Mar 312013

Having outlined the coursework for this week already in the hope of getting it completed efficiently, I knew to be careful in the clip I chose for the “Look, Listen, Analyze” threefold examination of a film clip, as the source film would be the subject of the subsequent “Exploring the Movie Even More” exercise.
I have very particular tastes when it comes to films. It’s very easy for me to be uncomfortable with senseless violence, so I didn’t want to choose a clip that would cause me to quiver in my boots – I know from acquaintances that enjoy films such as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill that I should avoid choosing clips from these for the subject of my analysis. It’s one thing to broaden one’s horizons, and quite another to scar oneself into unnecessary nightmares. In the endeavor to broaden my horizons and not stay within my comfort zone, I wanted to choose a clip that I hadn’t seen, but was within the period fiction/fantasy/sci-fi spectrum that I enjoy most. On one of the recommended lists was this clip from Cowboy Bebop, an anime that I haven’t seen, but has come recommended highly from close friends.

First in the exercise for video reading comprehension: “Look” by eliminating the audio, more focus can be brought to visual transitions. I’ve decided to pause as I go for the first two parts of the exercise to note down things I recognize from the How-to editing vids, then watch the entire clip without pauses for the analysis portion.

0:00 Purple, White, Black
Upward angle to church-like architecture
0:02 Circling, flapping birds silhouetted against clouds
0:04 Clean cut to one-point perspective view of distant skyscrapers over extensive city-cluster of squat houses. Keeps same monochromatic color palette
Small brown trench-coat clad figure walks up stairs toward viewer
0:13 Cut to figure’s view of base of church, a 180 in the 1-point perspective. The building retains and expands the same slightly-warm brown tone of the trenchcoat-clad figure of the previous shot, which contrasts slightly with the established monochromatic grey/violet environment
Crane pan of entire church building, drawing gaze with movement of circling birds as before
0:25 Cut to Black-and-White manga-like (in that there is no background but some light grey on white lower-left to upper right diagonal smears) broken (punctuated by a few highlights of detail) bust silhouette of a cloaked, long-haired person looking down and to the left of the frame (background smears in parallel to gaze)
0:26 Cut to angled, closer view of church exterior. appropriate that I am examining something church-related on Easter Sunday. This shot deviates from the previous two environmental shots in that it is not in one-point perspective, but 3-point (slight mole’s eye).
Blue shoes, and subsequently legs of brown-cloaked figure enter from the lower left and diminish in size as the figure moves toward the entrance arches of the church
0:33 Cut to Blue/Black/White (guessing interior shot of arch) there is a wedge of light punctuated with debris mimicking and inverting the earlier silhouette shot’s composition
0:36 Introduction of Red to Blue monochrome interior setting in Dutch Angle view of stained glass windows
0:39 Extreme 3-point perspective closeup of stained glass windows – no recognizable subjects beyond patterning and “TA ANNA”
0:41 Downward perspective (another reflection shot? it is possible from the architecture that the ‘camera’ has is now close to, but facing directly away from, the stained glass windows high on the wall) silhouetted figure and long shadow (pointing downward to the left) have entered tall, wide, wooden doorway. The light does not enter far into the church, fading into the grey-purple exterior environmental color on the unevenly-cut stone floor littered with small stone debris. Highlights suggest the arched architecture of the far side of the room.
The figure takes several steps inside, the shadow not quite reaching the edge of the light
0:46 Dimly lit ornate upward view (possibly POV) if high-up glowing blue stained glass windows and a balcony, held up by arches of ornate decoration. This shot mimics the 3-point perspective shot of the exterior of the church, flipped vertically. Central there is a caryatid-framed clock-like circle with a yellow center divided in four wedges
Pan to the Left (the observed scenery moved rightwards?)
0:49 Off-center one-point perspective shot from the left side of the church from head-height the coat-clad individual is entering from the right, feet and edge of cloak only visible in pale pool of red-orange light
Five steps in
0:53 more right/left-downwards tilt, this time in angled view of more caryatids – bearded men holding up stained class window balcony. One holds a staff, another, a scroll. Saints?
Left pan
0:56 First view of figure’s face (or half of it) Head and torso of figure (barely differentiated from dark environment with highlights) is right half of shot
Steady pan moving to left again (there’s been consistent leftwards movement in the entire composition of the first minute), keeping trenchcoat-figure stationary in shot (aside from slight jogging to indicate walking at a slow pace) This is the third instance of this figure taking 3-5 steps in a shot, the first where the viewer is close enough that the background moves instead of the figure through it.
1:01 Extreme close-up of profile gray-haired face, long nose. This is different from the coated figure’s face, which was finally established in the previous shot. Coat v Hair! (for further sake of references) Again, looking to the left. When something looks to the right, it’s going to be quite radical.
Eye slowly opens and looks upward to the left.
1:04 Two-point perspective Coat standing partially framed by entrance arches on the right – first full-front view since first seen climbing stairs
Moves to the left and enlarges to center of frame (3-5 steps again) doubling in size! first hint of green in hair, could just be differentiating black hair from surrounding darkness. Closes eyes, opens, looks to the left and upwards, then turns head 90 degrees to look to top right (semi-radical – his body still faces left) gaze immediately flicks back left, and faces straight ahead.
1:13 Extreme Bird’s eye perspective – Coat stands on orange-check floor in center behind back row of pews, at top of bilaterally symmetrical shot, round white spoked window glows with a blue light illuminating the first few pews. the rest is mostly darkness, with a slight hint of arches
No movement for several moments
1:21 Coat’s POV: a few rows of pews fading into darkness, orange/black check floor punctuated by debris. maintain bilateral symmetry (aside from debris)
Hair emerges from darkness as long, tall shadow infringing on orange lit area. Takes stance by dramatically moving one shadow-leg to the left.
1:27 Shot of Hair’s face in the center third, maintaining bilateral symmetry and predominant blackness.
Hair speaks
A bird lands on his right arm (screen left), blowing his hair about.
1:32 Cut to upward view of Coat on right half, torso and face visible, slight smirk. (still looking left!) – disruption of bilateral symmetry
Coat speaks
1:35 Bilaterally symmetrical first/3rd point perspective (no 2nd) view of highlighted architecture and pews (maintaining established “left half of church 180-degree line”) view of coat on right and hair on left
1:49 Almost straight-on view of Coat’s head and shoulders (still slightly to left of 180 line) Head slightly off-center to right, coat collar corners point to left
Coat speaks
1:52 View of Hair and long-beaked bird looking toward the right (feels very sinister in context of all the left-looking) The environment is lit with a cool light blue-violet and a red-violet, so Hair’s body is the darkest area.
Hair speaks, pauses, speaks again. No hand gestures from either of them. This is a serious conversation, but not a heated one.
1:58 Cut to blue-lavender lit left-leaning stone angel missing left wing
2:00 Cut to Coat, 1-point perspective, centered in shot.
Draws gun in right hand. Background red-violet. Coat lighter grey/brown than before
Raises gun
2:02 POV from directly behind gun, all is black but highlights on gun and two pincers of tan hand
Fade of focus away from gun and to Woman? There’s definitely décolletage, shoulders, and a tease of legs in a black dress. face mostly shadowed
2:05 View of left-facing profile of Coat’s face, shoulder and beginning of extended arm
2:07 Cut to close shot of Military-cut man (blond hair close shaven, blank epaulet on coat) holding gun to pouting woman’s head. Odd, large green earrings she has. (What happened to Hair? The gun is pointing right)
Military man speaks
2:09 Dog-height view of Coat framed against round stained glass window holding gun with two hands pointing left – view of Hair a distance away below window. I didn’t register Coat’s turn to the left to point gun at Military holding Woman (but it did happen, I realize)
2:12 Gunpoint shot of Coat
2:14 View of Military holding gun to Woman’s head from his right (his gaze is straight right, over her head. Her face is completely obscured by his hand.
He speaks, briefly
2:16 Extremely close shot of Coat’s eye over gun (1/3 width of screen, pupil exact center)
2:17 Equally close finger on trigger pointing left
Cut back to front – right eye obscured by gun, two hands steadying shot
2:18 muzzle flash and recoil
Military shot in neck and woman escapes, pan from top left downward to right (from miltary’s face to woman’s
2:20 Dutch angle of new grey-haired person unloading rapid fire framed by columns, balcony railing, and stained glass window of woman holding a child or praying. he is shooting downward (if the shot wasn’t angled to the left, he’d be shooting slightly left)
2:21 Another grey-haired man in military-style coat with pistol shoots upwards and to the left in response
2:22 Coat dives for cover behind pew. Dog-height shot stays on previously established 180 line. 2-point perspective.
2:23 Yet another person in uniform comes out of shadowy hiding with a gun (sawed-off shotgun?) possibly token black guy is aiming to the right (still in dog-height view between pews)
2:25 Explosion of dust and debris directly behind Coat running/ducking behind pews obscures him. 1-point perspective, yellow smoke/flashes punctuating blue-violet/red-orange color scheme
2:27 Coat hides behind pillar (2-point perspective) looking toward the right, pistol at the ready. First instance of Coat moving rightwards.
Stands, shoots to right
2:29 one-point perspective Dutch Angle of Coat shooting one of the uniformed men from bottom left to top right.
(Aargh, my enthusiasm for detailed analysis is trumping my available time! I must stop pausing to examine every angle change.)
Multiple shots, lots of running. Aargh excessive unnecessary breast jiggling. A grenade – shots up and down staircase. Coat wounded, but still running
-pause- a scarred, bearded man has inadvertently snipped too much off a bonsai tree. This is a different scene and location, but it parallels the wound just inflicted on Coat. I had to pause because it was such a surprising transition after being absorbed by the gun-wielding action. ||
He speaks, sees phone, answers. Angry response. Stands, leaves. Coat vanquishes a foe, but is now assaulted with Katana by Hair, defeated easily.
Shots of hair against stained glass window. Mutual wounds. Hair pushes coat through window. || Sepia toned flashback of woman through a window? One of the combatants just lost a finger, I saw it flying – not sure whose. Coat dramatically falling downward, splayed 4:47 headfirst ||
POV shot more memory montage, gunfight, roses, a city street, a crumpled dried flower dropped by the woman in the window, coat on the street below. coat fighting back-to-back with Hair. multiple gunfight, romantic interludes. Repeatedly a rose in a puddle. A grenade explodes the church’s window above. coat collapses face-first. Is in hospital with woman, she smiles over him as he lays bandaged. Different bandages. Woman from fight – no longer sepia-toned. different woman than sepia. Prominent yellow shiny breasts. She stalks off in anger, past a military man who looks similar to the one with bonsai. “See you Space Cowboy…” All caps, italic serif font.

Audio Only: I’m going to turn my screen to black and play it again.
Birds, Organ. Female vocalist. “I don’t feel a thing” “Walk in the rain.. in the rain.. in the rain” footsteps. guitar melody replaces vocalist. Spike. Vicious. || Coat is Spike and Hair is Vicious. They both seem spiteful. The “in the rain” continues softly in the background || Metaphors. Turning to woman (gasp).
confusion of bangs and casings. Woman speaks “Be careful” grunts and footsteps, moan of wound. ||When the woman escaped outside, she called the bonsai-caring man on the phone, told him “It’s Spike” || “Damn it!” His response. Vicious attacks Spike. Vicious likes speaking in metaphor. Breaking Glass, Grunting, more Glass. rhythmic singing, angelic. prolonged, like a children’s choir singing in latin with piano accompaniment, some phrases repeat with the primary singer – the montage I saw above does not have sound effects. A woman humming. A rustle. “Just like that, sing for me please” Spike’s voice. More humming. A female gasp. “You’re finally up.” Man’s injured grunt. Confusing exchange, then a piano ending.

All together:
The contrasting tones of serious imagery, and more lighthearted music comes together with consistent pacing. Mix of sound effects, music, and visuals come together cohesively. Pacing of fast and dangerous punctuated by brief comedic slow-paced. I still missed whose finger was lost. The pacing of the montage makes sense now, with the rhythm of the choir behind it. There’s an incredible amount of information imbedded in the sepia montage, I can’t hope to get it all without knowing the context of the show. The fading in/out of consciousness scenes make more sense with audio and visual woven together. The sequence of insult and injury only makes sense with both the audio and visual.


 Posted by on March 31, 2013  Add comments

  One Response to “Peering, Feeling, Elucidating”

  1. I’m intrigues by your choice here to use an animation for this analysis- it affords for maybe a wider variety of camera that might be possible (the extreme high and low angles, the long lingering float scene as “Coat” is drifting down out of the church. Yet it the camera work seems to make similar suggestions in power, leading action. I kind of like the rendered sensed of depth of field when the guns are drawn. And interesting use of repeated symbols in that falling sequence.

    I can see why you sped up the shot by shot analysis, the level of detail on your observations is astounding, with the perspectives and other details noted.

    All of the sounds beyond music and dialog must be foley, foot steps, crunching, all of the fight action sequence. I found it interesting the jarring change when the opening music stops and the fight ensues, the lack of music seems to heighten the intensity because it was so soothing. The voices all seem super exaggerated.

    Wow, this was out of context for you it is way out of context for me, but I enjoyed watching it in detail.

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