By Somaiya Ahmed, Summer Intern
Episode Two of “Queens Gambit” takes us a few years into the future. Beth is now a teenager moving into her first home. She experiences insecurity trying to adapt to the changes of her new environment; however, she finds positive and negative ways to cope.
This episode previews the beginning of Beth’s chess career while displaying her ongoing issues with addiction and loneliness. There is a lot of storytelling which calls for an array of camera shots to commemorate.
Down below I have analyzed three of my favorite shots from episode two, commenting on their cinematic elements. Check it out! Also don’t forget to check out the chess glossary too!
Beth and Jolene together, looking out the window. Jolene smokes a cigarette while Beth looks out endearingly. The lighting is cast towards Beth, spotlighting her viewpoint while Jolene is half lit. The two characters are positioned together in a wide shot. Feelings of nostalgia and hope are ever present as we watch the two grace the screen.
An overhead shot of Beth staring into the ceiling as chess pieces appear rapidly. Beth’s half lit face displays a sense of eeriness due to the unnatural splitting of light; however, the lighting communicates a supernatural event taking place. The cinematic and graphic work done here effectively constructs Beth’s mental world, a place in which chess dominates.
Time Stamp: 52:21
A haunting shot of Beth staring into a window reflection of her deceased mother. The camera racks its focus from Beths to the dreary look of her mothers eyes.The dim blue lighting is paired with a soft gaussian blur, providing feelings of melancholy. A shot that speaks of many feelings.
Chess Glossary: click the hyperlinks to learn more about the chess terms and ideas mentioned in episode 2!