Macquarie University
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Cinematic containers: aspect ratio and creative filmmaking

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posted on 2022-03-28, 20:22 authored by Perry Lam
This research project investigates the creative implementations of aspect ratio in contemporary films. Specifically, it examines aspect ratio’s creative role in film narrative and aesthetics. Aspect ratio has traditionally been viewed as the standardised proportions of the cinematic frame and is not expected to contribute to the content of the film itself. However, with the rise of digital technology, the aspect ratio is no longer standardised but has been given the opportunity to contribute in a creative role. The research project is implemented using two forms: a written exegesis and a short film. The written thesis focuses on three contemporary films and their creative use of the aspect ratio. The short film places the aspect ratio into creative use to demonstrate how it can be used to tell a story. With these two approaches, the project aims to understand the creative role of aspect ratio from a creative filmmaking standpoint.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Literature -- Methodology -- The perfect square : intimacy in Mommy -- Time capsule : the academy ratio in The Grand Budapest Hotel -- Splitting the split-screen : kinetic action in The man from U.N.C.L.E. -- Conclusion -- References.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 537-41

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ilona Hongisto


Copyright Perry Lam 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (41 pages) illustrations (some colour)

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