Viewing: I chose to watch an episode of Wallander to find the examples listed in the course notes.
These two images demonstrate the rule of thirds, Kurt’s eye line is on the intersection and he is looking to the left of the camera position; “look room”. In the second frame, the car travels along the road in the background from right to left, turns into the centre of the frame and swings round and stops on the intersection of thirds bottom left. This is quite an interesting device which gives the car some time in the frame to establish the change of location.
I have included this frame for its use of light and shadow to create depth in the scene. From within the crime scene we see the car pull up outside. There is just enough space through the broken window to show Wallander climbing from the car and the dark shadow on the left suggests menace or the unknown waiting for the detectives’ insightful mind to enlighten the viewer.
This frame is the establishing scene for a dialogue between Kurt and his daughter Linda as they sit down for a meal.
The conversation starts amicably and the balance is typical with the figures to left and right of their respective frames.
As the discussion becomes more heated, both figures are shown in the frame. There are some important gestures which need to be shown from both characters.
These frames are in the order shown. At the height of the argument, the framing changes so that both characters appear to be back to back until Linda declares that they should not be arguing but concentrating on the search for her missing friend Anna when the sequence returns to the normal left right framing of the dialogue.
In this frame, Kurt is entering a farmhouse to meet Anna. The balance gives “walk” room to the left and also a dark shadow, introducing tension as Kurt walks into the unknown.
I thought this was an unusual use of an over the shoulder two shot. It is quite tight but very much to one side of the frame. Wallander is confronting Monika, Anna’s mother, with the effects of keeping the truth about Anna’s father’s suicide from her. The space to the right gives room for Kurt’s gestures while the strong side lighting on Monika's face enables the viewer to see her reaction to Kurt’s questions.
Conclusions: This was a good exercise and I have learned to look at framing and balance in a different way. I shall continue to watch films and learn more about composition, depth, balance and the meaning that can be inferred from their subtle combinations.