Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cinematic Spaces Film Reviews: King Kong (1933)

The original King Kong (1933), filmed and produced by Merian. C. Cooper, was based around the giant monster ape and his fascination with one of the main characters in the film. Later adaptations of the film have seen the relationship between the two expanded more, but the original King Kong focuses more on showing the technology that could be used at the time of filming. 
Figure 1
Figure 1 is a scene late on in the film, but shows clearly the difference in size between Kong and the cast, however, the actual size of the King Kong figure was much smaller than the actual cast members; 'Given that the Kong model was no larger than the typical action figure–Yet I’d swear it’s near impossible to tell where one ends and where the other begins.' The films ability to combine scenes together so well made the film quality that much better, but they still had to create a monstrous figure that would terrify or interest the audience due to its sheer size in comparison to the scenery and the cast members, so, much like previous films, there is a sense of scale and height being used give a sense of dominance and superiority to Kong and to increase the monstrous effect that Kong was suppose to have.

Figure 2
One of the less noticeable aspects of the film, was the use of painted backdrops and backgrounds. Figure 2 is a film still of Skull Island, where Kong is help behind the surrounding walls; however, the scene is made to look like a real life island when in fact it's been painted. 'rousing story with huge, never-seen-before visuals'(Bourne 2006), Kong wasn't just noticed for it's use of stop-animation and trick photography, although the scenes were somewhat over looked in the face of such technology, there was still appreciation for the amount of detail put into the backgrounds. 

Figure 3
Figure 3 is a demonstration of how trick photography was used during the filming of Kong. 

'King Kong is often credited as the first to use miniature rear projections to create special effects sequences. Footage of the actors was projected on a small screen, one frame at a time, behind the models as they were animated.'(Miller 2012). The purpose of using trick photography for Kong was to allow the director more freedom with camera manipulation, but to also help create a sense of scale against the actors and the figures of Kong and the dinosaurs. Height and scale is one of the aspects of Kong that was very important as it helped to carry the storyline and the theme of the film. 


Film Still 1 (Figure 1) http://cinemasights.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/king-kong-1933/ 
Film Still 2 (Figure 2) http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i0PNQ9oknwE/T1DhO_Be_YI/AAAAAAAACa8/e6DLI71ouBY/s1600/Dawn+Wall+%232.jpg 
Film Still 3 (Figure 3) http://cdn.hometheaterforum.com/4/48/1000x500px-LL-48e4f04f_Movie_00_Title14032.jpg

James Ewing. In: http://cinemasights.wordpress.com [online] At: http://cinemasights.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/king-kong-1933/ (Accessed on 13/10/12)

Mark Bourne. King Kong. In: www.dvdjournal.com [Online] At: http://www.dvdjournal.com/quickreviews/k/kingkong33.q.shtml (Accessed on:15/10/2012)

Frank Miller. King Kong. In: www.tcm.com [Online] At: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/2690/King-Kong/articles.html (Accessed on 15/10/12)

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