Caché is an Austrian French movie written and directed by Michael Haneke. The English translation for the title is “Hidden”. This is a small scene that strike out to me the most.
There are many cinematic techniques that are found in this particular scene. One of many important ones is cinematography. Without any warning or preview of what the scene is going to be about, the director gives the audience a real close up still image of the struggling rooster that was brutally held down by the boy. The next frame jumps to the splattering blood from the rooster to the boy’s face. Both of these frames are from an objective point of view, in which the audience is looking from a third person’s point of view, and not in particular the viewpoints of any character. Then, the director follows up with a wide-angle of the whole background, which includes Georges’ house and the whole yard. This provides a strong depth of field in the frame, thus, creating chiaroscuro lighting for the overall frame. As the scene continues, the viewer can conclude that this long shot frame is Georges’ perspective because he is standing at the back of the barn. This image leaves the audience a sense of mystery and unknown of what might happen next, because the viewer is still trying to make sense of the sequence of the frames.
The close up frame between Georges and the silhouette frame of Majid shows the contrast that the beheading of the rooster frightens both boys. However, the close up frame on Georges is bright, whereas the full body frame on Majid is dark.
The scene ends with Georges’ sudden awake from nightmare just when Majid raised the axe above his head. He is sweating and panting, concluding that he was terrified in the dream. The cinematography used to end the scene is by using a full blackout of the scene, which gives the audience a break from the tensions from the previous frame. Before this scene ended, the audience had no idea that all this was a dream or reality, until the very end when Georges wakes up. This technique used by the director controls the emotions of the audience and maintain the grasp of their attention. Forcing the viewer to feel threatened or scared makes them sit on the edge of their seats, and then follow by the sudden release of tensions by Georges waking up from this nightmare. The frame shows Georges panting and grasping for air. Ideally, the audience also feels a relief as well.