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Five Guys Econometrics Essay

1158 words - 5 pages

The Color Red
In Director Sam Mendes’ American Beauty, Cinematographer Conrad Hall utilizes great lengths of visual silence to signify the enveloping, jarring presence of Lester Burnham’s own, imaginary world. Conrad Hall also creates startling visual silence when intensely focusing upon each character of American Beauty, and consistently morphs the lack of apparent objects into an inconspicuous focus on the striking color of Red. Through this enigmatic color, Conrad incessantly portrays the goal and lifelong desire of every character in the movie, starting with Lester Burnham. Each character is faced with a dream that is not recognized starting from the opening scene, but becomes ...view middle of the document...

Lester is desperate to change his boring, mundane life cycle to something he’s always wanted: the freedom of his youth. During scenes depicting consequential results of Lester smoking pot, working out and losing his job, the frame consistently contains a hint of shaded red in the background. When he is first discovered working out by Carolyn, he is wearing a faded red T-shirt. When applying for a new job at a local fast food joint, the worker’s outfit prominently displays the color red. Whenever Lester changes a part of his life drastically, the color red always seems to pop up, molded in the background but nonetheless present. The brilliant visual silence of the film also majestically introduces the color red when most needed, including Lester’s foretold death and his bright blood spilling across the kitchen counter. During his final scene with Angela, Lester realizes that it isn’t the world around him that needs to change, but simply his own self. He understands that he isn’t a teenager anymore, and becomes more of a fatherly figure towards Angela. The camera shifts drastically to have Lester be on the right side of the screen to the left, indicating his epiphany and emotional attachment to Angela. Therefore, when the color red is blatantly emphasized in the last scene with Kevin Spacey, Conrad desires to show the audience that the true, youthful exuberance had been inside Lester all along.
Carolyn Burnham has an unrelenting desire for success, and finds her passion in life through Buddy Kane, a successful businessman and role model to her. Within all of Carolyn’s shots depicting power and control over her life contains hints and shades of red dispersed throughout the vacant albeit significant background of the scene. Carolyn desperately wants success and her superficial appearance shows it. With the red flowers in her garden, the red suit she wears to meet Buddy Kane and the red interior of her room when the love affair takes place, Conrad creates a fantasy world around Carolyn in which she finds happiness through superficial interests. With a sense of power, Carolyn wants to bring out the red hues of her character willingly, for as Buddy Kane says, “in order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times”. Her flowers, which remain mostly unnoticed throughout the film, become her main source of the color red and her desire to cling onto that color as she does for...

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