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1. Lighting

One way Benigni illustrates the change of events from a happy family life to a concentration camp is the use of lighting. Before Guido and his family is sent to the concentration camp, every scene uses a warm light, even at night. This definitely goes well with the warm Italian countryside however as the film progresses and Guido and his family is sent off to the concentration camp, lighting changes to the opposite of warm lighting; cool lighting. Almost in every concentration camp scene, Benigni uses cool lighting which establishes a really sharp, edgy, and a heartless mood which contributes to the aimed theme which is a dark theme. The cool lighting has a lot more blue tones as opposed to warm lighting where there is more yellow.
Before Concentration Camp (Warm Light)
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During Concentration Camp (Cool Light)
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2. Cinematography

Benigni also skillfully implants a lot of shots (cinematography) that establishes power. An example would be with Joshua and the tank at the end. When the tank stops in front of Joshua, two different shots are used. One is a shot from the tank looking down onto Joshua. The camera angle makes Joshua look small and very weak. The other shot is a worms eye view of the tank from Joshua’s perspective that makes the tank look powerful. The intended effect is to not make the tank overpowering towards Joshua in a bad way but the intended effect is to make the tank seem like this great and mighty hero, big and powerful, and here to save the Joshua.
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3. Editing

Though editing techniques aren’t so blatantly obvious, there are still some editing techniques used to create meaning such as cross cutting. When Guido is working as a waiter in the concentration camp, he turns on a phonograph and points it’s speaker out the window for the entire concentration camp to hear (cough..shawshank…cough…redemption) specifically for his wife. Now the cross cuts begin because the next shot changes to Guido’s wife getting out of her bed to go to the window and then the next shot is back to Guido looking out the window and then it once again changes back to Guido’s wife. Through the great acting of both actors and the cross cutting editing, the audience is reassure that though Guido and his wife have been “separated”, they never actually will be and the editing technique and the connection they share through music without even seeing each other is really extraordinary.
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4. Sound

Last but not least, sound is used to establish meaning. After we discover Guido gets married, we think life is perfect for him and his family because of sound. The music is very lively and happy however the shots do not represent the same joy the music represents. When Guido and his family are on the bicycle, they take a turn into a courtyard filled with Nazi soldiers, which is the first appearance of them in the movie. Obviously, this was a very bad thing at the time, we know it and Guido knew it however due to the happy and lively music during the Nazi soldier shots, we can tell that Guido does not let the Nazi soldiers bring him down mentally and though there is a negative force on screen, a positive force is heard through the music.
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