Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Follow us on   
Search   
Forum Home Register for Free! Log In Moderator Tickets FAQ Users Online

Image Systems and Motifs

 
Logged in as: Guest
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Movie Musings >> Image Systems and Motifs Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 11:54:03 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010
Image systems are deliberately recurring motifs and almost-subliminal images in films which symbolise themes and other hidden depths and allusions. No, really. These can be subtle to the point of being imaginary or heavy-handed to the point of hitting you over the head.

Oranges seem to symbolise death in The Godfather films. Vito is shot while buying oranges and later dies with orange peel in his mouth. Michael is eating an orange when he orders the climactic murder montage at the end of Part II and drops an orange when he dies at the end of Part III. But they are everywhere throughout the trilogy. On tables during fateful conference meetings. In baskets, in bowls or on stalls; in great big piles in front of the camera or plaintively rolling about on the floor after a massacre. Fanucci helps himself to an orange from a market stall just before young Vito shoots him - big mistake! And Carlo and Johnny Ola even wear orange suits - arrividerci! So if Al Pacino ever hands you an orange you can't refuse, better say your prayers...

Yellow signifies danger in Jaws. Alex Kitner's inflatable, the lights on Matt Hooper's boat and Quint's yellow barrels. White picket fences (which resemble sharks' teeth) also recur throughout the film, sometimes in incongruous places - the beach!?!

In Star Wars the good guys tend to be colourful/rustic while the bad guys tend to be cold and colourless - black, white, grey. When they were fighting for the Republic, clone troopers were brightly coloured and distinctive, but later Imperial Stormtroopers a uniform white. Also, the Empire tends to be all straight lines while the Rebelion tends to be all funky curves, spaceship-wise. And blue/green lightsabres = good; red lightsabres = bad; and purple lightsabres = bad motherfuckers!

Eyes in Blade Runner signify both memory/identity and surveillance/paranoia. "Red eye" signifies if someone's a Replicant or not - which you'd think would make them easy to spot!

Phallic and vaginal/reproductive imagery and there is an awful lot of rape/penetration in the Alien series. In Alien: Resurrection the Xenomorphs were appropriately lit to look the colour of turds. And in Prometheus the new critters were a bit of an incoherent mess.

Labyrinths, geometric shapes and fucking horrible carpets in The Shining. But as the forthcoming Room 237 shows, this is barely scratching the surface!

Smileys in Watchmen.

There are a lot of straight lines in The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan has said these represent the order the anarchic Joker is out to destroy.

In Unbreakable, green is Bruce Willis' "super-hero" colour (he even wears a green "cape") while purple is Samuel L Jackson's colour.

The Matrix has a green tint to it and is very symmetrical. The "real world" doesn't and isn't.

Chinatown has twin motifs of water and glass/reflections - mirrors, glasses, binoculars, cameras, even eyes - all the corpses in Chinatown have their eyes open!

Eggs were a curious recurring motif (Mofftif?) in the last series of Doctor Who. The last episode was even a hard-boiled noir pastiche/Singing Detective "homage." (It was doubles the previous series.)

Then there's the feet in Tarantino's movies, although that's more a fetish than a motif!

< Message edited by chris kilby -- 14/10/2012 9:14:37 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 7:11:33 PM   
will1000

 

Posts: 1803
Joined: 8/10/2005
CSI Miami (not a film I know) has a terrible orange filter that is used on every exterior shot. I know it's 'stylised' and supposed to show how sunny and warm it is, but it just makes me wonder why Miami is orange?! I've been to Cuba and it's not orange there. Dexter doesn't use it. So WTF mate?!

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 2
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 9:18:17 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: will1000

it just makes me wonder why Miami is orange?!


Miami is in The Godfather Part II. 'Nuff said.

(Does Michael Bay direct CSI: Miami...?)

(in reply to will1000)
Post #: 3
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 9:27:51 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: will1000

CSI Miami (not a film I know) has a terrible orange filter that is used on every exterior shot. I know it's 'stylised' and supposed to show how sunny and warm it is, but it just makes me wonder why Miami is orange?! I've been to Cuba and it's not orange there. Dexter doesn't use it. So WTF mate?!


You answered your own question, really. Also, it's to make it stand out from other shows.


_____________________________

Extended Edition Podcast- Episode 46:Threads Of Destiny (Star Wars Fan Film)

(in reply to will1000)
Post #: 4
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 9:32:58 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010
All four Jaws movies also have sharks in 'em.

(in reply to Shifty Bench)
Post #: 5
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 9:44:25 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4259
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
They're not sharks, they're fannies with teeth. And the blood that erupts within them is menstrual. Yes.

_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 6
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 9:58:28 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010
Sorry, my mistake.

(My, but we're getting very Sight & Sound round here these days, don't you think? We'll all be earnestly deconstructing Batteship Potemkin and the feminist cinema of the Ukraine before we know it!)

< Message edited by chris kilby -- 14/10/2012 10:16:41 PM >

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 7
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 10:07:33 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: will1000

CSI Miami (not a film I know) has a terrible orange filter that is used on every exterior shot. I know it's 'stylised' and supposed to show how sunny and warm it is, but it just makes me wonder why Miami is orange?! I've been to Cuba and it's not orange there. Dexter doesn't use it. So WTF mate?!


You answered your own question, really. Also, it's to make it stand out from other shows.



Is this the teal and orange featurd in many movies these days? I thought that was very common in most shit blockbusters these days.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Shifty Bench)
Post #: 8
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 10:18:27 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: will1000

CSI Miami (not a film I know) has a terrible orange filter that is used on every exterior shot. I know it's 'stylised' and supposed to show how sunny and warm it is, but it just makes me wonder why Miami is orange?! I've been to Cuba and it's not orange there. Dexter doesn't use it. So WTF mate?!


You answered your own question, really. Also, it's to make it stand out from other shows.



Is this the teal and orange featurd in many movies these days? I thought that was very common in most shit blockbusters these days.



ie, Is over-used by Michael Bay. A lot.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 9
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 14/10/2012 10:47:53 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shifty Bench


quote:

ORIGINAL: will1000

CSI Miami (not a film I know) has a terrible orange filter that is used on every exterior shot. I know it's 'stylised' and supposed to show how sunny and warm it is, but it just makes me wonder why Miami is orange?! I've been to Cuba and it's not orange there. Dexter doesn't use it. So WTF mate?!


You answered your own question, really. Also, it's to make it stand out from other shows.



Is this the teal and orange featurd in many movies these days? I thought that was very common in most shit blockbusters these days.



Yeah, but not often in TV, which I think was Will's point.


_____________________________

Extended Edition Podcast- Episode 46:Threads Of Destiny (Star Wars Fan Film)

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 10
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 15/10/2012 1:45:32 PM   
great_badir


Posts: 4662
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
We'll all be earnestly deconstructing Batteship Potemkin and the feminist cinema of the Ukraine before we know it!)


Please don't deconstruct Potemkin - it's already the longest 66 minutes in the history of film. It doesn't need to be drawn out any more.

(/watches The Untouchables)

_____________________________

FAVE FILMS
BO BOMBS

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 11
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 15/10/2012 10:45:30 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010
Is Battleship Potemkin the film most frequently referenced by people who have never actually seen it? I have, incidentally. I was forced to watch it once at gunpoint as part of a politics course.* I'm not a completely uncultured oaf/cinematic philistine. I acknowledge Eisenstein's revolutionary contribution to cinema (in every sense) which we now take completely for granted and can appreciate Battleship Potemkin as a piece of art. I just struggle to believe that all those critics who always vote for it in the Sight & Sound film poll as a matter of course don't secretly prefer to watch Caddyshack of an evening.

(Is it really only 66 minutes long? It felt longer.)








* I''ve also seen Olympiad and Triumph of the Will. (Olympiad wasn't as good as Danny Boyle's opening ceremony and Triumph of the Will just ripped-off the ending of Star Wars!)

< Message edited by chris kilby -- 15/10/2012 10:46:52 PM >

(in reply to great_badir)
Post #: 12
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 16/10/2012 6:49:52 AM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5101
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

Image systems are deliberately recurring motifs and almost-subliminal images in films which symbolise themes and other hidden depths and allusions. No, really. These can be subtle to the point of being imaginary or heavy-handed to the point of hitting you over the head.

Oranges seem to symbolise death in The Godfather films. Vito is shot while buying oranges and later dies with orange peel in his mouth. Michael is eating an orange when he orders the climactic murder montage at the end of Part II and drops an orange when he dies at the end of Part III. But they are everywhere throughout the trilogy. On tables during fateful conference meetings. In baskets, in bowls or on stalls; in great big piles in front of the camera or plaintively rolling about on the floor after a massacre. Fanucci helps himself to an orange from a market stall just before young Vito shoots him - big mistake! And Carlo and Johnny Ola even wear orange suits - arrividerci! So if Al Pacino ever hands you an orange you can't refuse, better say your prayers...

Yellow signifies danger in Jaws. Alex Kitner's inflatable, the lights on Matt Hooper's boat and Quint's yellow barrels. White picket fences (which resemble sharks' teeth) also recur throughout the film, sometimes in incongruous places - the beach!?!

In Star Wars the good guys tend to be colourful/rustic while the bad guys tend to be cold and colourless - black, white, grey. When they were fighting for the Republic, clone troopers were brightly coloured and distinctive, but later Imperial Stormtroopers a uniform white. Also, the Empire tends to be all straight lines while the Rebelion tends to be all funky curves, spaceship-wise. And blue/green lightsabres = good; red lightsabres = bad; and purple lightsabres = bad motherfuckers!

Eyes in Blade Runner signify both memory/identity and surveillance/paranoia. "Red eye" signifies if someone's a Replicant or not - which you'd think would make them easy to spot!

Phallic and vaginal/reproductive imagery and there is an awful lot of rape/penetration in the Alien series. In Alien: Resurrection the Xenomorphs were appropriately lit to look the colour of turds. And in Prometheus the new critters were a bit of an incoherent mess.

Labyrinths, geometric shapes and fucking horrible carpets in The Shining. But as the forthcoming Room 237 shows, this is barely scratching the surface!

Smileys in Watchmen.

There are a lot of straight lines in The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan has said these represent the order the anarchic Joker is out to destroy.

In Unbreakable, green is Bruce Willis' "super-hero" colour (he even wears a green "cape") while purple is Samuel L Jackson's colour.

The Matrix has a green tint to it and is very symmetrical. The "real world" doesn't and isn't.

Chinatown has twin motifs of water and glass/reflections - mirrors, glasses, binoculars, cameras, even eyes - all the corpses in Chinatown have their eyes open!

Eggs were a curious recurring motif (Mofftif?) in the last series of Doctor Who. The last episode was even a hard-boiled noir pastiche/Singing Detective "homage." (It was doubles the previous series.)

Then there's the feet in Tarantino's movies, although that's more a fetish than a motif!


They were throughout The Sopranos too, in much the same way as The Godfather's oranges.

_____________________________

www.hollywoodunbound.co.uk - some nonsense about alien film directors and musclebound man-children.

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 13
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 17/10/2012 12:31:19 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010
Eggs, chickens, Angel Heart? I haven't seen it in years, but that sticks in my mind.

(in reply to horribleives)
Post #: 14
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 17/10/2012 1:06:44 PM   
great_badir


Posts: 4662
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
Is Battleship Potemkin the film most frequently referenced by people who have never actually seen it? I have, incidentally. I was forced to watch it once at gunpoint as part of a politics course.* I'm not a completely uncultured oaf/cinematic philistine. I acknowledge Eisenstein's revolutionary contribution to cinema (in every sense) which we now take completely for granted and can appreciate Battleship Potemkin as a piece of art. I just struggle to believe that all those critics who always vote for it in the Sight & Sound film poll as a matter of course don't secretly prefer to watch Caddyshack of an evening.

(Is it really only 66 minutes long? It felt longer.)


Eisenstein was a fine tactician, technician and logistics manager, there is no doubting that, but, in my opinion, nearly all of his films are completely devoid of anything to engage the audience on a personal level (all of which are accusations that have also been made about David Lean's later films). They just leave me cold, bored and, heh, longing for Caddyshack.

Like you, I'm not a philistine - I'm not one of those "if it's silent and/or foreign and/or in black and white and/or more than forty years old, I'm not interested" types. I love German expressionism and early European cinema and the like, I just don't connect with Eisenstein.

_____________________________

FAVE FILMS
BO BOMBS

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 15
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 17/10/2012 1:38:31 PM   
UTB


Posts: 9936
Joined: 30/9/2005
Nobody mentioned Drive and the scorpion yet?

(in reply to great_badir)
Post #: 16
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 17/10/2012 9:55:48 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
Is Battleship Potemkin the film most frequently referenced by people who have never actually seen it? I have, incidentally. I was forced to watch it once at gunpoint as part of a politics course.* I'm not a completely uncultured oaf/cinematic philistine. I acknowledge Eisenstein's revolutionary contribution to cinema (in every sense) which we now take completely for granted and can appreciate Battleship Potemkin as a piece of art. I just struggle to believe that all those critics who always vote for it in the Sight & Sound film poll as a matter of course don't secretly prefer to watch Caddyshack of an evening.

(Is it really only 66 minutes long? It felt longer.)


Eisenstein was a fine tactician, technician and logistics manager, there is no doubting that, but, in my opinion, nearly all of his films are completely devoid of anything to engage the audience on a personal level (all of which are accusations that have also been made about David Lean's later films). They just leave me cold, bored and, heh, longing for Caddyshack.

Like you, I'm not a philistine - I'm not one of those "if it's silent and/or foreign and/or in black and white and/or more than forty years old, I'm not interested" types. I love German expressionism and early European cinema and the like, I just don't connect with Eisenstein.


Ah, but how was Battleship Potemkin received at the time? (I mean apart from being banned in the UK in case it inspired the likes of us to rise up in revolt!) Maybe Sergei Eisenstein was the Michael Bay of his day...

(in reply to great_badir)
Post #: 17
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 17/10/2012 9:59:26 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: UTB

Nobody mentioned Drive and the scorpion yet?


I'm more interested in Drive and Alan Partridge. Not to mention Ryan Gosling's unnerving resemblance to Stan Laurel. Well, old Stan did put it about a bit - maybe they're related. And while I'm on the subject, I'm convinced that Bill Clinton is Mickey Rooney's illegitimate son! Then there's the whole bizarre Rick Astley/Max Bygraves thing...

(in reply to UTB)
Post #: 18
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 18/10/2012 2:20:01 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby


quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
Is Battleship Potemkin the film most frequently referenced by people who have never actually seen it? I have, incidentally. I was forced to watch it once at gunpoint as part of a politics course.* I'm not a completely uncultured oaf/cinematic philistine. I acknowledge Eisenstein's revolutionary contribution to cinema (in every sense) which we now take completely for granted and can appreciate Battleship Potemkin as a piece of art. I just struggle to believe that all those critics who always vote for it in the Sight & Sound film poll as a matter of course don't secretly prefer to watch Caddyshack of an evening.

(Is it really only 66 minutes long? It felt longer.)


Eisenstein was a fine tactician, technician and logistics manager, there is no doubting that, but, in my opinion, nearly all of his films are completely devoid of anything to engage the audience on a personal level (all of which are accusations that have also been made about David Lean's later films). They just leave me cold, bored and, heh, longing for Caddyshack.

Like you, I'm not a philistine - I'm not one of those "if it's silent and/or foreign and/or in black and white and/or more than forty years old, I'm not interested" types. I love German expressionism and early European cinema and the like, I just don't connect with Eisenstein.


Ah, but how was Battleship Potemkin received at the time? (I mean apart from being banned in the UK in case it inspired the likes of us to rise up in revolt!) Maybe Sergei Eisenstein was the Michael Bay of his day...



It was accliamed worldwide...so no. There was some conflict in the Soviet Union about them but that's a different story.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 19
RE: Image Systems and Motifs - 18/10/2012 12:02:37 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1282
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation



It was accliamed worldwide...so no.




(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 20
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Movie Musings >> Image Systems and Motifs Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


 
Movie News  |  Empire Blog  |  Movie Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Video Interviews  |  Image Gallery  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Magazine  |  Resources
 
Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.094