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American Beauty - Kitchen Scene Analysis

In: Film and Music

Submitted By juicyeyebrow
Words 454
Pages 2
The scene opens with a medium shot of Jane and Angela who hear noises from the kitchen and turn around. They are in the centre of the frame, so the viewer notices a clear contrast between Angela's feeling about Lester and Jane's feelings about her father. Angela's facial expression shows excitement, Jane feels rather disturbed by Lester. When Angela goes to the kitchen to say hello, she says he looks good and gives him a flirtatious look. Instead of a typical over-the-shoulder shot the camera is next to Lester, who is reaching into the fridge. That way the viewer can see both Angela's and Lester's faces. The next shot is a reverse-angel shot to show their faces and reactions to each other from a different perspective. This also causes the viewer to feel involved in the character's dialogue. When Angela reaches out to touch Lester's arm, the director creates tension by using an extreme-close-up on Angela's fingers. The scene where we see Angela reaching out to him is repeated three times and music starts playing to emphasize the tension between them. The repetition also shows that this is an important moment for Lester, as well as the extreme-close-up on his face we see after the repetition. There are several reversed-angel shots to show their faces when they look at each other, again to create tension. When Lester leans in for a kiss, the light is low so the viewer sees only only their shadows kissing and the camera spins around them. The director achieves an impression of climax and perfection by using this shot. After the kiss they slowly seperate and the director draws the viewer's attention to the rose petal Lester pulls out of his mouth. By now it is obvious that the kiss was only a dream, one of his fantasies. The same music is used throughtout the kissing scene and it has been used before, when lester had his first fantasy about Angela. It stops all of a...

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