Look, Listen, and Analyze

I decided to watch Heath Ledger’s scene as the Joker talking with the mob bosses. (I have never seen this movie, so I went in blind!)

I first watched the video on mute, then only the audio, and then the whole scene over again with the video and audio.

Visual Only

I have only heard of this movie, but haven’t watched it before. Though I didn’t have a clear idea of the context, it was pretty easy to tell the mood and tone of the scene through the lighting. It was dark and moody with a lot of camera cuts, most of the time cutting between Ledger and each of the mob bosses. There were some over the shoulder shots at the beginning to gain perspective of the room, and then started slowly zooming in as the scene seemed to get more intense. Not having audio left me to focus on the emotions on the actor’s faces. There were a lot of mid-range shots, which was helpful for interpreting body language.

Only Audio

At the beginning of the scene, things were pretty calm, but got louder and faster paced as the scene went on. There was violence at the beginning, which caused the room to quiet. From the audio, you could tell there were different parties in the room and I was able to picture what was going on in my head as I was listening. The dialogue was laced with ominous background music and went quieter when the Joker was talking. I took that as though he was the one controlling the situation.


Having both the audio and the video creates the full picture and is what makes good film. I analyzed some of the shots this time around, noticing the over-the-shoulder shots to see the room and the fact that the Joker seemed to center the shot. The shots tightened on the speakers faces as the climax of the scene happened; the combination of the audio and video creates emotion and connection to the characters.

Overall, being able to look at one shorter clip to analyze helped set the stage for any future film analysis that I might do. Breaking down the process helped to create a three step realization and putting together-of the facts in order to get the full message. This activity helped me to realize that there is a lot more to analyzing film than I thought!

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