This week, I watched A Killer’s Kiss and He Walked By Night. Both of these movies were beautifully shot, if the plots themselves were only pretty good. They mostly employed the use of shadows and perspective to create drama.
Here, ~The Killer~ gives off an almost Phantom Of The Opera vibe- creepy and threatening, but not very active. The audience is wary – we already know he killed someone, we’re waiting to see what he will do next.
This focuses the viewer’s eye to the center of the frame. The small, shadowed person is in a less powerful position than the man whose outline we can just barely see. This use of perspective shows the relative threat of each subject.
Here, the size does the opposite. The man in the foreground is less powerful than the man in the back, mostly because of physicality. Ray is tensed, with eyebrows furrowed, and facing the camera. He has a more aggressive stance. The lighting helps to demonstrate this by shining in his direction.
This is shot from a first-person perspective. The camera was constantly shaking and cutting, giving the scene a sense of intensity and action. Here, a boxer is pinned as the ref counts down. This shot displays a sense of confusion and weakness, which is important to understanding our protagonist at this point.
These two images show two men completely in shadow coming up very close to the camera, then stoping and turning around to get back to their victim. This is done in order to draw the audience closer to the action, making it more thrilling. They are in complete shadow to be menacing and spooky, so the folks at home can get a good fright. When they turn back around, you just know they’re going to kill that poor guy, assuming he wasn’t dead already.