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Die Hard Analysis

1077 words - 5 pages

Die hard is considered to be one of the greatest action movies made in the 1980’s-1990’s era. It was this movie that shot Bruce Williams to fame. Directed by John Mctiernan in 1988, Die hard was a movie with great acting, great action sequences, excellent on screen chemistry between actors and many more such qualities. However, one important thing that not many notice is the outstanding photography of the film. It is the astonishing photography of the movie that made movie goers sit on the edge of their seat in anticipation and excitements of what’s going to be John Mclane’s (Bruce Willis) next move to battle the terrorists.
In this paper, I am going to discuss about the photography of the ...view middle of the document...

This shot shows the intensity of the situation in hand and the extreme control that Hans Gruber is asserting on his hostages. Since long shots do not focus on one person in particular, they are generally used to describe the setting of the scene and are most often followed by close up shots.
The movie Die hard has abundant examples of close up shots. Close up shots are generally used to highlight a particular emotion of the actor or to portray the importance of a particular object.

Picture 2: Close up shot
Picture 2, depicts the utter despair on the face Holly Mclane (Bonnie Bedelia) when she realizes the grave situation on hand when the terrorists take over the building. Close up shots generally force on an image onto people and is used to express the emotions of people [ (Giannetti, 2011) ].
Another shot used quiet often in the movie is the over-the-shoulder shot. This shot usually has one person facing the camera while the other persons back is towards the camera.

Picture 3: Over-the-shoulder shot
Most of the scenes between Hans Gruber and John Mclane, apart from the action scenes, are shot using the over-the-shoulder shot. These shots are best used for showing conversation between two protagonists.
“Camera placement is determined by narrative significance” [ (Mascelli, 1998) ]. Mascelli raises very good questions about camera angles and provides some insight of their use. “This is very important. Why are you looking at what you are looking at? Is it because it looks good or because we need to see it to move the story along? It should always be to move the story
along, sometimes both, never solely because it looks good” [ (Mascelli, 1998) ].
The trend of using different camera angles for aesthetics and better story telling began to emerge during the 1920-1940 period [ (Bazine, 2005) ]. There were two streams of directors, one that put their faith in reality while the other that put their faith in the “image” [ (Bazine, 2005) ]. The portrayal of the image included camera angles which directors had begun to use to present their story in a refined manner and to...

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