Thursday, January 27, 2011

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Night of the Hunter: The space that imprisons

Film is, by definition, moving image.
But it is also, in a way inevitable, a succession of images Still, from time detainees being projected at a given speed us the impression of movement, although this does not exist in reality.
The still image is thus the basis of everything.
We will also be film analysis, as is usually the author's intention, and I have no other, has to be also a key part of this modest blog.

Following this path, but this time focusing exclusively on arrest, another section inaugurated today, which as one would otherwise have called "Still", which aims to analyze (as always a So, try to love-not too deep) the importance of frames, the distribution of visual weight and composition of the different scenes in a movie, and their influence on the final reading do the same.
clarify that the claim will not discuss a particular scene, but the whole film, and how we can find patterns that repeat themselves over it, in its various framing and composition.

To explain anything more useful than an example, and in this case I do not think there is more than fitting that we speak of the unique, lyrical and hypnotic film he directed the great actor Charles Laughton in 1955 " Night Hunter. "
I remember how, among many, one of the strongest feelings that overcame me the first time I had the opportunity to see, was the importance of having spaces in the development of architectural history.
The open frames, projected shadows, the careful planning of each of the scenes.
That environment made it even more terrible the development of it.
return to it a little more forward.

to follow a certain order, first, by simple and flawless, which is obvious is the inclusion precious title the film.
When it comes to content, form if we talk about respect, we could not find an easier way to link what the title says "night" with what we see "a dark starry sky."

But go slowly getting into the story.
The Rev. Harry Powell, played by Robert Mitchum , has tattooed on his knuckles the word HATE (hate) and LOVE (Love), and that duality (good / bad, light / dark) would mark the whole movie.
In his first presentation, and we will see the inclusion of such words in a somewhat mirror, playing with the symmetry and the reflection (or the front side to be exact).

Although, curiously, most of the time we're going to see the character of Reverend in history will be in the center of the frame, in a fairly symmetrical, as always playing between this duality explained above.
That way of locating it ends up being a way for us not forget the scale of the struggle between opposites, that we have in mind that the fund balance is impossible, but real, and that the two forces are indeed present.

But this game of opposites, the struggle between good and evil is present well beyond the figure of the Reverend.
In the remainder of the characters that inhabit the story (if we except, in almost all cases, children).
Well I can see in this scene where we see Willa, the widow played by Shelley Winters in the bathroom just before entering the bedroom to meet Harry.

We appreciate and one of the constants of which I spoke earlier, and probably included as a paradigm of the "halo intangible" that bathes the entire film: Open Frames, mirror, play of light and shadows, and the importance of the vast architectural space that imprisons and engulfs the characters' personalities.
Much more, again, in this case, where in addition the provision of the character of Willa, (first light and shadows then first right and then left, first one side then the other) us inexorably highlights all the game of opposites.

But I say that the end is the space that eats everything.
characters, usually quiet and inscrutable, is no longer swallow so stifling, the neutral, so suffocating, so huge and incomprehensible that space.

Space (spaces) thus become the true protagonist of the film.

always hostile environment, always mysterious, always threatening.
The integration of the characters in that space-in the shadows, away, back, face devoid of movement or life-not only increases that feeling.
There is a disturbing effect. Everything is too far from us, as something elusive, which can not intervene.
We see, we suffer, but we are vetoed the implication, get inside the story.
it ends up being a stressful experience, frustrating, terrible.
And finally, check all the future of film.

are many examples scattered throughout the film. Stairs, bedrooms, basements.
Without being too explicit I show you part of those spaces undaunted accompanying the relentless evolution history.

And to finish the latter area, much more organic, nothing architecture, where the curves supersede the straights, where water replaced the air, where the dark duality replaces the light / shadow, where death evidently replaces life.

is hard not to appreciate how are you spacious compositions influence the overall reading of a film like "The Night of the Hunter." That
stopped time, these still images, these frames studied and asphyxiating condition both the characters of their own history as observers-we-just.

And if we do not appreciate the overall reading intentionality is that chance, apart from mysterious, weave their webs too thoroughly.


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