Dialogue in film all started in 1927 when the film The Jazz Singer came out, even tho it was in the great depression the profits of film blossomed as people came to see the wonders of film with sound, or as they called it ‘talkies’. Ever since then sound in film became the norm allowing artists to reach new levels of creativity when trying to tell there stories and visions.
Dialogue is usually the driving force in film, letting the audience know all the information you want them to know in creative or simple ways. The incredible 12 Angry Men is famous for being able to follow and understand without any visual aid because of its dense and powerful script. This is a great example of how dialogue can elevate your film to tell stories in better and more creative ways, it isn’t for the character to tell another character information but that character to tell the audience information. I think when you understand this it allows you to shape and bend your story according to how you want the audience to understand and follow the dialogue. For it’s up to you want information you want the audience to know and what you want them to try working out. I like it when the director doesn’t just rub the information in your face but does it in a creative way.
A great example of dialogue is from Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, the opening scene is one of the most iconic ever and for good reason.
It begins with only Tarantino’s character talking about Madonna’s Like A Virgin, because there is no visual aid and the audio hits you in mid conversation it draws you in wanting you to understand the context of whats going on. The camera then pans across the table showing every characters face as it introduces you to the cast whilst simultaneously continuing Tarantino’s story about Madonna’s Like A Virgin. The camera only stops when it reaches Joe who is trying to remember names out his book. The way the camera stops on Joe and the conversation drains out shows Joe’s separation from the group. Mr. White wants Joe to stop mouthing off in his ear different names he cant remembers. He steals it of him and says to the group that hes gonna keep it until he shuts up. Even tho Joe is older and has more power this is showing how Mr White feels he has the most authority out of everyone, trying to take control of a situation that he shouldn’t be, which can also be seen as foreshadowing. Mr Blonde then asks Joe if he should kill Mr White, even though the audience thinks he’s only joking; this does lightly tread on his actually insanity and foreshadows how Mr White and Mr Blonde will clash heads later on.
Another great piece of foreshadowing through dialogue in this scene is when Joe comes back to find one person hadn’t tipped. Of course it was Mr Pink who just made his whole stance on why he doesn’t tip, however the first person to snitch on him and tell Joe is Mr Orange, who hasn’t spoken the entire time, and of course ends up being the under cover police officer.
Dialogue can tell us everything, from names to places to characters flaws. This is something Tarantino is brilliant at, making what sounds like real, ordinary conversations turn out to be important segments in a future scene. Just like in cult classic pulp fiction.
Vincent Jules and Jules debate whether giving someone a foot massage is classed as cheating which all seems pointless, he then brings up about how Marsellus killed someone for getting too sexual after giving his wife a foot massage. This tells us Marsellus is someone now to mess with but also that his wife is someone to try it on with another man. Skip ahead a bit and Jules is now in Marsellus wife’s bathroom trying to convince himself to leave without doing anything. Now because of the earlier conversation we know the stakes are high.
For my final major project i definitely want to have dialogue, as i like to try something i haven’t done in each project. Lots of elements come into play when making a good script that feels natural but what i do know is i don’t want the information to be rubbed in the audiences face and for it to be entertaining throughout.