I’m not even going to gush about how much I love Good Will Hunting, because honestly at this point, if you don’t love Good Will Hunting, what’s up? It doesn’t help that I love Matt Damon and anything Boston. But besides Matt Damon and Boston, this movie is known for being just so smart, in every sense of the word. When I was in my intro to cinema studies, one thing we did all the time was scene analysis in terms of the mise-en-scene. Which is just a fancy word for every single thing about the scene, from the costume to the camera angles. So I practiced a little about what I’ve learned in that class on this classic bar scene. The lighting is dim, but they want to make it seem as if most of the light source is coming from the neon signs that surround the bar. There’s a red haze on all the characters faces. The editing is all jump cuts, to make it seem as natural as possible. Similar, the camera work in the beginning are tracking shots, following the character’s movements without cutting. The first shot is from over the bar’s counter, as if we were looking at them from behind the bar. Once the male characters start in conversation with the girls and Harvard boy, it’s all jump cuts and over the shoulder shots. Again to make it seem like we, the viewer, are there watching this conversation really happen. We never really see both Will and the other boy’s face together in the same shot. It’s similar to what Ebert says in his writings about putting the audience in the situation with the characters, as to really engage them. The audio work is similar to nearly any bar scene you will see in almost any movie. The background noise is loud enough where you know it’s there, but soft enough that you can hear the dialogue between the characters that’s actually important. The background noise here is light conversation, light classic music, maybe the occasional pool table noise. Just really “classic bar” sounds. The dialogue between the characters really emphasizes the Boston accent. Count how many times they managed to say “Hahvahd”.
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