Essay Leaving Las Vegas

1352 WordsFeb 24, 20056 Pages
Leaving Las Vegas, directed by Mike Figgis and based on the autobiographical novel by John O'Brien, is an emotional story about an alcoholic who rejects life and wants to drink himself to death in Las Vegas, and an unselfish prostitute who loves him the way he is. Ben, played by Nicholas Cage, was a former movie producer in Los Angeles and has obviously crumbled in the glamour world of Hollywood which is shown in the opening scene. Here Ben is already an alcoholic when he disturbs former colleagues that are embarrassed of his appearance at the restaurant. Ben is unstable and a mess when one of the men give him money and tell him not to contact him again. Ben then gets fired and ultimately decides to drink himself to death in Las Vegas, a…show more content…
Figgis mainly used multiple shots to emphasize the two protagonist's interactions with each other. The two shot and the over-the-shoulder shot were used often to build a situation or emotion between the two characters before usually going over to a close up to highlight how each character reacts by their facial expressions. The director mainly used eye level shots, to leave it up to the audience to judge the two main characters of the movie, although certain power struggles in the film are shown from high angles to illustrate someone dominating a conversation or argument. Figgis also uses some point of view shots to show the imbalance during Ben's drunken periods where the camera is placed at an oblique angle to show tension and approaching movements. The images in the film are in high contrast with streaks of blackness and harsh shafts of light to underline the dramatic events that occur. When it comes to the editing, Figgis mainly used cutting to continuity to preserve the fluidity of most events without the necessity to show them all. The director also uses flash-forwards a few times to give you an idea about the destiny of Sera, which is shown when she reflects about her encounter with Ben to an invisible therapist. Figgis also shot the movie using Super 16mm film to give it a tense, documentary feel. The music is also very unique because the jazzy soundtrack isn't the
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