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Let’s Talk About Movies:

Motifs, Symbols, Metaphors, and Allusions
The art of filmmaking by Akira Kurosawa

A figurative technique can be defined as an artistic device in which an object suggest abstract ideas and emotions over and beyond what the object literally means. A good example of the shifting implications of a symbol can be seen in the uncut version of Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai. In this movie, a young samurai and a peasant girl are attracted to each other, but their class differences present insurmountable barriers.

  • Kurosawa emphasizes their separation by keeping them in separate flames, a raging outdoor fire acting as a kind of barrier. (Frame 1 and 2)
  • But their attraction is too strong, and they then appear in the same shot, the fire between them now suggesting the only obstacle, yet paradoxically, also suggesting the sexual passion they both feel (Frame 3)
  • They draw towards each other, and the fire is now to one side, its sexual dominating (Frame 4)
  • They go inside a hut, and the light from the fire outside emphasizes the eroticism of the scene (Frame 5)
  • As they begin to make love in a dark corner of the hut, the shadow cast by the fire lights on the reeds of the hut seen to streak across their bodies (Frame 6)
  • Suddenly, the girl’s father discovers the lovers, and now the billowing flames of the fire suggest his moral outrage (Frame 7)
  • Indeed, he is so incensed that he must be restrained by the samurai chief, their images almost washed out by the intensity of the fire lights (Frame 8)
  • It begins to rain, and the sorrowing young samurai walks away despondently (Frame 9)
  • At the end of the sequence, Kurosawa offers a close-up of the fire, as the rain extinguishes its flames (Frame 10)

(Giannetti, Louis D. Understanding Movies second edition. New Jersey, 1976.)

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theholypopefish:

beware the ides of march
phoenix5power:

This actually made me fucking cry.

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Behind the Scenes Movie Photos - Part 3

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thefrogman:

Lego Star Wars by Vesa Lehtimäki [flickr | facebook]

[h/t: lordwanjavi]

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