The Apartment


The Apartment Essay, Research Paper

 The Apartment

What exactly does the word meaning indicate? The dictionary states meaning as an

implication of a hidden or special significance. In Humanities, the meaning of a film indicates

the content, the perception, of what took place in a film. The main meaning of a film depends of

the interpretation of a person. There could be one meaning or five meanings, but it depends on

the person. The meaning of The Apartment is not a love story, but more of a drama about a man,

C.C. Baxter, on a subconscious quest to become more outspoken and stand-up for himself.

Characters, film techniques, and music all come together to make The Apartment s meaning

come alive.

Characters are very important to a film, without characters, there would not be drama,

action nor dialogue. C.C. Baxter is the main character who, throughout the movie, learns how to

stick up for himself. Mr. Sheldrake and the four executives bribe Baxter into using his

apartment by threatening to fire him. He does not stand up for himself, and lets the executives

push him around. Miss. Kubelick, the love of Baxter s life, helps him realize he is a pushover

and needs to change his life. She helps him on his quest to become a better man, more


Film techniques say a lot about a film. Whether the film is sophisticated, dreary, funny,

romantic or even scary, film techniques help set the mood. In The Apartment, the director chose

to use mostly medium shots and fade-out shots. We can see from the medium close-up shots the

facial expressions of Baxter when he lets the executives from work push him around. The fade-

out shots happen when an important event occurs. For example, when Baxter waits to get into

his apartment, it fades out and goes into a shot of what is happening inside the apartment. From

watching inside the apartment to outside with Baxter, we get a feel that Baxter is not happy with

giving his apartment up. We can see from his body language he wants to say something to the

executives but cannot. The film techniques in The Apartment prove that Baxter is not happy with

being pushed around.

Have you ever seen a movie without sound or music? Maybe that would be exciting in

the early 1900’s, but in 1960 when The Apartment was introduced, people expected to hear

sound and expected to hear music. Music by the 1960’s was a big part in peoples lives, so to

not have music in a movie would be unentertaining. The music in The Apartment ranges from

slow to quick, and soft to loud, depending on the situation. When Baxter is feeling anxious, the

music is loud and quick. When he is feeling pushed around the music is softer and more angry

sounding. When Baxter is pacing around in front of his apartment waiting to get in, the music is

soft, and drawn out, more slow. Music and sound intensify the situation or event in the movie

and even intensifies the emotions shown by the characters.

Even though the characters and the music in The Apartment are crucial to it s meaning,

the film techniques contribute the most. Characters bring drama, and dialogue, music brings

emotions, and film techniques bring the whole movie together.

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