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Snow Falling on Cedars

  • Date Submitted: 02/16/2012 12:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.8 
  • Words: 866
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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A truly engrossing cinematic experience, 'Snow Falling on Cedars' is a fascinating, complex film that uses symbolism to portray its ideas. It is a powerful story that deals with big life issues such as love, loss, hate and everything else in between. The personal issues of the characters symbolise the larger conflicts in the world outside of the tranquil village. The framing of shots are carefully done, filled with dark hues that provoke nostalgia and emotion. The widescreen composition allows the striking images to breathe, creating a visually stunning film accompanied by an incredible score.

While the important issues of life are explored, the small details are not forgotten. An extreme close up of a solitary flame, the meaningful echo of a horn wailing in the distance, powerful, sharp waves crash on a pebbled beach, a dying fish flaps about; our senses are captivated and aroused. Some of the most stunning visuals lie in the strangely beautiful underwater shots: the drowned fisherman floating, the hazy fog, Ishmael descending into the water in combat gear in his attempt to participate in an attack on the enemy’s beach.

Most of the film is shot using extreme close-ups and intricately composed, stunning landscapes. Scott Hick’s fantastic camera work and astonishingly beautiful cinematography make for imagery that is so artistically well done so as to stand the test of time for years, and is perfectly complimented by the haunting score. Careful thought is put into each frame, including silhouette lighting, creative and complex scenes filmed through windows, refined blocking, and scenes in which the camera, characters and props were moving in various directions to establish fantastically flowing perspective shots that gradually unfold to reveal the contents of the scene. The editing creates a powerfully poignant experience, consisting of a series of flashbacks and cuts which tell the character’s backstories. The character’s monologues overlap each other to...

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