Video Clip Analyses

 

The video clip I will be analyzing is the final duel ‘showdown’ from the film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The first technique detailed by Michael Wohl that we see being used in this scene is the editing of shots as words. This concept involves telling us things that we can explicitly state in words, such as the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a given situation. Three of these ‘words’ are seen right at the beginning of the scene: who, what, and where. The ‘where’ is laid out right away with a long shot that shows us in the open desert, giving us our setting for the impending scene by exposing the entirety of the location. At this point it’s hard to make out our characters just yet. Fortunately for the viewer’s sake, this is shortly followed up by close ups of the three characters’ faces, beginning with Clint Eastwood at the 15-second mark. This gives us the ‘who’ in the context of the scene, though there is still some things we might not know yet. We are then given medium shots of the characters, showing them in relation to their holstered weapons (which they each seem to be toying with their fingers) starting again with Clint Eastwood, this time at the 45-second mark lasting until the 57-second mark. This gives us our ‘what’: they are here for a gunfight and they will be using their pistols to do so. Another technique that I saw being used from Wohl’s list was the cut on action. This happens in the iconic standoff moment where the characters look at one another interchangeably. We see the technique take effect between the 2:56 mark and the 3:06 mark. ‘The Ugly’ looks first at ‘The Bad,’ then he looks at ‘The Good’ (Clint Eastwood), ‘The Good’ meets his gaze, then switches to look at ‘The Bad,’ who is currently looking at ‘The Ugly.’ ‘The Bad’ then switches his gaze to look at ‘The Good,’ who we then cut back to. Every time a character turns to look at another character, we then switch to the character he as turned his gaze towards, this keeps the flow engaging and consistent by cutting on action. A third and final of Wohl’s techniques used in the scene is an insert. This takes place at the 22-second mark when the camera does a quick zoom to a close up of the rock that Clint Eastwood places on the ground, marking the distance between him and his opponents. We’ve already seen the rock in his hand, but this insert helps to stress the rocks importance as it relates to the scene as a whole.

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