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ATONEMENT (2007)

 Story by Ian McEwan


 Director: Joe Wright
 Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch
 Screenplay: Christopher Hampton

1 SHOT, 3 CONSECUTIVE FRAMES – 59:39....1:00:58

The frames I choose are one character shot. The first is a full-front, mid-shot (“...from the knees
up to see the body language, not facial expressions” CT), the second frame is a tracking dolly
shot and the third one is a close-up shot.
I - NARRATIVE
1. It is used the technique of transition between the frames, there is a normal cut to the
following frame.
4. Various channels of meaning interact to produce meaning (sound, music, image).
“The background music establishes a specific mood.” CT
6. The events transpire as if no one were there.
7. The main character does not look in the camera.

II - STAGING
1. These three shots are filmed on a location, on a forest backlot, being highly realistic.
The design is balanced, the space is empty, there are no proms, except the smoke
from the third frame. The design is used as an indirect comment on the character’s
inner state.
2. There is a high-key lightening (“everything evenly and brightly lit, with a minimum
of shadows” CT). In this shot the camera operator makes use of the available light
(“the naturally-existing light in an off-set location... rather than having artificial light”
CT), enhancing its realism. The ambient light is natural, soft, diffused, being
predominant a green tint- with shades of dark green. The contrast is low, the image
appearing to be flat.

III - CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Photography
The first frame is filmed with wide-angle lens (“take in a wider field or range of view
(to capture more of the scene's elements or objects), creating greater depth-of-
field and keeping all objects in focus and in perspective CT) and there is a deep-
focus. The small apertures of the lens - meaning that less light gets into the camera-
here provide a large depth of field, having the whole image- both foreground and
background- in focus. The second frame is filmed with telephoto lens and has soft
focus. The third one is filmed with normal lens and has a shallow focus.
2. Camera/Framing
In the first and third frames it is used an eye-level, straight-on angle and in the second
one it is used a low angle.

IV – EDITING
5. In this shot it is used an invisible/continuity cutting, the transition between the frames
is smooth in order not to distract from the story, the frames flow together without
noticeable jump-cuts.

V – SOUND
10. Diegetic and non-diegetic elements combined. Natural sound effects (footsteps,
chirping birds), matched with the image. These buzz tracks (recordings of ambient
sounds, natural, atmospheric) are aimed to alleviate the unnatural silence in the film.
11. In this phase of the film, the character has an epiphany. He speaks through his silence.
There is an audio bridge, the song which begins in the third frame continues in the
following shot, connecting the two shots.