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The Filmmaker's Eye by Gustavo Mercado

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canted shot

Canted shots are composed with a camera tilted laterally, so that the horizon is not level and vertical lines run diagonally across the frame. The resulting compositions can create spatial imbalance or disorientation which can convey a sense of dramatic tension, psychological instability, confusion, madness, or drug-induced psychosis. Canted shots were originally introduced to the grammar of film in the 1930s, in German expressionistic films that used them to externalize the inner turmoil or deranged state of a character’s psyche. The shot was also known as a “Deutsch angle” (“Deutsch” is the word for “German” in German) shot, which over time was confused and changed into today’s “dutch angle” shot, even though its historic roots ...

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