Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy Framing is a vital part of the film making process. It sets the mood, brings attention to sutleties, and can show us the real intentions of a character. For example, would the scene with the famous shot from between the legs of Mrs. Robinson in the movie The Graduate be as memorable if it instead showed a close up of Dustin Hoffman as he entered the room? Or the final shoot out in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Would there be more impact with an American shot of Clint Eastwood? The answer is obvious, of course not. The Kevin Smith masterpiece, Chasing Amy, follows those memorable scene’s by showing the evolution of the two main characters, Holden (Ben Affleck) and Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), relationship from friends to lovers with framing and other cinematographic methods. Cinematography- The art or technique of movie photography, including both the shooting and the development of a film, (American Heritage, 159) but you probably have not even noticed it.

Cinematography has existed for as long as film has, but it has not really been considered an art for until the late 1930’s, early 1940’s. It can be used in many different forms, artistic expression, political belief’s, or even used to satire pop culture. Chasing Amy follows this pattern of cinematography with showing the relationships of Holden and Alyssa change into a budding romance. Chasing Amy is a romantic comedy about people who write comic books for a living whose most passionate conversations can involve the sex lives of Archie and Jughead, (Ebert, 138) and is the third installment of Smith’s New Jersey Trilogy. The New Jersey Trilogy consists of two other films as well.

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The critically acclaimed Clerks and the not so critically acclaimed, Mallrats. Clerks had been over-praised, Mallrats has been over-bashed, third time’s the charm, (View Askew.com) Smith said on his website. The movie stars Ben Affleck as Holden McNeel, an aspiring comic book artist who falls in love with another comic book artist, Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). As the movie goes on, you find out that Alyssa is a lesbian and all the encounters she had with men which led her to make that decision. But in one key moment when Holden admits his feelings to Alyssa, the whole pace of the movie changes.

Alyssa decides to take a chance and decides that Holden is the one for her as she throws her whole world upside down to be with him. But in the end, her radical and experimental life style is too much for Holden as he finds out a little to much of her past for his liking and throws it all away. But finding out the hard way of the error of his ways he finds out that it is too late and learns the lesson it’s not who you love, but how. (View Askew.com) Holden’s inability to deal with aspects of Alyssa’s sexual history mirrors Smith’s own problems dealing with aspects of (his girlfriend’s) past (Gin, 543) makes this a very personal film for Smith, and he shows it in the way he films this movie. The first encounter that Holden and Alyssa have alone together is in a bar.

It is the same day that they met and they are still trying to get to know each other.So Alyssa brings up the idea to play darts and Holden politely accepts the offer. While they are playing darts, they get to know each other better by discussing their current projects, Holden is a successful comic book creator and artist with his comic book Bluntman and Chronic, while Alyssa is not as successful in her own right with her project titled Idiosyncratic Routine. As the scene goes on you can see that both of them have a mutual understanding, and according to Holden, both of them have shared a moment.

The way that Kevin Smith went about showing this vital scene is by having a point of view shot from the dartboard. This shot showed both Holden and Alyssa standing next to each other. Also since the dartboard is a stationary object, you don’t have any movement in the scenes the framing is primarily focused on them so not to distract from the viewer to focus from the pair.Also the use of deep focus comes in handy.

For example, when one of them ran out of darts to throw they would walk up to retrieve them, while they were doing this the camera would use deep focus to show the other in the background, sutilly checking the other one out. Also if you notice, the sides that they stand on in the scene reflect their stance on life. Holden, the more conservative of the two is on the right, while Alyssa, the more liberal, is far to the left of Holden. The next time the two meet is at a bar, once again.

This time Alyssa invited Holden to come see her.When Alyssa goes up to the stage and sings a song with her old band, she dedicates a song to a special someone. Holden automatically thinks that it was him.

After Alyssa sang a throughty rendition of a Debie Gibson tune (Chasing Amy) she signaled for someone special to come closer to the stage. Holden thinking that it was him smiled to himself like a smitten little school boy only to see Alyssa run off stage and passionately kiss another woman. When I wrote this scene, I couldn’t wait to see it with an audience – particularly my audience, Smith said (View Askew.com) when he was interviewed about this movie.He wanted to show how people think that a relationship can go one way, then drastically turn another way. The way he proved that was how he dealed with the soroundings of the club.

Once again the framing was mainly focused on Holden and Alyssa when they first bumped into each other at the club. The camera was stationary with a middle shot of the bar in the back ground. The First Alyssa enters t …