Across the Universe Film Analysis
English 225: Intro to Film
Professor Denise Orpustan-Love
July 30, 2012
The Beatles were one of the worlds most influential and iconic bands who evolved in the 1960’s from Liverpool, England. For years people have found refuge in their lyrics that calm, inspire, and awe us to this day. Across the Universe not only provides the audience with a more in-depth look at the Beatles’ lyrical explorations, but also incorporates the use of filming techniques such as, cinematography, editing and sound techniques. It also gives us a closer look at the Vietnam War, struggling singers, love and life during a revolutionary period in U.S history that ...view middle of the document...
By using the Beatles as the current of the film, audiences of all ages are able to relate quickly to the film, as it provides more of a familiarity and comfort while watching the film.
As for the types of actors we find in Across the Universe, we can narrow down the categories to Impersonators and Character Actors. An “impersonator actor” is explained in our text as “the actor has simply copied the manner, dialect, and behavior of a character, instead of creating the character” (Goodykoontz, 2011). An example of an impersonator actress in Across the Universe would be Dona Fuchs, who plays Sadie, an upcoming musician looking for a guitarist, representing the famous Janis Joplin. Martin Luther McCoy, who plays the part of “JoJo,” represents the famous artist Jimi Hendrix. Max, who is played by Joe Anderson, became a character actor because of his role in Across the Universe. A “character actor” is described as an actor who is “not immediately recognized by the public and may take years to achieve "star" status, even though they are constantly in demand” (Goodykoontz, 2011). Joe Anderson was virtually unknown by the American public, and now we can find him in many more shows and movies such as the soon to be released “Breaking Dawn, part 2.” Then we have Jude, played by Jim Sturgess who has become quite the familiar face playing in newer movies such as “21.” Actors are merely one part of a film. One major aspect to the “feel” of a film relies heavily on the lighting used in the production of the film.
Lighting is one of the concepts encompassed by the term, “mise en scène.” Mise en scène is a French term meaning “put in scene” (Goodykoontz, 2011). This term also incorporates elements such as “settings and sets, colors, props, costume, makeup and even the actors cast in a film (Goodykoontz, 2011). Across the Universe is mainly set in outside scenes from close to the beginning, and ending in a harmonious outside scene in the end. And so, much natural light, and the manipulation of that natural lighting is used along with high key lighting, which is higher saturated lighting, to create psychedelic colors in both normal scenes where everyday life is portrayed, and in scenes where the illusion of a world on drugs is portrayed. By using natural lighting and high key lighting, the emphasis of out of this world experiences are more easily portrayed to the audience. We don’t see colors such as neon pinks, purples and yellows everyday while on a bus or in a club. During a scene with the famous song, “I am the walrus,” lighting is the primary mood setter. In this scene, we begin a “trip” on drugs from drinking mushroom juice, which makes the room turn color after color, producing psychedelic effects that wouldn’t be made possible without the manipulation of the lighting. Mise en scène is only one aspect of making a film. Another huge part of creating a film is editing.
When we look at the editing of this film, we see two different types prominent...