Sunday, 15 November 2009

Iron Man feature film analysis

Iron Man is about Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist, who is forced to build an armoured suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.

The clip begins at 0:07, when the lead protagonist; Tony Stark is being escorted by soldiers to present his latest nuclear weapons to the army in a secret desert surrounding. The main protagonist, can be identified by the audience, as he is wearing a formal suit and glasses, as well as his formal appearance and hairstyle .As well as this, he is surrounded by armed military personnel in an armoured truck, the use of mise en scene is apparent, as the audience can identify with the scene , as the army are stereotypically dressed in camouflage, combats and are wearing protective clothing and are armed with guns. There is use of props such as guns, rockets, iron suit, glasses which connote violence and destruction; rockets seem devastating at 0:15 seconds. The protagonist's facial expression signifies seriousness and dexterity . There is evident use of a tracking shot, as the camera follows Stark, as he is jolted from a bomb during a terrorist attack. The camera uses quick flashes to develop the clip from 0:15 to 0:18 seconds to skip to the main details. There is use of non digetic sound when the characters are talking at 0:08 to 0:25 seconds and 0:30 seconds. There is also use of parallel sound when the bombs explode, dialogue begins.

The lighting within the clip focuses on the characters at the beginning, as there is high key lighting to highlight the weapons at 0:11 to 0:17 seconds, and the army officers. There is use of top lighting combined with high key lighting which gives a bold effect during 0:11-0:17 seconds. The is use of dark colours on clothing, rocket ignition and shadows seem to justify the characters and props. The use of colour and lighting is constant, as there is use of high key lighting which is constantly use, as the film is an action genre based film. Suddenly, there is low key lighting at 0:20 seconds, when the rockets blow up , which creates a quick dusty effect and conveys shocked facial expressions from the army of surprise and unease, as their hats are swept away, which connotes destruction and could be an action code within the film.

Furthermore, there is further use of low key lighting, set in the caves at 0:32 seconds, as Stark is taken prisoner by terrorists, the leader of the terrorists is shown through a close up shot, the camera revolves around him and there is use of tilts at 0:34 seconds when Stark is being interrogated and tortured and use of a burst of high key lighting, as the light focuses instantly on Stark’s face. The camera focuses on an extreme close up of Stark’s scarred face, his facial expression signifies hope and escape. The protagonists is shown in a medium close up shot and is identifiable by the audience.

The use of editing is apparent, as there is continuous use of wipes, fades and cuts which immediately lead to the next scene in the clip, e.g. 0:07 to 0:20 seconds when the dialogue transcends to action. Interestingly, there is use of continuity editing, as the scenes are placed in logical orders to create a narrative.

The use of low key lighting is blatant , during 0:43 seconds, when the Iron Man’s first birth is shown, as an action code of the Iron Man knocking on the door and dents on the door signify that action is to follow and mayhem is about to begin at 0:44 seconds in the clip. Gradually, the clip uses montage to show the aftermath of the destruction and equilibrium is seemingly restored, as the protagonist is shown with a relieved grin and other characters are shown to be merry and joyful, during 0:50 seconds when Stark is coming down from the plane; a sling bandage is used as a prop to connote that he has been involved in an accident. High Key lighting is restored at 0:53 seconds. The use of fade is followed and a change of setting is apparent ,as Stark is in his home and low key lighting and use of yellows and blues are used to lighten the mood at 0:59 seconds. The use of contrapuntal sound is used, as drums continuously play in the background at 1:03 seconds, the use of close up shots and medium shots and wipes suggest an enigma code, as the audience are not introduced to the refined Iron Man suit and hero. The use of panning and crane shots seem to follow the action wherever it is , as shown at 0:54 seconds and 1:07 seconds. Also, there is continual use of a steadicam sequence, as the camera follows the action carefully and the action is shown through various stages within the clip. Surprisingly, there is use of a jump cut ,as the audience are fixated on one scene but the scene changes suddenly for example at 1:03 seconds

Non digetic sound plays in the background, as drums continually are beating which could connote that something is about to happen which could be an enigma code, as the audience could be awaiting the arrival of the Iron Man. The use of medium shots and fades, wipes could connote violence and action, and show how the Iron Man is really Tony Stark

There is brief use of a point of view shot, as Stark puts on the mask of the Iron Man at 1:05 seconds, the audience identify with him, as he is the main character in all of the frames . There is use of key lighting in the clip, as the action is sporadic and loud from 0:07 to 1:53 seconds. The antagonists are introduced in the previous desert setting, the use of back lighting and dimmed lighting suggests that evil is emerging at 1:09 seconds, where the terrorists meet the manipulative mentor to Tony Stark. Their organisation in the frame suggest a meeting and their facial expressions suggest sinister, evil intentions .

The use of medium shot and wipe at 1:10 seconds show the terrorists constructing a rival, more powerful Iron Man, as they intend to get their hands on Starks nuclear weapons for their own misuse for world domination. There is swift use of fade outs, wipes and jump cuts, as the audience see the terrorists forming their own Iron Man , whereas Tony Stark is forming a better Iron Man to destroy evil. The use of digetic sound of dialogue and ignition sounds are enigma codes to what will be the equilibrium or result of the film and will Tony Stark’s Iron Man triumph over evil as shown through 1:10 seconds to 1:18 seconds. Stark’s facial expression connotes confidence and assurance, as his latest invention is tested through the frame for example 1:14 seconds to 1:20 seconds as he is testing his suit of Iron. The use of point of view shot and low key lighting connote success, as he manages to test his suit and flies around New York, however, this is short-lived, as use of non digetic sound e.g. shouting , dialogue and ignition failure sounds suggest his suit is still not ready, as his shocked , distraught facial expression denotes how his invention is unexpected to fail as shown at 1:42 seconds

Finally, point of view shots, medium shots and close up shots are used at 1:30 seconds to 1:53 seconds, as the audience gets a chance to see Starks’ blueprints for the suit and we identify with Stark who is building an improved Iron Man suit. However, the use of jump cuts, wipes suggest that audience are briefly deterred from the narrative.

At 1:36 to 1:40 seconds in the clip there are shift from medium shots to close up and extreme close up shots, as the audience get to see the Iron Man suit and high key lighting and filler lighting is used to draw attention on the important areas of the suit such as the integral blue heart of the suit which glows at 1:41 seconds and fades out to the next scene .At 1:42, Stark’s friend, Rhodey seems to look into awe at Stark's Iron Man suit , as it seems revolutionary and conceptual to him. Iron Man’s mask ‘s eyes seem to glow , which could signify how Stark's creation is animated and alive. Moreover, after the revelation, there is background rock music , which is like the contrapuntal sound, as we see Iron Man flying alongside jet fighters which could connote how Iron Man is the righteous superhero. During the frame at 1:43 there is use of filler and high key lighting which connotes peace and tranquillity, this could be seen to be the new equilibrium of the film and could show the righteous , bold stance of the Iron Man.

The audience get a chance to see the evil rival to Iron Man , a colossal contraption which evokes fear from Stark’s assistant Pepper Potts, who resorts to being fearful and anguished. The use of medium and long shots show the audience how large and overbearing the evil robot suit is. There are quick fades and jump cuts and a mixture of low key and high key lighting , backed with digetic sounds to convey destruction and chaos.

Eventually, the clip ends at 2:00 minutes, where digetic sound is used, as dialogue ensues between Stark and Potts ,an over the shoulder shot is used, which could show how the audience and Potts are shocked at seeing Stark in the Iron Man suit.The use of a long shot which includes Stark in the frame , uses filler light and high key lighting to emphasise the magnitude of detail conveyed on the suit and the intricacy of the suit, he shows an innocent expression and that of guilt , which is backed with the non digetic sound of drills and sounds of working machinery, which are operating on the suit whilst Stark is in it.

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