directed by: Kenji Mizoguchi


IMDB link:

Submitted by Adriano Apra, Sara Leggi, Simone Starace on 2008-06-20

Adriano Apra, Sara Leggi, Simone Starace's comment:
Source: MK2 PAL DVD (2007) .
Shot length has been obtained (at 25 f/s) with an iMovie program on Mac. Recalculated to 24 fps.
Shot scale has been adapted to your standards, although we found quite uneasy to apply your 7 element shot scale to a film such as this one, or to any other film for that matter (although we understand your and Barry Salt's reasons for this simplification). From our point of view, a 9 element shot scale would be much better with the "other" category (mainly "inserts" we guess) to be discussed: what, for example, about a (nonfiction) film where animals, or insects, or "nature", would be the main centre of interest? Most of the shots, in the absence of "humans", would be defined as "inserts"? As a matter of fact, we are adding to the analysis we are doing for ourselves two more specifications: full shot (assimilated here to your medium long shot) and what we call in Italian campo medio (assimilated here to your long shot), which is sometimes named in English medium long shot (and your medium long shot could become from our point of view medium close shot). Thanks for comments.

Number of shots:
MSL 4.1 14 4.4 19.7 27.6 39.3 2.8
StDev 0.5 12.1 13.1 61.9 54.2 79.8 5.8
Min 3.6 11 2.6 3.5 4.2 4.7 2.6
Max 4.6 41.8 37.2 172.9 191.8 381.3 15.1
CV 0.12 0.58 1.04 1.08 1.21 1.15 0.86

Step: Vertical resolution: Height:
Degree of the trendline: Moving average : Color code?

Users' comments:

Author: Yuri Tsivian Date: 2008-06-22

Adjust Height to 750 and Vert. res. to 5 for a more convenient view.

A comment to the shot scales remark found in your "authors' comment" line. It might be a good idea to use more than 7 categories for those, for it is true that different filmmakers have different habits and preferences in choosing distances between the camera and the object it looks at. In addition, in different languages similar terms may be used for different categories, as you point out for some Italian terms. Thirdly, as you point out, not all films are about people, so it becomes a problem what we need, for instance, to define a shot with a giraffe: if we include her neck and shoulders into the close-up category, our close-up becomes more like long shot, really.

Here are a few quick thoughts about this.

Your point about animals. We probably must adjust scales to figures, not spaces. A film about insects will use a grasshopper as a yardstick, and the same goes to an elephant drama. I am not sure about bacteria, but most films I can think of from animal life (animation in particular) will make a distinction between heads and figures, groups and individuals etc. This is by the way an interesting problem to explore -- how the camera distance adapts to the animal movie genre -- how exactly did filmmakers like Cooper and Schoedsack segment the anatomy of tigers and elephants in films like Chang?

Your point about the fact that applying a ready grid of shot scales to a real movie makes one feel uneasy, for one always makes compromises. I, too, have experiences this, and I think this uneasiness is endemic to the task. Practice will never live up to grids, but this does not entail that grids are irrelevant to practice. The best guidelines here would be to study the scale terms as used by the filmmakers themselves. We ought not forget that such terms as "close-up" or "long shot" are not critical terms -- these are industry terms. Any of you reads Japanese? If so I think the next good move might be to sit down and read Kenji Misoguchi's continuity script for Zangiku monogatari. Continuity scripts mark shots with scales. The names and the number of scales he used in this film as assessed against the number of terms used across the Japanese film industry in the 1930s would serve as the best guedeline, I believe.

A technical comment. If you find a film that does not quite fit in the Cinemetrics Advances scale mode grid, one can choose the "customize" option and create your own grid. It will still be 8, but you can be more flexible this way.


Author: Barry Salt Date: 2008-06-26

When I assign a value of scale or closeness to a shot, I do not categorize  Insert Shots separately, but give them a scale by visualizing ot imagining what size a person would be in the shot if they were at the centre of interest. So a tight shot of an alarm clock, say, would be classed as a Big Close Up (BCU), while a tight shot of a motor bicycle (without rider), would probably be an MLS or MS. I do add up all the Insert Shots in a film separately, and tabulate them separately, along with reverse angles and POV shots, so they appear in one of my tables of films on the Barry Salt database on the Cinemetrics site. My analyses are only meant to deal with fiction films, so animal documentaries do not come into it. Obviously you could apply my way of dealing with Scale of Shot to films that only contained animals, which in a certain sense could to be made up entirely of Insert Shots. Or you could create your own scale based on the particular animal thefilm is about, as Yuri suggests. I would note that wild-life documentaries  almost entirely show whole animals in shot, at various greater distances, for obvious reasons.

If you are using your own Scale of Shot divisions for ordinary feature films, or anything else, they should ideally be described as accurately as possible, or better yet illustrated, as I have done for my Shot Scales.

By the way, there has been a change in the English-speaking film industry in recent times from using the term "Insert Shot", as was usual in the 'Thirties and 'Forties, to using the category "Pick-Up Shot", but I am going to continue using "Insert Shot" for this kind of shot.

If you enter your own shot scales in the Cinemetrics machine, it would be best to keep them in order of size, so that Gunar's spectrum-based colour coding works from red for the closest to blue for the most distant, which helps pick out any trend in Shot Scale over the course of the film. (See "Zvenigora" for and example of this, in contrast with "The White Sheik", say, where there is no trend.


Author: sdfsdf Date: 2011-02-13


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