Flim Analysis: Umberto D

October 13th, 2011

Scene Analysis: from Umberto D.

(Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1952)

3.5 Shots from the Umberto’s apartment scene, where we first see his apartment meet the maid and Landlord

  • MS, normal height, straight on. Umberto walks into his room shuts the door with agitation; the room is in disarray; he walks in and fixes the room back to the way he keeps it; Music begins as he prepares his room
  • FS, short take, shot straight on. He walks around the bed; opens shutters; looks for something; the music stops as he walks towards the window; army horn sounds; then as he begins to undress there is a knocking on the door; the maid walks in towards opposite window
  • ELS, high angle, short take. Maid looks out of window and sees army lovers along with many other soldiers; pulls down shade; but continues to look through the shade

The scene starts out with a medium shot of Umberto entering the room with frustration on his face and attempts to shut the door but it seems the wood of the door is slightly old and is giving him a problem shutting the door. There is room tone present. The room has low-key lighting at this point. This begins shows to me the poor condition of the apartment beginning with the door. Then as he enters the room a panning shot begins and the camera follows him panning to the right. Then to a straight on shot of him fixing his bed. He walks over to the window on the right and a full shot is shown of him, the dog and the window. He opens the shutters, closes the window.

The fill light begins to soften some of the rooms shadows. Then as he turns around there is a track out to the front of the bed and another full shot screen left. Fixes his pillow on the bed. He goes to the other window and opens the shutters and closes the window still maintaining a full shot. Places money bag on the desk, hangs up his hat and coat.  He is wearing a black suit with black shoes.  This shows me he likes to look presentable and proper. He pats himself down finds something the music stops , and he goes towards the window he puts on his glasses, uses the sunlight to see what is in his hand. Then, it zooms into a medium shot of him at the window.  Takes his glasses off. Then an army horn sounds as he walks out of the scene towards the right.

Umberto begins to take off his jacket when the maid walks in the door and enters without knocking. This also is a frame within a frame. He gets startled and quickly puts his jacket back on.  This shows me he was decency and integrity. The depth of field is slight in this because when she opens the door you can see door of the kitchen behind her and Umberto in the foreground. She walks toward the window, a panning shot to the right towards the window. A medium shot of her at the window looking out. Then an extreme long shot is shown of the street and the soldiers leaving the army base.  In the shot there is a soldier waving at the maid from below. An eye level shot of the maid while she looks out the window. She waves back then back to ELS where the soldier is now accompanied by other soldier, and they begin to argue.  She ducks down not to be seen and opens the window and closes the shade and they break into a fight.  Then the ELS again now with the shade. There is a cut away shot to Umberto.  She calls to Umberto to come and see the two men through the shade.

  • CU, shot slightly from below, two shot. Umberto and maid begin to converse with the light of the shade peeking through and the sunbeam lines on their faces (The shot, and scene continues, but my analysis ends here…)

It is a two shot; close up of the both of them.  The sunbeams on their faces as they discuss the staution.  This gives the conversation that feeling of being ashamed, uncertainty and slight sadness. They have a conversation about the two men that she showed him.  She tells him that the one of the two men could be the father to her unborn child.

This scene really sets the mood for the movie by letting us get to know the character by seeing his room and also by letting us know what kind of station faces the maid which puts a burden on the audience which lets them think about her problem while also focuses in on Umberto’s.  The director used a lot f shadowing to emphasize the time period and mood of the movie.  Also there was use of depth of field when the maid opened the door into the apartment. 

The scene of the two men in the army suggests that they have no control over the station and knowing of who the father is.  The small size of their appearance tells me that she is the one in question and the one who suffer the repercussions.  Also the way the Umberto was talking to her was almost that of a father figure and the look he gave was of so much concern.

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2 Responses to “Flim Analysis: Umberto D”

  1. mediarocks89 on October 28, 2011 6:28 am

    I feel the way the movie shows historical and politcal content is by showing in the beginning the ants all over the house and kitchen. When the maid lights up a newpaper to burn the ants ways. When the maid tell Umberto shes pregant, doesn’t know who the father between two soliers and will get kicked out if the landlord finds out. Also with the fact that Umberto is ill shows the rate of sickness for people. Also in the hospital it shows the large amounts of ill people in the city and how hard it s to stay a long period of time. And also the fact that liveing is so pricey for the poor.

  2. Amy Herzog on November 3, 2011 3:21 am

    I really like all your reflections on the subtle ways DeSica hints at the political and economic problems in the city during this period.

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