Well hello all you Anthropocenic film scouts! Today, I am going to discuss three film terms from Timothy Corrigan’s A Short Guide to Writing About Film, using clips from a few of my favorite films dealing with the interaction of nature.
The first clip is from the 2008 animated Pixar film, Wall-E
Wall-E is a movie that focuses on the destroyed relationship between humans and nature. In the film, humans are forced to leave Earth due to pollution and an unlivable environment. Robots, such as Wall-E, are not only in charge of cleaning the Earth for the eventual return of the humans, but humans have also become dependent on said robots for functioning in their new “home”, Axiom. In this clip, Corrigan’s film term of animation is seen. Wall-E, which is indeed an animated film, is comprised of sketched, drawn, and eventually rendered 3-D images that are placed side-by-side and edited to complete a continuous scene. This clip from Wall-E exemplifies the term of animation because one can see, throughout the 3 minutes, that the movement of one image to the next is just a continuous edit of individually created images side-by-side.
The next film clip comes from the 2012 DreamWorks animated film, The Lorax
The Lorax tells the story not only of a completely industrialized town, Thneedville, but also of how the town came to be. The main character and citizen of Thneedville, Ted, is in search of someone willing to help him find habitation. The Once-ler, eager to help, also tells Ted the story of how there once used to be trees and a natural environment before he destroyed it. The Lorax, a creature in charge of the environment, tried to stop the Once-ler from destroying the Truffula Trees, but instead the Once-ler used every last tree-fluff to create his best-selling invention. Eventually, Thneedville took over every inch of the natural environment, and the Lorax was forced to leave since there was nothing natural left in this industrialized place. It’s up to Ted and the rest of the Thneedville citizens to restore the natural environment using the last seed that the Once-ler gives Ted. Throughout the film, the Once-ler uses Corrigan’s term of flashback to explain to Ted the story of the Lorax and the Truffula Trees. A flashback in this movie is a scene that shows a story that occurs in the past that relates to the current story. The clip is of the Once-ler and the Lorax during one of the flashback scenes in the past in correlation with the story of Ted.
The final clip is from the 2000 film Cast Away
The film Cast Away follows the main character Chuck as he becomes stranded on an island. He is forced to live in the natural environment, using the elements and resources that are available to him to survive. In this clip, Chuck creates fire. This clip is an example of jump cut editing. At the beginning of the clip, Chuck is using resources to create the fire. Once he actually keeps the flame going, there is a cut around 1:14 that shows a continuous transition further in time of the same fire only it has grown in size. The time of day has also shifted, so one knows that there has been a time lapse, but the action of the creation of the fire stays the same. In a jump cut, a continuous action or scene is depicted through a cut that gives a lapse in time.