Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein
Production: TriStar Pictures, 1994
Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenplay: Staph Lady, Frank Darabont (Based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1818)
Cinematography: Roger Pratt
Editing: Andrew Marcus
Music: Patrick Doyle
The Creature ??“ Robert De Niro
Victor Frankenstein ??“ Kenneth Branagh
Henry Clerval ??“ Tom Hulce
Elizabeth ??“ Helena Carter
Captain Robert Walton ??“ Aidan Quinn
Baron Frankenstein ??“ Ian Holm
Grandfather ??“ Richard Briers
Professor Waldman ??“ John Cleese
Professor Krempe ??“ Robert Hardy
Marie ??“ Joanna Roth
Felix ??“ Mark Hadfield
Caroline Beaufort Frankenstein ??“ Cherie Lunghi
Mrs. Moritz ??“ Celia Imrie
The pacing within Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein, successfully reinforces the overall film and montage in many ways. Although this film is not necessarily a modern one, it contains great editing techniques which contribute to its effectiveness. The pacing of the film runs smoothly; when needed, the tempo of the film is in fast or slow motion. This film represents a story that unfolds many years. All the information must be compressed in order to create a film which lasts only 120 minutes and the pacing within this film succeeds in achieving exactly that.
Music is the main factor in this film which contributes to the pacing. The way the music reinforces pacing is by affecting the tempo of the movie. Whenever slow motion is necessary, slow music is played to represent the actions and emotions at the time. For example, when Victor Frankenstein (the protagonist of the film) creates a ???creature???, he is puts it into a tub full of water just like a baby would be when it is in the mother??™s womb. Once the creature was ready to come alive, the moment was captured in slow motion using slow music. This definitely adds to the narrative advancement. The same is done when fast motion takes place. For example, when Victor is working on creating life (a human), fast motion is used not only to speed up the process of the creation, but also to suggest superhuman speed and power. Victor also wears a cape at this time (similar to one a superhero would wear). This enhances the fast motion by making him seem like a man with extra power.
Transitions are another great editing technique used within Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein. Transitions are used to create divisions between significant parts in the film and also to separate sequences. Different types of transitions are used within the film. One of transitions is the dissolve. Many times within the film, the end of one shot merges into the beginning of the next one. One scene is imposed over another. Additional transitions include fading in and out. This transition causes the last image of a sequence to fade to black and the next sequence to be lighter. For example when the creature escapes from Victor Frankenstein, fading out is used to begin a new scene.
Continuity and symbolism are great factors within Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein. Death is one form of continuity. Many deaths occur: Henry Clerval, Justine Moritz, Elizabeth Lavenza, Professor Waldman, Victor??™s mother and father, and little brother William. Light and fire are also very continuous aspects in this film. They seem to symbolize life and death, intelligence and power.
Mary Shelley??™s Frankenstein. Dir. Kenneth Brenegh. TriStar Pictures. 1994