; hence they are able to be viewed in wide screens without losing their initial quality or sound unlike the 1960s films. In the 1960s, the accessibility of films was mainly in theaters, whereas; today movies can be accessed from virtually any channel.

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