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The Hours: A cinematic analysis

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  1. Introduction
  2. The difficult decision of choosing
  3. Cheating the system
  4. Technical developments
  5. Scene with Clarissa Vaughn in her kitchen
  6. The arrangement of instruments
  7. The strongest theme in the film
  8. Conclusion

The Hours is the title of a film that was released in 2002. It is also the name of a book by Michael Cunningham released in 1998, on which the film is based, which itself is based on the classic novel once under a working title of the same name, later to become known as ?Mrs. Dalloway? in 1925 by author Virginia Woolf. The film adaptation, also borrows an original theme from Woolf's own version, decidedly telling the story of a woman's whole life in a single day. However, where ?The Hours? by Michael Cunningham picks up and the film leaves off, is by taking that theme and applying it to three different women, in the place of just one. While many reviewers have stated that the film is the story of three women of different eras whose lives are all transformed by the novel ?Mrs. Dalloway? itself, on this generalization I have to disagree somewhat.

[...] The opposite effect, would be for the director to rely on the simplicity of the shot, simply allowing the camera to show you the scene and let the weight of it rely on the strength of the actors' performances, as in one of the last scenes of the movie, with Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep carrying the scene with their performances, whereas the viewer is equally unaware that the camera is making no fancy movements, but just sitting there as a window into the lives of these characters. [...]


[...] The lines being delivered by the actors are not only there just for conversation between characters, but each sentence holds significant meaning to the film, and the overall work as a form of art?also again very appropriate for a film related so closely to literature, which is itself, the recognized artistic value of language and words. Which also makes for an interesting point, when the film itself is based on a piece of literature that included a master of literature, Virginia Wolf as one of its' characters, and yet this film using the significant selection of lines the characters speak, is really about everything the characters are not talking about. [...]


[...] Theatre tends to be slightly more idea driven than film, and depends on drawing out much more emotion from the actors in a scene, because it doesn't have as many other tools available to rely on to get the message across. With film, if you can combine these elements, the great art of performance, with mastery in editing, lighting, camera angle/technique, and good writing, it only makes the message that much more prominent, accessible, and understandable through these various facets. [...]

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