The Killing


The Killing Essay, Research Paper

The Killing by Stanley Kurbrick (1956) is a crime thriller with a twist. An ex-con by the name of Johnny Clay has planned the perfect robbery. He uses inside men and various well timed distractions so he can clean out the local racetrack?s money office, only to succeed and lose it all at the end.

Shot One

The setting of shot one is an outside racetrack. In this wide shot (w/s) frame. The subject?s are placed screen center. The horses and Jock?s are at the starting gate. The bell rings, and the gates open. The horses begin to make their way around the track. As they move the camera follows panning from the right to the left, making the wide shot (ws) into a long shot (ls). In the back ground the cheering people in the stands of the race track rise to their feet in excitement, as the announcer reports on the race (diegetic sound).

The first shot is brightly lit by the daylight. There is some glare from the sun as the camera pans from right to left. The first cut occurs during the pan as the horses make their way around the track.

Shot Two

The second shot is located inside the racetrack. The shot begins as a wide shot as Marvin Unger enters the extremely large room. The camera continues to shoot, dolling from left to right as Marvin walks through the room (middle ground) making the wide shot to a medium shot.

Marvin passes the cashier?s booth, people in the background, as well as people in the foreground. A spectator can see soft cast-shadows along the back walls as well as on Marvin?s face, as he walks in and out of light and dark areas of the room. Sunlight seems to be coming from the large windows of the race track causing shadows.

A narrator (non-diegetic) reveals to the audience that Marvin has no real interest in the race taking place at that time. So one would wonder why he was there. As he walks he seems to be thinking about something other than the race. The cut occurs between shot two and three, as Marvin approaches the bar, cutting to the bartender.

Shot Three

Same location and soft lighting (no shadows). In this medium shot Marvin enters the frame camera left. Marvin steps up to the bar and orders a general soda from the bartender. Michael (Mike) O?Reilly, who is camera right..

There is a couple (man and women) screen center in the background at the end of the bar. Marvin throws a folded piece of paper on the bar and covers it with his elbow. He then throws a coin down for payment. The bartender makes and hands him the soda. As he wipes the bar he tells Marvin ?$5 dollar win next to the $5 dollar place? (diegetic sound). After saying this the cut between shot three and four occurs as Marvin lifts his elbow from the paper.

Shot Four

This shot is a very short take. It?s a close-up of the folded paper on the bar. On the paper is an address and time. It reads ?504 West Olive, Apartment 4B, 8 p.m.? Same lighting as previous shot. The camera is tilted down with paper screen center. The tilt suggest that the bartender is looking down at it as he takes it. The close-up of the paper draws your attention to it because it is an important part to the plot of the film. The cut between shots four and five occurs as the paper is being slid by the bartender which can be heard (diegetic sound).

Shot Five

The location of shot five and the lighting and camera placement are the same as in shot three. This shot is a match on action shot of the bartender sliding the paper across the bar. Marvin sips the soda once before putting the glass down and exchanging a few words to the bartender unrelated to the paper or the information on it. Marvin walks away from the bar as the camera follows dolling from right to left. Marvin and camera stop. As Marvin close his eyes and listens? the announcer report?s the results of the race (diegetic sound). At

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