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Winter's Bone

A Presentation for Comparative Ethnic Literature
by

Rachel Eubanks

on 24 February 2013

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Transcript of Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone A presentation by Rachel Eubanks
and Garrison Smith Characters and Plot Cinematic Aspects of
Winter's Bone Atmosphere Lighting Techniques Lighting continued... Character Struggles and Themes Important Characters and Plot Relationships Characters, continued Historical Context The Film's Release Genre Filming Film Overview Originally released on January 21, 2010
Released first at the Sundance Film Festival, moving to about 27 other film festivals throughout 2010
First released in Ireland on September 17, 2010
Limited release in US theaters began on June 11, 2010
Expanded to 39 total venues for viewing Directed by Debra Granik
Based on the book of the same title, written by Daniel Woodrell, a writer from Missouri
Filmed in the same state as the story's plot, Missouri, in areas such as Branson, Christian County, Forsyth, and Taney County, which provided authenticity
Specifically filmed in areas of the Ozark Mountains
Drama and mystery
Drama in the sense that the film portrays realistic characters and focuses on the seriousness of their interactions
Mystery because of the plot's premise of a missing character (Ree's father) and Ree's challenging journey to find answers about his location
Related to film noir because of the film's dealing with concepts such as fear, mistrust, bleakness, loss of innocence, and despair (according to AMC's Tim Dirks) Focuses on a region of the United States that is quite often overlooked and a group of Americans whose life struggles are not often seen by the public eye
Portrayal of poverty and drug addiction outside of the urban environment: "I think for the United States it’s very upsetting, very sobering, very disturbing and poignant that the heartland is struggling so brutally."
Moving past stereotypes of the lifestyles of rural-dwelling Americans who continue to rely on land and close communities for survival Ree Dolly, played by Jennifer Lawrence - the film's main character, a strong 17-year old woman whose role as caregiver to her two younger siblings and mentally ill mother contribute to the main source of struggle in the film: finding Ree's father, who makes meth throughout the dark Ozark hills
Sonya, played by Shelley Waggener - Ree's understanding neighbor who often provides Ree with money, food, and other necessities for her family to survive, especially in the brutal winter
Teardrop Dolly, played by John Hawkes - Ree's uncle, a meth user who originally perpetuates the secretive nature of the meth-addicted region, but whose character development ends up helping Ree on her journey

Drug addiction
Community filled with secrecy
Culture of self-reliance
Threat of homelessness
Poverty
Constant threats of violence
Subordination of women based on fear
Family loyalty
Independence and personal strength
Courage
Importance of information and gossip
Trauma
Dehumanization
Hospitality, compassion, and comfort
As the film's title suggests, Winter's Bone primarily resides in a dark, raw cinematic mood, which coincides with the film's display of drug addiction, poverty, and violence
The combination of stark, realistic lighting, simple camera angles, and minimal (but intentional) use of music all contribute to the intensity of Winter's Bone The film mostly utilizes very dark, gray lighting, especially during or surrounding scenes of violence
Director Debra Granik decided to implement harsh lighting in order for viewers to see scenes as realistic and to add to the emotional weight of the plot
When Ree receives helpful information, lighting changes to appear softer and more golden, rather than dark gray or blue
When Ree comes close to meeting Thumb Milton, who would know her father's location, and Milton escapes her reach, lighting becomes blurred, conveying a sense of confusion and chaos
When Ree's relatives beat her in a barn for not listening to their warnings about seeking private information, the hazy, blurred lighting, then clear, bright lighting shows Ree's ability to overcome pain and persevere


Whenever law enforcement arrives at Ree's home, the lighting seems particularly pale and wintry, perhaps questioning the sense of justice, both in this region and in Ree's situation
Another situation in which lighting is used to elicit thought about the theme of injustice occurs when Ree and her uncle are approached by the local sheriff: the fractured light through the truck windows and mirrors contributes to the scene's questions about power
At the end of the film, when plot resolution occurs, the lighting grows brighter and somewhat warmer than before "Some of our blood is the same.
Ain't that supposed to mean something?" "Never ask for what ought to be offered." "I'd be lost without
the weight of you two
on my back." Sound No background music is used for the film, probably to help viewers focus on the raw quality of the characters and their interactions
Foreground music is used in about three scenes of the film, mostly when Ree recieves help from relatives like Teardrop or her father's former lover
Foreground music makes the implementation of music in the film more realistic
The film's opening scene features a woman singing "Missouri Waltz", a lullaby-type song by Johnny Cash
Sounds of dialogue are heavily contrasting: characters either scream or whisper http://www.imdb.com/rg/VIDEO_PLAY/LINK//video/screenplay/vi3829504537/ http://www.wintersbonemovie.com/soundtrack/01%20MO%20waltz%20reprise%205_19.mp3 Sound continued... Intense scenes (such as the climax of the film) highlight certain sounds to show the intensity of the character's action and the emotional repercussions those actions might create
Music is used in scenes that highlight the idea of community, such as in the home of Ree's father's former lover or the bar uncle Teardrop goes to for information -- the music creates a sense of community while also contributing to the complicated relationships that form those communities
Music (specifically bluegrass and country) also provides authenticity to the film, espeically since the musicians from the film are true performers from Missouri Other Cinematic Techniques Compressed time - the film's plot is set within a week long period, so compressed time allows the film to document the important occurrences of the characters' lives using this compression
Long take - provides authenticity to the film because of its realistic nature; making more important scenes longer
With editing, most transitions between scenes use wipes, which mark clear transitions between time and place, and invisible editing to create a realistic portrayal of Ree's story and help viewers focus on the characters
Camera angles are mostly eye level, contributing to the neutrality of editing choices Film Reception Winter's Bone received widespread
critical acclaim, including awards for
best picture, best screenplay, and nominations for best actress in leading role, best actor in a supporting role, best adapted screenplay, etc. at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and many other film award ceremonies. " I'd be lost without the weight of you two on my back. I ain't goin' anywhere."
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