A pawn in a King’s game

The documentary portrait I chose was Odysseus’ Gambit. I originally decided to chose this particular one because I enjoy a game of chess whenever I can find one, and while chess may be the way the man became prominent in the area, it is about much more. One way the director approached the story telling of this documentary was to use metaphors and have a connection between different chess moves, and terminology and relate those to this man’s life. The tone and message that the director was trying to portray was one of how this man was wronged and how he wishes that he was in other people’s so called situations, because he wants to work and make his life better, but he has circumstances that do not allow the mobility to increase his well being. A strategy the director uses to tell this man’s story is to expose the many layers of him, like playing his music, his introduction of his children,his interaction with the people of the park, which is his life blood, and letting him be the focus because he is the driving force behind the documentary. Another important aspect of the story telling is the breaking up the documentary into pieces using the slides, I think the structure helps viewers stay focused and helps attain their attention. It gives off the tone of resolution because there are several steps in the story and allow for a linear progression. Some other helpful tips that I took away from this documentary is that there is a lot of power in showing zoomed in focused images. The director zoomed in on chess pieces many times and I think that helped solidifying the relationship between chess and this mans life. Additionally the director used some shots where while there was no action going on in the scene it showed that imagery even though you are shooting a moving video there is lot that can be taken from still scenery that adds to the documentaries overall poeticness. Another excellent use of story telling is when the director just films the subject doing small everyday things, it flows smoothly with the major story lines easily. I think this is a great tool if you do not have a lot of important content that you can just throw in shots observing the character being normal because that gives more insight into that person and allows for the viewer to more easily comprehend that this person is not unlike me, specifically when this man  gets food stuck in his teeth it makes, you personalize with him as it is a familiar annoyance, but he is lucky that the generosity of others allows him to attain that food. Another important aspect that I have realize plays a major part is the audio. The busy street noise adds to the documentary’s feel of authenticity, and the clips of him singing connect you more to him and especially since it seems he is singing a sad song. So I think the continuity of the documentary and the transitions are hugely impacted by the audio.

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