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Death’s Marathon Shot0By-Shot Analysis

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Shot-by-shot Analysis of “Death’s Marathon” dir. D. W.

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Griffith. (1913) Shot 1(straight-on angle): •White text on black background written, ” To find his friend before he losses all” (2 seconds). Cut to Shot 2 (medium long shot, slightly low angle): •Front of house, with stairs slightly to the right of shot and potted plant on either side of stairs. Friend (man) enters from right and walks up stairs (2 seconds). Cut to Shot 3 (medium shot, straight-on angle): •Interior of living room where foreground is pretty vacant but background has a study and a desk with a vase with flowers in it.

There are three ladies standing: Two nurses on either side of the wife. wife asks maid on left something (1 second) then turns back towards camera (1 second) to ask maid on right also (2 second). Turns back to face camera (2 seconds). Then knock on door (presumably by friend) startles maids and wife and the maid on the left exits shot (3 seconds). Re-enter maid and friend from the left. Friend asks about husband with sharp hand movements (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 4 (medium long shot, slightly high angle): interior of room with gambling table 3/4 shown on the bottom left corner of shot (foreground) and five men sitting around it gambling and doorman standing in background (2 seconds). Doorman turns to open door (1 second). Cut to Shot 5 (medium close-up, high angle): •Gambling table with chips and cards on table, and one player’s hands (player to the left of husband) holding cards, places them down and takes all the chips in the centre of table(3 seconds). Cut to Shot 6 (same as shot 4) •(setting same as shot 4) and the man to the left of the husband swipes able and brings all his winnings to him and begin to stack up chips (2 seconds) then husband harshly throws two cards on the table, one at a time (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 7 (medium long shot, straight-on angle) •friend on the left of shot, speaking with wife, on the right of shot turned towards each other with their forearms elevated in foreground of shot. Two maids standing in the background (2 seconds). Then friend and maid standing on left exit shot to the left (1 second) and maid on the right exits to the right of shot, leaving wife to stand alone in the centre of shot (2 seconds).

Cut to. Shot 8 (long shot, slightly low angle): •(setting like shot 2) friend walks down stair and out of house (2 seconds) Shot 9 (same as shot 4) •(setting same as shot – but without doorman) Player to the right of husband and husband place chips into the centre of table respectively (3 seconds). They both fold cards and player to the right of husband swipes all the chips in the centre of table towards him and laughs (5 seconds). Husband bangs fists on table and gets up and exits door in background while man sitting on the right of shot gets up to congratulate man on who won (5 seconds).

Cut to. Shot 10 (long shot, straight-on angle): • shot of exterior of house with big pillars and stairs on left of screen. Husband walks down two steps, pauses, then continues walking and exits out from the right (5 seconds): Shot 11 (medium long shot, straight-on angle) •interior of room (like shot 3). Wife has back to camera and walks towards the background with worried expression (right hand clasped on face) and then turns to the left of shot (8 seconds). Cut to. Shot 12 (long shot, straight-on angle): exterior of house (like shot 10) car drives through and parks in front of stairs on the right of shot with friend in the car. Friend gets off, converses with driver then walks into the house (4 seconds). Cut to. Shot 13 (medium long shot, slightly high angle) •interior of house (like shot 9). Friend barges into room, and walks over to gambling table where game is going on. Presumably asks players and spectators where husband is, they reply and friends leaves the room (7 seconds). Cut to. Shot 14 (long shot, straight-on angle) Friend runs out of house (same setting as shot 10) from left of shot, down stairs and into his car. His drivers drives him away, exit right of shot (4 seconds). Cut to. Shot 15 (medium long shot, straighten angle) •shot of husband walking on the street along shops, one which has “rokers” written on window on the left of screen. He walks towards the shop, pauses to stare at it and then walks in (4 seconds). Cut to. Shot 16 (medium shot, straight on) • interior of ‘Rokers’ shop. There is a desk with a telephone on it, and chair in the foreground.

The background though is more cluttered with a study, stacks of books, a rocking chair and cabinets . Husband enters through door on the right of shot. inspects the space, takes his hat off then unbuttons his jacket, pulls a gun that he’s been keeping in his pocket out and sits down on chair and is inspecting the gun (21 seconds). Cut to. Shot 17 (long shot, slightly high angle) •shot of exterior of house (like shot 2). Friend’s car drives in from right of screen and parks in front of steps leading up to house front door. Friend gets off car and walks briskly into the house (5 seconds). Cut to.

Shot 18 (medium long shot, slightly high angle): •interior of room (like shot 3), wife sitting on chair on the right side of the foreground. Then enters maid with friend. Cut to. Shot 19 (medium shot, straight on) •interior of room (like shot 16). Husband sitting on chair, leaning against table with telephone near his elbow. Husband looks at gun, chuckles then looks at telephone and picks it up (8 seconds). cut to. Shot 20 (medium shot, straight-on) •interior of room (like shot 3), friend and wife talking then phone rings and friend picks it up (5 seconds). cut to. Shot 21 (medium shot, straight-on) Interior of room (like shot 16), husband sitting on seat leaned against table speaking on telephone (4 seconds). Cut to. Shot 22 (medium shot, straight-on) •interior of room (like shot 3) friend laughs on phone then wife gets up looking relieved and happy (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 23 (medium shot, straight on) •husband in same pose as in shot 21 continues to speak on the phone looking at his gun which is now pointed towards the ceiling (5 seconds). Cut to Shot 24 (title) •White text on black background that reads, “Determined upon suicide” (3 seconds) Shot 25 (medium shot, straight-on) friend and wife standing in the middle of interior of room (like shot 3), friend speaking on the phone and wife standing looking over shoulder (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 26 (medium shot, straight-on) •interior of room (like shot 16) with husband in same position as shot 21, continues to laugh and talk; still pointing gun to ceiling (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 27 (medium shot, straight-on) •friend and wife in same position as shot 25, friend getting angry, hands wife the telephone then exits to the left of shot. Wife speak on the phone with softer, happier expression (11 seconds).

Cut to Shot 28 (Long shot, straight-on) •friend exits house, gets into car, then is briskly giving instructions to his driver pointing forward. The car drives off and exits to the right of the shot leaving a dust trail behind (3 seconds). Cut to. Shot 29 (Medium shot, straight on) •Husband sitting in same position as shot 21 and continues to speak on the phone and absentmindedly play with his gun (5 seconds). Cut to. Shot 30 (medium shot, straight-on) •interior of room (like shot 3), wife standing in the centre and continues to speak on the phone and occasionally smiling (5 seconds).

Cut to. Shot 31 (long shot, straight on) •shows friend’s car turning onto main road from left of shot and driving towards audience (3 seconds). Cut to. Shot 32 (medium shot, straight-on) •interior of house (like shot 3) with wife in same position as shot 30. Wife now looks worried and is accentuating the things she is saying over the phone (6 seconds). Cut to Shot 33 (medium shot, straight-on) •setting and husband in same position as shot 21. Husband laughs once and looks at his gun (4 seconds). Cut to Shot 34 (medium shot, straight-on) wife in interior of room (like shot 30) and continues to look worried in and disagree into the phone, but after starts smiling and calming down slightly (13 seconds). Cut to. Shot 35 (medium shot, straight on) •same as shot 29 (2 seconds). Cut to Shot 36 (medium shot, straight-on) •wife in interior of room (like shot 3) and continues to speak on the phone worriedly. She then puts the phone down and moves off screen from the right (5 seconds). Cut to. Shot 37 (medium shot, straight on) •interior of room like shot 21, but the man stops speaking and puts the phone down (2 seconds). Cut to.

Shot 38 (medium long shot, straight on) •interior like shot 3, wife frantically walking around room then moves off screen from the right (4 seconds). Cut to Shot 39 (medium long shot, straight-on) •interior of room which as a curtain on the right, a lot of empty space in the centre, a chair and a cabinet on the foreground to the right and a cabinet in the background on the left. The wife enters through the curtains on the left puts hand up and looks exhausted (3 seconds). Cut to. Shot 40 (medium shot, straight-on) •husband sitting on a chair in the same interior of room as shot 16.

He looks straight at the camera and thinks then proceeds to write something down on (8 seconds). Cut to. Shot 41 (long shot, straight on) •car driving on windy road at fast speed (3 seconds). Cut to Shot 42 (medium shot, straight on) •husband sitting in same interior of room as shot 16 holding telephone in one hand and the gun in the other (gun pointing towards viewer). His eyes get droopy and he looks from the gun straight to the camera then smiles slightly (10 seconds). Cut to. Shot 43 (medium shot, straight-on) •same interior of room as shot 39, wife looks panicked, maid enters frame rom right side carrying baby and they all exit through the curtain on the left of the frame (3 seconds). Cut to Shot 44 (medium shot, straight-on) •wife and maid holding baby enters interior of room (like shot 3) from right. Wife picks up phone looking worried still and maid and baby stand to her left looking concerned (3 seconds). Cut to Shot 45 (medium shot, slightly high angle) •interior of room (like shot 16) husband is still sitting looking at his gun, then something on the telephone catches his attention and he puts it to his ear (3 seconds). ut to. Shot 50 (medium shot, straight on) •same setting and positioning as shot 44. Wife puts phone to baby’s ear and tries to get him/her to speak (5 seconds). Cut to. Shot 51(medium shot, straight on) •same setting and positioning as shot 45, husbands looks more happy to hear the voice on the phone (3 seconds). Cut to Shot 52 (medium shot, straight-on) •same as shot 50 (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 53 (medium shot, straight on) •same setting and position as shot 51, husband looks relieved but sad. (3 seconds). Cut to. Shot 54 (medium shot, straight on) same setting and shot as 44 wife tells maid and baby to leave, they exit to the left of the shot then wife continues to speak on the phone (3 seconds). Cut to Shot 56 (long shot, straight on) •shot of streets and car driving fast down in (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 57 (medium shot, straight-on) •same setting as shot 44. Wife standing in the centre of shot continues to speak on the phone (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 60 (medium shot, straight on) •same setting as shot 45, husband puts phone down and slowly brings gun up to temple (6 seconds). Cut to. Shot 61 (medium shot, straight on) Wife in same setting and position as shot 57. She continues to listen attentively to the phone, then has two shocks when she hears something on the phone. (12 seconds). Cut to. Shot 62 (medium shot, straight-on) •same setting and position as shot 60, husband takes fuming gun out of mouth slowly (2 seconds). Cut to . Shot 63 (medium shot, straight on) •same setting and positioning as shot 52. Wife now frantically speaking into phone (9 seconds). Cut to. Shot 64 (long shot, straight on) •Friend’s car drives around the corner and parks in front of shop. He gets off quickly (3 seconds).

Cut to. Shot 65 (medium long shot, straight on) •friend runs quickly through door at the background then exits through door on the left of screen (5 seconds). Cut to. Shot 66 (medium long shot) •friend walks into interior of room (like shot 16) then slowly picks up friend by the head and then places him back down (15 seconds). Cut to. Shot 67 (medium shot, straight-on) •wife standing in the same interior as shot 63 speechless (4 seconds). Cut to. Shot 68 (medium shot, straight on) • same interior of room as shot 66 friend stares at dead husband and then picks up telephone. Cut to.

Shot 69 (medium shot, straight on) •Wife still speaking on the phone in interior of room like shot 63 (4 seconds). Cut to. Shot 70 (medium shot, straight on) •friend in same position as shot 68 speaking on the telephone (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 71 (medium shot, straight on) •same as shot 69 (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 72 (medium shot straight on) •same as shot 70 (2 seconds). Cut to. Shot 73 (medium Shot, Straight on) •same setting and position as shot 69, then wife puts telephone down and looks shocked and sad and exits to the right of the shot (13 seconds). Cut to. Shot 74 (long shot, straight on) same interior as shot 39, wife enters from right of shot, can see her profile, then she drops to the floor and her head is partially hidden between the cabinets in the background and foreground (12 seconds). Cut to. Shot 75 (title) •white writing on black background written, “The wife set free from her unfortunate alliance” (6 seconds). Cut to. Shot 76 (medium long shot, slightly high angle) •interior of room, with lots of furniture, wife sitting on chair looking sad, friend enters from left of shot and give a huge bouquet of flower to wife, wife looks slightly happy and hopefully (32 seconds) Written Account of Death’s Marathon” dir. D. W. Griffith. (1913) D. W. Griffith’s “Death’s Marathon” contain certain prominent stylist cinematic features which are evident through the repetitive use of mise-en-scene, specifically the setting and staging of each shot, editing, framing and the level and angle of each shot. Firstly, the mise-en-scene used in this extract of “Death’s Marathon” are specific to the setting, props and movement of characters. In this clip, the settings evident mainly include the interior of rooms in houses or the landscape of the geographical location as evident with the long shots of the roads and town.

These settings are used primarily to show that the story is focused around family and relationship issues as the problems that arise in the story include conflict between marital and business relations. Also, the each setting of the interior of rooms where shot with a short focal length (wide angle) which exaggerated the depth making the distance between the background and foreground seem greater. Apart from the setting, the props used help the viewers distinguish between each interior of the rooms. Also, in each setting there is a different alignment of chairs, desks etc. hich makes certain different props stand out; this allows for objects such as the telephone to become a motif prop. In regards to mise-en-scene, the movement of the character, or lack thereof, is another formal property which is largely evident in this extract because most of the movement is restricted to the small, central area of each shot creating an emphasis on the character’s actions. Apart from being restrictive, the character’s movement is also The angle and distance of framing of the shot in this extract are all very imilar in the sense that most of the shots are either a straight on angle or has a slight hight angle. And the Apart from the miss-en-scene aspect of the extract, the specific editing used, combined with the shot length was another stylistic pattern that was evident. The extract did not have any use of transitions. It only cut from one shot to the next throughout. However, Griffith did use shot-reverse-shot technique when the characters were having a discussion over the telephone specifically when the wife was speaking with her husband leading up to his death.

The build up to the climax (death of husband) used the shot-reverse-shot technique which includes using shots with shorter lengths (2 seconds each) to create a rhythmic beat, much like that of a heart beat. This slow shot length however is also balanced with longer shots (which lasted up to 12 seconds), more specifically evident after the death of the husband which mimicked the speechlessness of the wife. • angle – straight on angle, medium + long shot (quite simple)

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