A deconstruction of the meanings in the Purple Rose of Cairo, by Woody Allen.

Essay by BluenotesBabyUniversity, Bachelor'sB, November 2003

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The two scenes extracted from The Purple Rose of Cairo, (Woody Allen, 1985), depict the major themes recurring throughout the entire film. The photography, editing and the sound present in the scenes are used to portray Tom Baxter's illusory film world, and Cecilia's miserable existence during the American depression of the 1930's. These techniques bring home to the viewer the constant shifting between perception and reality in Cecilia's world.

The bird's eye view-establishing shot of the Ferris wheel in the amusement park is filmed at night when it is dark and empty to show what a perfect hiding place it is for Tom and Cecilia. In the next shot, the camera slowly pans across the room at eye level and dollies in on Tom and Cecilia sitting in a carousel chair with the light from a lantern casting a soft glow upon them. They are centered in the shot so that the audience focuses on both of them.

There is an equality between them, they are both in love with each other and neither of them dominates the scene. It is written into Tom's character how to treat a lady and the way that he holds Cecilia and kisses her shows how truly perfect he is. Cecilia even tells him: "You kiss perfectly, it's what I dreamed kissing would be like." The overall scene is romantic and cozy, just as Tom would expect it to be, from his previous experience in the movie world.

The next morning when Cecilia is at home, her husband Monk is shaving in the bathroom. It starts off with an eye level close up shot of Monk's face in the right hand side of the frame. The frame is balanced with the white bathroom wall on the left side to show a stark...