Monika Correa
Posted: 19/8/14
Week 3 – Compositional Interpretation

Film One

Contextual Information:

Director: Wes Anderson
Title: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Year of Creation: 2014

Running time:100 minutes
Collection/ Source: film
Technique: film still image
Genre: Comedy
Image URL/ Origin: film

Scene: 1:22:10 – 1:22:30

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In this particular scene the main character Gustave. H the hotels concierge and his lobby boy are in disguise as Mendl’s delivery. They have dropped off Hagether the young Mendl’s baker to retrieve a painting named ‘Boy With Apple’. As they are waiting outside The Grand Budapest Hotel the two discuss that they will not be entering the hotels doors again. They are then rudely interrupted in deep conversation by the hotel owner Dimitri’s car pulling up at the doors of the hotel. They confirm they will have to enter one last time to save Hagether from being caught out.

Colour Analysis

The film in itself has very beautiful sets and costume design. This scene is an exceptional example of the use of contrasting colours. The colour pallet is very lively with pastel pink and blue as their primary colours. The skin tones stand out from the characters and compliment the rest of the scene. The aesthetic theme of the film is very consistent through out and project very pleasing visuals.

Spatial Organisation

In this scene the door from the car frames the characters and directs the focus onto their facial expressions. There is directional placement of the characters leaning towards the window and looking out. The camera moves in closer to the characters in the car catching their facial expressions. The camera angle changes to looking out of the window and seeing what Gustav. H and Lobby boy are seeing. A car pulls up and in this particular shot the Mendl’s van window is acting as a frame so you become one of the characters looking out to the hotel.


There is a source of light coming from the left hand side of the Mendl’s van images that highlight and contour the characters faces. The overall still image from the film has a lot of light to emphasis the use of colour, it keeps the film positive and comedic. As the scene changes to the view of the hotel has similar light source with very little shadowing only under the vehicles pulling up to the main entrance.


The director’s vision for the movie has been extremely successful. Wes Andersons use of colour and placing of characters and objects in different levels resembles elements of theatre staging. It is an entertaining film with each scene resembling an artwork.

The set ratio of the film is very smart and suited to the time frame of the film. Wes Anderson has chosen to set the movie to16:9 which is a standard HDTV film ration. The beginning of the film is placed in 16:9 ratio but as they go back in time its set to 4:3 which was the standard TV ration before the 1950’s. The rest of the film is dated back to 1932 and onwards. Anderson has done this to allow the viewer to feel apart of that by using the fast past camera angels and scene changes and the use of colour and light.

Film Two

Contextual Information:

Director: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Title: Chicken Run
Year of Creation: 2000

Running time: 84 minutes
Collection/ Source: film
Technique: film still images
Genre: Animation, Family, Comedy
Image URL/ Origin: film

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In this particular scene a rooster named Rocky is holding the chicken farms first flying class. The class is held in order to set up a great escape from their untimely death at Mr. and Ms. Tweedy’s chicken farm where their fate lies in being a key ingredient for chicken pie. Rocky the rooster is going through the skills you need to fly. He repeats the term ‘hard work’ and is interrupted by another Rooster in the farm.

Colour Analysis

The animators have made the characters very bright and authentic. They have very bright red features and are mostly brown skin tones. As for the foreground the surroundings that the chickens are in are quiet depressing and tiresome. The animators have designed the chicken houses to be rundown and untidy. The directors have done this to portray the conditions the chickens live in. The sky in the background has beautiful pink and yellow pastels to represent the early rise of the morning.

Spatial Organisation

In the first part of the scene the shot is on a bird’s eye level of the chicken coops that stand in rows next to one another. There are two sources of light that come from the back of the shot. They’re shining on the large wired fence that scapes the surroundings of the chicken farm. This was to remind the viewers of the strict conditions they live in. The shot has zoomed out and the audience has a larger view of the chicken farm, the sun rises and the time of day is now morning.

The angle of the scene moves to the left and you see the crowd of chickens facing the rooster. The focal point is on the rooster who is teaching the chickens to fly. He is standing at the front of one of the chicken coops, which directs the eyes to the colourful character while the rest stand around in a ‘u’ shape watching on. The short changes to just the characters top half of his body. As the rooster talks, the focus changes in the scene to the older rooster standing in the foreground. He yells out to the rooster who is teaching the chickens to fly. This spatial organisation directs the viewer to change their focus onto the older rooster and to listen to what he is saying. The shot and focal point then changes so the viewer is now looking at Rocky the rooster and behind him is the crowd of hens.


The director has chosen to change the light source for the time of day. The chickens have started training at the crack of dawn so you are shown the change from night to day in the first part of the scene. In the foreground you see the beautiful morning sky with tones of yellows and pinks. There is light on the left hand side of Rocky’s face in the close up shot of him talking to the crowd of hens.


Bell, P, (2001). Content Analysis of Visual Images. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.10 – 35). SAGE.

Hansen, Lone Koefoed (2014). What’s in a word? :why natural isn’t objectively better. Interactions 21 (1) pp.22-23