The Devil Cuts and Edits

EDITING

“The power and art of film editing lie in the ways in which hundreds and thousands of discrete images that make up a film can be shaped to make sense or to have an emotional or a visceral impact” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 134).

It is shown in this world that for females to get anywhere, according to Emily (‘The Devil Wears Prada’), “you always need to be panicky, nauseous, and suicidal”. The fast, repetitive shots of the same kind of sequence, Miranda arriving and throwing her bag and jacket on Andy’s desk and the overlapping dialogue grabs the “viewers’ attention through the collision between shots” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 168). This along with the jump cuts of Andy making her way to work add together to make a sense of an almost parallel day to day work schedule. These two sequences, the swift monotonous shots and the jump cuts through editing, show an enormous desire and effect on Andy needing to give in to social normalities. Emily, who used to be the second assistant, has progressed past all the tedious jobs and stressful fast-paced lifestyle and is now this glamorous and perfect image in the fashion world. She is portrayed as high and mighty in regards to social expectations of females; skinny, fast-working, and fashionable. The way these shots are edited together creates a presentation that conforming to social expectations for females, especially in the fashion world, is such a glamorous thing and completely worth all the effort and time put into the work. For Emily, it was Paris; while for Andy, it was to be able to get a journalism job anywhere in the world.

In the beginning sequence, accessed here, where Andy and four other women are shown getting ready, the editing of the juxtaposed shots “generate emotions and ideas through the construction of patterns of seeing” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 161) and creates a kind of sense that the social normalities are overshadowing the minorities of females out-casted in terms of societal standards. The sandwiching of the close up shots provides viewers with examples of gorgeous and sexy women in society and who they are in comparison with Andy. The way the editing has been done, showing four different similar views of the way women ‘should’ be getting dressed in contrast with Andy’s non-sexy version, solidifies the image of what the social expectations of females are and how Andy does not align to these social normalities. Accompanied by Ann Marie O’Brien undergraduate paper, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Thinnest of Them All?” (2012) located here, the different shots of Andy and the unknown women projects “women with images that portray what our society considers to be the ‘ideal” (O’Brien, 2012 : 1) female, while comparing it to an unfavorable vision of females. O’Brien talks about the unrealistic expectations women are given to be this perfect image in the eyes of society.

Work cited:

Corrigan, Timothy and Patricia White, The Film Experience: An Introduction. 4th Edition, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. Print.

“The Devil Wears Prada” Dir. David Frankel. 2006. Film

“Devil Wears Prada Scene: Coat Montage”. Yahoo Video. 20 Dec 2012 – 22 Apr 2016. Accessed at https://www.yahoo.com/movies/video/devil-wears-prada-scene-coat-021500963.html 

http://www.debate.org/opinions/are-the-beauty-standards-set-for-todays-women-healthy  (Debate Blog, no name, no date)

“Devil Wears Prada : Suddenly I See”. YouTube. Web Video. 4 Mar 2014 – 22 Apr 2016. Accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5UcNqMHz4o&feature=youtu.be

O’Brien, Ann Marie, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Thinnest of Them All?”, 2012. Accessed at http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/auchs/2012/panela2/3/

The Devil Manipulates Shots

CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Although film images may sometimes seem like windows of movies. They are purposefully constructed and manipulated” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 96).

During the beginning sequence of the film (presented by a few photos below or fully shown at this link here), cinematography has been used to showcase how females of the modelling profession are seen as just pieces of art. With the detailed close up shots of the other females putting on their lingerie or putting on makeup, it emphasises the amount of detail women should be applying to their morning routine to become this goddess for society. Until the ladies leave their respective homes, we don’t actually see anything more than just a small section of them. Instead of showing females as a full person, it creates an idea that females are just showcasing certain pieces to this generation and they aren’t fully ready to be presented until they have done everything that society has told them to do: achieve beauty by applying make-up, be mysterious and have sexiness granted from lingerie and wear high heels geared at making a woman. This can be seen as how women are really viewed in society.

Unlike these gorgeous women of society, Andy, the main protagonist, is being classed as different with the mid shots used to emphasise this in regards to the social expectations of females in society. Andy, in this case, doesn’t show as much attention to her presentation and appearance and is not conforming to societal standards, in turn separating her from the other females.

 

With leaving home, the expression of vision and status is accentuated with the low camera angle. Stepping out, in companion with the lighting of each shot, it highlights the magnificent beauty and gracefulness of the other women shown to be the normality in society. The repeated use of the same type of shot, low camera angle with the emphasised and majestic lighting, creates a perfect image of how women should be seen before comparing the scene with Andy leaving her house. The plain mid shot with no added lighting creates an illusion that Andy is nothing special to society and isn’t someone morphed by social expectations of females in a world such as hers.

The sequence of close up shots in the beginning of the film of the other females can be used to highlight the transition of Andy conforming to the expectations of society. During the following scene, it’s seen where Andy goes to apply her mascara, just as was done in the beginning by the other unknown females of society. The comparison and similarities of these two sequences in regards to showing Andy’s transformation into the grasps of social expectations are used to confirm the transition from a boring, out-casted female in the eyes of society, to becoming just another emotionless female face to morph. The only difference being that the shots at the beginning of the other females are extreme close ups, while the one with Andy is a medium close up.CIN Andy Applying Mascara Close Up

Throughout the film, camera height can “vary to present a particular compositional element or evoke a character’s perspective” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 111), and in this case, slight low and high angles are used to help present Andy’s transition in losing herself to the social normalities and expectations. The constant low angle shots of Emily, Miranda, and the other females at Runway are in complete contrast to the high angle shots aimed at Andy. The choice of these camera angles not only shows the professionalism and high status the ladies are in (excluding Andy), but they can “sometimes indicate psychological, moral, or political meanings in a film, as when victims are seen from above and oppressors from below” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 112). Andy hasn’t quite conformed into the expectations yet, emphasising her position in social comparison to the other females. As the film progresses, the low angle subtly begins to straighten up between the characters, showing the transition Andy is making into expectancy from society. By the end of the film, Andy is shown through a low angle shot, showing the complete transformation of conforming to social expectations of females.

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Work cited:

Corrigan, Timothy and Patricia White, The Film Experience: An Introduction. 4th Edition, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. Print.

“The Devil Wears Prada” Dir. David Frankel. 2006. Film

“Devil Wears Prada: Suddenly I See” YouTube. Web Video. 4 Mar 2014 – 22 Apr 2016. Accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5UcNqMHz4o&feature=youtu.be

Fox, Kate, “Mirror, Mirror”, 1997. Accessed at http://www.sirc.org/publik/mirror.html

Duch, Elena, “The portrayal of women and the impact it has on society”, 2013. Accessed at http://www.slideshare.net/ElenaDuch/the-portrayal-of-women-and-the-impact-it-has-on-society

Thirdeyemom, ““Miss Representation”: How Women are Truly Viewed in Society and Why it Damns us”, 2014, Blog. Accessed at https://thirdeyemom.com/2014/02/12/miss-representation-how-women-are-truly-viewed-in-society-and-why-it-damns-us/

The Devil Wears Costumes

MISE-EN-SCENE (COSTUME)

“Mise-en-scene organizes and directs much of our film experience by putting us in certain places and by arranging the people and objects of those places in specific ways” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 64).

In “The Devil Wears Prada”, Mise-en-scene, plays a huge role in depicting the social normalities of females through their costumes. It is also used to show the transformation of Andy being taken by the social expectations of who she should be in society as a female. There is a lot of comparison between Andy and Emily (and the other females working in Runway) when it comes to costume shown in the film.

The journey of finding oneself in a world predominantly overtaken by female expectations and social normalities can be a very hard thing to achieve, especially without falling into the ways of surrounding people and materialistic objects. In “The Devil Wears Prada” (Frankel, David, 2006), “Supporting actors and character actors often add to the complexity of a film’s plot-line or emotional impact” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 75). Emily and the other females, in this case, are seen as the perfect female in comparison to Andrea – or Andy – through the use of elements of mise-en-scene.

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As Corrigan and White suggested, “makeup and costumes function as characters highlights, they draw out or point to important parts of a character’s personality” (2015 : 77). The black clothing of the workers of Runway gives the representation they are all the same kind of person. Using the same color helps symbolize the standardization of females in society and those who conform to the social normalities. Although the colours that Andy initially wears are bright, the clothing itself is quite dull and boring. In comparison to Emily and other workers at Runway, the choice of color and style of clothing is used to create a picture that at the start of the film, Andy is outcast and different from everyone else in regards to personality and style. Black is used to signify formality and professionalism in the  fashion world and it is clear that Andy does not belong in this crowd. Mise-en-scene involves the audience “more thoroughly in the action or serve to highlight a movie’s themes” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 75). In this case, it is used to highlight the transition of Andy conforming to the expectations in the form of Emily and the other workers. This is shown through the new style and color of Andy’s clothing, as the way that “actors are costumed and made up can play a central part in a film, describing tensions and changes in the character and the story” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 77). With close inspection of chapter three in Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young’s “Chick Flicks: Contemporary Women at the Movies” (2008 : 41-57) located here, it emphasises the need to conform of female expectations with the “objectification of women and the equation of female intelligence with unattractiveness” (Ferriss and Young, 2008 : 41) in society. Andy has been propelled to change her appearance to fit in with the high standards that society presents for women.

Work cited:

Corrigan, Timothy and Patricia White, The Film Experience: An Introduction. 4th Edition, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. Print.

“The Devil Wears Prada” Dir. David Frankel. 2006. Film

Plante, Michelle, “How Society’s Expectations of Females Shape Girls’ Lives”, 2012. Accessed at http://www.studymode.com/essays/How-Society’s-Expectations-Of-Females-Shape-1227698.html

Williams, Mari, “Fashion industry forces unrealistic expectations on women”, 2014. Accessed at http://www.florala.net/life/fashion-industry-forces-unrealistic-expectations-on-women/article_7125da2c-8926-11e3-8c78-001a4bcf6878.html

Ferriss, Suzanne, Mallory Young, “Chick Flicks: Contemporary Women at the Movies”, 2008. Accessed at https://books.google.co.nz/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9GSUAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA41&dq=the+devil+wears+prada+female+expectations&ots=1R-ts7xQIe&sig=bxVpFJlV1dQnJ3LGB2F56-iCnWo#v=onepage&q=the%20devil%20wears%20prada%20female%20expectations&f=false

 

The Devil Makes a Sound

SOUND (DIALOGUE)

“But of course what actors say is crucial: speech establishes character motivation and goals and conveys plot information” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 189)

“Human speech, primarily in the form of dialogue, is often central to understanding narrative film” (Corrigan and White, 2015 : 189). In ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (2006), it is used to emphasis the points of social expectations of females in society. The following dialogue was taken from the beginning of the film:

Andy : “Not enough girls here eat anything?

Nigel : Not since two became the new four, and zero became the new two.

Andy : Well I’m a six?

Nigel : Which is the new 14.”

These lines depict the fact that social expectations for clothing size for females have gotten smaller and smaller in today’s society. The constant criticizing of the individual clothing sizes in society causes the overwhelming desire to fit in. Andy reveals towards the end of the film that she is now a size four., conforming to this critique. Andrew Joseph Pegoda’s article titled, ‘Women, Societal Expectations of Beauty, and “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)’, addressed here, highlights the transitions that Andy must endure in order to become this perceived perfect image of the fashion world, through changing her outer appearance and selling herself to the devil (Pegoda, 2013). This connects to ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ through the world of high fashion introduced in the film and the standards of style required to succeed at the job at hand. Media is perceived as having a view of how women in society should be presented, skinny and free of blemishes, further explained here.

The repeated use of the line or notion, “A million girls would kill for that job”, is used to emphasise the individuality of the protagonist and how every female, according to the ‘million girls’, should be thinking the same thing. Females are subtly shown in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ as needing to be simple and single minded through the use of this line. This following sequence emphasises the need for  Andy to conform if she wants the acceptance she feels she deserves. Miranda can be seen as the ideal image of society’s perfect social female, and not fully appreciating Andy for the work she has done shows that Andy is not seen as a female in society as of yet. It’s encouraging her to change and become another piece of social expectations to get the full right of acknowledgement.

Completely conforming to social expectations is seen in this movie as being completely worth it. ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ has thoroughly glamorized the way females should be presented to society through the way diegetic sounds of the film are dispensed. In a majority of the sequences where Andy is following fulfilling Miranda’s tasks, the diegetic sounds surrounding her become more hectic as the scene progresses. As Andy completes these outrageous tasks, the diegetic sounds become less frantic. Emily even explains that “to get anywhere, you always need to be panicky, nauseous and suicidal” (‘The Devil Wears Prada’). The constant overwhelming diegetic sounds of inner city noises creates an uncomfortable feeling in the viewers that makes us want Andy to conform to the standards set out for her subconsciously. This is partially explained here, again in Pegoda’s article around social expectations of beauty for females. She even finally gets called Andrea, her real name, instead of Emily, by Miranda.

Work cited:

Corrigan, Timothy and Patricia White, The Film Experience: An Introduction. 4th Edition, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. Print.

“The Devil Wears Prada” Dir. David Frankel. 2006. Film

Pegoda, Andrew Joseph, “Women, Societal Expectations of Beauty, and “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)”, 2013. Accessed at https://andrewpegoda.com/2013/07/31/women-societal-expectations-of-beauty-and-the-devil-wears-prada-2006/

The Role of Mass Media in Influencing Women`s Beauty Concept in Lauren Weisberger`s Novel “The Devil Wears Prada”, 2012. Accessed at http://lib.unnes.ac.id/12843/