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There are some key points to consider in evaluating--or, more precisely, analyzing--a film. Some of these are linear tension, mise en scene, closed or open visual frame, sound and sound bridges, cuts, takes, scenes, among others. In "10 Minutes," one of the most important elements is levels of linear tension.
In film, vertical lines represent limitedness, no way out, the absence of resolution and options. For example, if the background in a shot is filled with vertical lines behind a hero or heroine, the feeling of doom permeates. Conversely, horizontal lines indicate resolution and continuation, so horizontal lines behind a heroic character indicate problems resolved and optimism. Diagonals combine both and indicate suspense and difficulties that climb painfully to a happy summit of an ultimate resolution, while curves indicate harmony, balance, and unity. In "10 Minutes," the first three dominate.
In Rome, square and wide vertical windows dominate the fore- and backgrounds. Extreme vertical lines, like in the ruined Colosseum, are balanced by the mitigating and strengthening curved lines of the silhouette of the ruins. This indicates that the Rome portion of the story will go well. It is important to note that every vertical closed frame in Rome is balanced by horizontal or curved lines.
In Sarajevo, on the other hand, vertical lines overwhelm the horizontal, or square, lines and shapes. Two examples are the vertical pipe overwhelming the backdoor and the vertical cylinders by the boy's elbow.
In the grounding--another important element--in Rome, people are all coming and going in the foreground, often in diagonal lines to the main character or each other, with people meeting and interested in each other.
In contrast, when people meet in the foreground in Sarajevo, it is most often as they run past each other while they think of themselves and of their own safety, yet here too there is interest in the other and deeply sincere interaction, but this interaction breaks through the preoccupation of self-preservation. There is a painful irony in the mise en scene as the boy runs past the mural painted of a curved rainbow under which stand people linked together hand-in-hand.
In general, in Rome, closed frames and tension are shown in the background while open frames and harmony are shown in the foreground, with symbols of nurturing and good will, like green plants and food, highlighting the foreground mise en scene.
On the other hand, in general, in Sarajevo, closed frames dominate the fore-, mid-, and backgrounds, for example, the struggling jeep and dog in the background, framed by distant vertical lines, seen just before the raid shelling starts. Barriers and bomb-hollowed objects dominate the foreground, while their horizontal shapes are overwhelmed by the other verticals and the ultimate vertical of incoming artillery shells.
The transition cuts between clocks makes a painful comparison between the two worlds of color and leisure versus the black and white world of desperate measures and caressing voices for uncomprehending infants but harsh sharp tones for cognizant children.
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