Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Film Content Development - Linking my Film to 'La Haine' (Kassovitz, 1995)


This post gathers all I have found from researching 'La Haine' and explains how the film will serve the final production of my short film.

The group of three meet with another minor character.
As La Haine was a one-off film representing something that happened in real life, Kassovitz had to previsualise his techniques for filmmaking before shooting actually begun. Interestingly, despite the event in reality being surrounded by just one specific narrative - the riots as a result of police injustice - Kassovitz explored more than one story in the film. This is a very hard thing to maintain in a ninety-minute feature film. I believe that he achieved this through continuously changing the filming styles and techniques. There are some shots that are used more than once in La Haine, but the frequent alteration between MLS and tracking, between BCUs of the characters' faces and cutting on action - this contributes to the fantastic narrative of the film. I hope to incorporate this style of filmmaking. I believe that it will aid me in proving my filming talent as well as maintaining an enjoyable, professional narrative.

Mathieu Kassovitz claims he knew the ending to La Haine before he knew the rest of the story - "everything is about the end, the last few seconds" [Kassovitz, 1999]. I feel a lot more confident actually filming something rather than developing a narrative or treatment. Despite this, I hope to have previsualised the storyline of my short film before the summer holidays in order to maximise the amount of time I have for filming.

I admire Kassovitz's use of merging Vinz's fingers with the barrel of the gun here.  Not only is it hard to tell whether it is a use of CGI or just a custom-made prop, it is simple and potentially unnoticeable upon first viewing, but very effective in developing a hostile atmosphere.

It is very interesting to see Kassovitz not use a single character to drive the narrative in the film. Instead, La Haine is a story of three characters. It is never clear whether one of the three protagonists is given priority. The film begins and ends with Said's eyes opening and closing; the narration at the end is provided by Hubert and Vinz is shown alone more than the others. I believe that this helps to make the film so powerful in representing all those affected by the riots - not one single person should have been portrayed as it was an event that influenced many. I think my film will focus on only two or three characters too. This is obviously an easier decision in creating a plot and providing an simpler task in logistics - casting fewer people means that it is a lot more straight forward in finding time to shoot with all characters.

My early decision to produce a film noir sequence was influenced by this film. As one of my favourite films, I have to explain what about it makes it one of my most memorable watches. The fact that the entire film was shot in colour but Kassovitz then decided to print the filmstock in black and white is very effective. He claimed that this fitted the story much better and I would agree with this statement.

Kassovitz clearly prioritised framing when designing specific shots.
In conclusion, I believe that La Haine will greatly influence the style of filming I undertake in creating my short film. His cinematography in the film inspires me to take his approach and make something new out of it. 'Fierrot Le Pou' will be heavily linked to the narrative/plot of my short film...

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