I enjoy a film with good cinematography and was excited about this assignment. Although when I began watching “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” I realized that the cinematography that I had grown to love was quite different from black and white pictures with older technology and techniques.
Characters wore contrasting clothing from one another to create differences between them. While this is done in modern times, it is essential with older film for the purpose of distinguishing groups of individuals.
The camera did not pan out as much on scenery (compared to the frequent shots/panoramas done in modern film) and always contained action or purpose. There was never just a shot of a mountain on it’s own for imagery’s sake.
And the bad guys possessed the stereotypical “dark image”; they were placed in the shadows, filmed at night, and wore darker clothing. Once again, while this is also done in modern film, it seemed essential in establishing character roles.
While it was different from what I was expecting, I appreciated this assignment because it once again exposed me to a new (at least to me) version of an already much beloved art form.