Cinematic Techniques of the Film

Posted: July 18, 2012 by phermc10 in Film Analysis (Cinematic Technique)

Films are said to be one of the most distinctly modern art form. They came into existence in the 1890s and by 1910 they already established as a major industry for commercial entertainment. Keita: the Heritage of the Griot is obviously a narrative film, telling the story of Sundjata. Of course narratives are all around us from bedtime stories to morning newspapers. Narrative film theory is all about how stories are told – how they are put into shape for a viewing subject by camera movement, lighting, editing and other cinematic techniques.


They are a scene or scenes or sequence that is inserted into a scene of the film in the present time and they deal with the past. They can be sometimes an entire film.

In this film, we can see the story of the Lion king as flashback as the griot recounts it to Mabo. At the same time, it exerts a powerful force on the characters which causes tension among the parents, the teacher and the griot as Mabo loses interest in the present.


It is a cinematic technique in which the camera tracks to zoom or shoot a subject as it moves. The film begins with the shot of Djeliba Kouyate dozing in his hammock at his home in Wagadu, with voiceover narration in the background in Jula language as the camera moves across the landscape of Wagadu.



Sound is one essential thing of a film for its extensive use to enhance the presentation. It has two forms: diegetic which is actual sound and non-diegetic which comes from unseen sources in the film.

As Djeliba leaves his home and reaches the city, the background sound is a mix of both: the theme song, chirp of birds, rowing of the boat he took and the sound of motor vehicles.


The choice of shot has a great effect on the structure and meaning of a film which an audience will interpret.

Establishing shot is used at a new location to give the audience a sense of locality. In this film, we get the idea that the griot reaches the city where Mabo is living through the shot of cars and motorbike halting at a traffic light as he crosses it.

Close-up shots are used in many ways with many reasons. They show tension or details such as character’s emotions. When a director avoids close-up shots deliberately, he may create a distance between the character and the audience emotionally. In this film, one function of close-up is to show its main characters – Mabo and Djeliba with multiple times. Another is, using medium close-up covering the character’s head and shoulders, to draw attention to the scene of tension when Mabo’s teacher and the griot argue with each other over Mabo.


Thal Sandy Tun


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