Reading A Clip from “Good Will Hunting” Park Scene


Take One: No Audio

  • Opening the two men are sitting on a park bench. Old man is on the right, younger on left (we are looking at their back)
  • They are in the foreground and in the center of the screen suggest a one perspective camera shot
  • cut to older man
  • cut to younger man at right angle
  • back to older at eye level
  • background activity is blurred
  • slow move zoom out incorporating the younger, first you see his hair, nose, then profile … maybe a pan zoom out?
  • older is still main focus
  • shot is reversed… cut to younger man full face while the older man profile (older man is talking)
  • shot is reversed back again.. profile of younger
  • reversed again.. older profile (see the young swallowing a lot)
  • reversed> ending on the younger’s profile
  • older man stands up
  • camera moves to encompass younger’s face
  • cut to back of bench same as opening shot, but there is only on person (the younger on the bench)

Take Two: No Visual

  •  overly crowded with background noise , cars , birds, wind
  • younger man talk fast being insulted, old man talks slow challenging
  • Older man is talking about experiences, art …. what is life? deep , contemplation
  • purposeful breathes that make this monologues powerful
  • here the man get up and walk away on the line “your move chief” – a challenge to the younger man to stop hiding behind books and being to show himself

Take Three: Complete Clip

  •  as the monologue becomes more intense about love and death, the profile of the younger is showed while the older continues to list life experience.
  • Switch to full younger man/profile older is when the older man directly insults the younger “I see a cocky, scared, shitless kid”
  • The younger is no longer able to answer question, while before he had a snappy comeback / defense response… all he can do is look down and swallow
  • shot is reversed
  • Shot reversed – “Talk about you, who you are, I’m in”
  • Shot reversed – analysis
  • eyes look tears, swallows a lot more
  • music of sad contemplation as we see him on the bench alone.

Analysis of Clip

According to Ebert at the beginning of the clip when we see the two men sitting on the bench, the older is on the right and the younger is on the left. This might suggest the older as being correct, protagonist ; while the younger might be view as negative. However, I don’t believe that is the case, because when we get into the scene, the men are never shown sitting from the front which would indicate the reverse. Instead, I think the editor was trying to show that these men are a team, that one is not more negative than the other. In fact, we looked at both characters straight on and only their faces, suggest we are part of their conversation .. not just on lookers from afar. We are suppose to be able to sympathize with both characters, because they are held on equal grounds and neither one is played as positive/negative.

There was a lot of cutting back and forth between faces, however it was clear that the younger boy was cut to only when being directly challenged . This indicated that impact on the older’s man words on the younger man. When the older man was speaking the real aspects of life, aspects you can tell he has experiences due to the rhythm of his speech and the amount of meaningful pauses, the focus is on him. In both men, we feel a sense of pain.  it is particularly important to note the change in the younger man from the beginning of the clip to the end. Ending the scene exactly the way it started was telling of the older man’s warning that he is here to help, but the younger man is alone until he seeks the help.

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