“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.
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.
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/