The concept of the “Byronic Protagonist’ is derived from popular characters from the Romanticist “Lord George Gordon Byron” and his works. The Byronic protagonist is
What does a WW2 Movie Have to be?
- Needs to be factually accurate.
- Needs to be sensitive and respectful towards its subject.
- The ability to gain an emotional response.
Saving private Ryan: Opening Sequence:
- Slow, militaristic music, has connotations to war remembrance. –
- Opens with the American flag – patriotism – dying for their country.
- Opens in the “present day” – an instant emotional response for this character.
- The character’s face is shocked, just before you see the graves.
- Links back to him ‘walking amongst his men’ once more is a sad visual.
- Shot of the character falling in front of the grave
- Shot of the family reinforces the films point that all the soldiers died for something.
- All the rows of graves – Showing the mass of deaths during this war – factual themes. – ‘endless rows’
- A flag is patriotic.- covering the screen – a clear and strong theme
- The flags colours are desaturated – shows how time has passed –
- Low angle looking up at the flag showing superiority – themes of heaven and death is shown with the bright light shining down at it.
- An enigma shot – tracking the character feet – not knowing who the person is.
- The character is seen crying at a grave – this is used to not only gain an emotional response but also throws the viewer off.
Second Sequence: The Beach
- The metal ‘X’s’ look like the graves
- there are lots of individual faces, making it feel more personal.
- Instant mass death – reenforcing what was shown in the opening sequence.
- A sudden realisation for the viewer – the bloody, gory deaths – sensitising the viewer to the reality of this war.
- blood red water
- Sound – zoned out – as if from the position of Tom Hanks.
- Realism – very difficult to hear and understand the characters speaking over the gunshots and explosions.
- Film stocks – colours are very desaturated in the beach
- You link the shots of tom, and the old geez because it zooms in on the old geez, and zooms out of tommy boy linking the two g’s.
- Miller’s hand is shaking – adding another layer to the narrative.
- Blood splattered over the camera lens – could add another layer of realism but also b]break the viewers suspension of disbelief – known there is is a camera.
- Action reaction shots – Tom Hanks seeing all the horror around him. Subjective positioning – especially the image of the man looking around for his arm – showing the shock and senselessness during this.
- 149 seconds of logos!
- Opening is like a Japanese scroll, but the camera is looking right to left, showing backwards ways.
- Peaceful landscapes metaphorically show the peace of the time, before they get greedy.
- Camera shows the work cabin before the characters, suggesting it as a plot device.
- The gun shots are in direct conflict with the peaceful setting, making it all the more shocking.
- “quick profits in war are as easy gone as won, the more you earn the greedier you get”
- the happiness and urgency she has with the return if her husband informs the concept ‘good wife, wise mother’
- Low contrast shows how confused the characters are at this moment in time.
- High key showing the prosperous nature of the time.
- He can become a samurai if he has armour – strong capitalist message – you can achieve your dreams if you have the materialistic wealth.
- There is already a strong conflict between capitalist materialism, and socialism, between the men and their wives, with the wives getting advice like “money earned in war are as easy gone as won, the more you earn the greedier you get”, and the men getting told that he needs armour to become a samurai.
- Really high contrast low key lighting showing him getting consumed by his dreams.
- Is he special needs?
- They start off as a happy family, and he starts ignoring them when he starts focusing on capitalism.
- When they put the new clothes on, they say “aren’t you happy now” like the materialism is making them happy.
- “its not because of the kindness of the Kimono that i am happy, but for the kindness of your heart that i am happy”.
- “I do not wish for anything more than to always have you by my side” a wish that is not for-filled as she dies before the end.
- His wife tells him to “give up now” because they “have enough money”, which is what he learns to do by the end of the film.
- The lighting is studio lighting, lit above the wife giving her the otherworldly appearance of an angel, which will conflict with the appearance of his other wife, later in the film who is a daemon.
- he needs his wife to help him make his profit, by turning the wheel – woman supports, and is neccicairy to the man.
- the cinematography is like a portrait no changes in angles, some movement side to side though.
- “Without our husbands we wont survive”
- the lake is non naturalistically looking with fog covering up everywhere stopping the rest of the lake from being seen.
- The city is high key lighting
- her hat is dark, showing the daemon look.
- he still cares about his wife, even though he is more concerned with profit – do they come hand in hand, does his need for profit stem from his love of his wife, and his need to take care of her.
- there is a shot of the house burnt up, them a refilling shot of it clean.
- black hair, like a cat, and a devil.
- she takes up most of the frame, and covers him over, showing her power over him.
- she physically drags him down to her level.
- Even a powerful woman like her, dances for the amusement of the men (whipped geez, and her father).
- The same voice thing happens to her father, happens to the voice of all the dead people.
- The old lady is baaaare creepy fam.
- There seems to be a spotlight effect over the man when he sleeps in the haunted house.
- She is always lit in high key.
- “even if you were a daemon, i would never let you go”.
- Suggestive violence.
- Theme of opitunism – the characters are opportunistic.
- “let us return to my kingdom” – she means death.
- Wide aspect ratio
- The bridge was non natural as you can see the bridge as a set, and there is no background, isolating them.
- Snow was a representative of her cold heart, that she didn’t feel it shows her cold shows how cold she is as a person. – Pathetic Fallacy
- Striking structural change – Starts in the middle of the action
- Female lead
- Colour – striking, saturated
- Lighting – low key
- Only about a third of the shot is on the characters
- Shocking opening scene
- Music – Intense, Mysterious, no nature in the scene so they used music to evoke feeling
- Lines – Abstract lighting
- Sound Bell – quite unsettling, she likes the sound of the bell that unsettles most people, making her seem more evil – Funeral bell.
- “It feel like we’re actors in a Kabuki play”
- “feels like we are eloping” – Run away secretly to get married.
- very overly dramatic, killing all realism, making you disconnect with the characters, not care about them for the rest of the story, and ruining the film before it begins.
- they’re all in black, apart from Irizumi.
- Non linear narrative – Dropped into the ‘action’ from the first scene.
Irezumi middle sequence
- difference between men and women in the golden age vs new age.
- do they ever state that the spider on her back is magical? she doesn’t seem bothered by it (could just be bad acting?)
- is the spider actually magical, or is she just using it as an excuse.
- it is just a frankenstein thing (my perfect creation has got out of hand – the tattoo artist has created the perfect spider, not in the form of a tattoo, but in turning her into a spider)
- supernatural themes explore things that you would find hard to come right out and say, due to japan’s conservative culture
- “between man and woman, its a fight to the death anyhow” – samurai to the main character – links the two; she would have been samurai-like, if she was born a man – she shows masculine qualities.
- they look like the most uncomfortable pillows ever.
- he is the only one that does not see her as an object, and is also below her – she os the man, and he is the woman in the relationship.
- you can only see the spider when she is naked – link.
- the same music (that first played when she was getting tattoo’d) always plays when the spider
- ‘Danna’ is when someone pays a large amount of money for a wife-like person, so her calling him “Danna” is ironic, and sort of takes the piss.
- the tight framing represents her restraining, like before they left
Irezumi: End Sequence
- “Why, a thunderbolt in springtime” – connotations of danger an horror
- Irezumi ends with death whereas Rashomon ends with life
- Pathetic fallacy throughout the whole scene – thunder represents emotions and horror.
- Throughout the film she has her “husband” to defend her and kill all the men, however after she’s killed him, she has no defence and thus dies
- He gets into a lot of fights and they all end in him killing the men – showing she is the only one that can kill him.
- He cant kill her because he doesn’t actually thrust at her, he just tries to grab her, where as she doesn’t try to grab him, and just stabs him.
- He is her exception, as he is the only one that feels inferior to her and he is the only one she directly kills, and he’s the only one she gives a funeral to.
- He stabs the spider, and her, for they are one in the same.
- The tattoo artist also blames someone else for ‘his killings’, just likes blames him and the spider.
- She fades out, dwindling like a flame.
- Her husband always killed her attackers, but now that she’s killed him, she has no defence.
- He gets into a lot of fights, and kills 4/5 people, but the only person that can kill him is her.
- “I must deceive all those bastards and make them pay”
- Possessed by the spider, or obsessed by revenge?
- Framing – vertical lines down the screen- shows her being caged.
- What is a ‘joro’ spider – the Jorō Spider is a member of the golden orb-web spider group. The spider can be found throughout Japan except Hokkaidō, in Korea, Taiwan and China.
- The tattoo artist is the only man she is scared of.
- Thunder seen during close up on the spider, again, representing horror and danger.
- The husband is similar to Frankenstein, the scientist, as the monster in the story focuses their evil around their life, tormenting them, mentally.
- “Have you seen enough” – her to the tattoo artist, when he’s looking at the spider, but he’s “seen enough” killing.
- Everyone is blaming someone else for their actions.
- Shocking image of all three characters dead in a pile – rain is a form of pathetic fallacy
- The end of Irezumi shows the end of life – whereas in Rashomon the end of the film doesn’t signify the end, it shoes the beginning of new life, as represented by the baby.
- No moral message in the film – very cynical full of bad people doing bad things – no moral guide, pointing the way to correct moral actions eg Rashomon has the monk.
- The blood pumping out of her shows the blood of the men the spider has killed.
- He kills the spider, and kills her at the same time, like they need each other – after she was sold, it was like she was killed, and is on life support, in the form of a spider – like a parasite.
The Job Offer
INT. inside the bar – Late
Open on a bar, in south, central Boston, Camera establishing the scene with a medium-long shot, looking at the barman cleaning glasses, when a large, brooding man wearing a sharp suit under a trench coat enters the shot and sits at the bar, on the right half of a front on medium shot.
[Cut to a medium shot of the barman]
Give me two minutes.
before he can go out the back, a scrawny man, wearing a polo top and a cheap jacket enters the frame. He obnoxiously announces his presence in the bar.
[Cut to a medium-long shot of the door]
Yo, barman! whip me up a whiskey, sharpish!
The Barman sighs, annoyed by the man’s rude entrance to his establishment and answers in a bored manner.
Put your gun in the box behind the bar, and ill “whip up” a whiskey for you when I get back.
The barman disappears out the back of the bar.
(Acknowledging) Alright boss.
‘KEATON’ looks round the bar, and focus’ his sight on the first man, who is already at the bar.
Hey, buddy! Mind if i sit with you?
Directing his question to the man at the bar. The man does not turn to meet the eye of his new found acquaintance.
(jokingly) Too bad, I’m coming over.
[Cut to a medium shot, facing the man sitting at the bar, who occupies the right of the shot]
KETON sits next to the first man, occupying the left half of the shot.
‘KEATON’ looks around, ending up staring at the first man, who does not react to the curious leer of ‘KEATON’
[Cut to close up of KEATON, whose face is visible]
Hey, I recognise you.
[Cut to close up of the first man, whose face is covered in shadow]
Really? I don’t recognise you.
[Cut to second man]
Yeah, you were down by the docks, when we were unloading the shipment last week. Hard to miss you.
[Cut to first man, whose face comes out of the shadow]
[Cut to second man]
Yeah. Didn’t know why I was there, looked like you could have unloaded the whole thing by yourself.
[Cut to square shot of both men]
The first man blanks KEATONS question, and has a fed up look on his face, trying to ignore KEATON, whilst KEATON looks anxious, and keen to fill the awkward silence.
Well… I’m Keaton by the way, Keaton Miles…
[Cut to medium shot of the first man]
There is an ugly pause as the first man doesn’t reply.
[Cut to a parallel shot of Keaton]
So… how’d you get drafted in with Costello’s Guys?
[Cut back to first man]
[Cut back to Keaton]
Ok… um, so you got a history with the Costello’s?
[Cut back to first man]
You could say that.
[Cut back to Keaton]
Yeah, looks like I’m doing most of the saying here.
light pause, while ‘KEATON’ plays at taking a serious tone, but then laughs at his own joke, making the first man crack a small smile.
[cut back to first man]
So you like working for Costello?
[cut back to Keaton]
Slight pause before Keaton answers. He looks happy at the turn in the conversation.
Yeah… a jobs a job… they’re alright. Nothing like working for McGuire though.
[shot slides over so that the first man is in view, behind Keaton]
Keaton looks over to see the first man smiling. He is relieved, and becomes more relaxed.
Yeah, wish I was still there, it was wicked, he was so stupid he had me doing his books!
You? must have been stupid.
The First man cracks a slight condescending smile.
(laughing) Oi! I ended up stealing so much money off of him, and guess what?
When he finally found out, I just walked away, joined Costello’s people, and he can’t touch me, haha, no one’s messin’ with Costello; not after what he did to Boyle, and his guys hahaha.
[cut to a face on shot of Keaton]
Lower key lighting with a slightly brighter light coming from the other man’s angle, who’s voice has a more of an echo-y feel now.
How… interesting. So you been taking a little from Costello on the side as well?
Just the odd buck, I ain’t crazy.
…I can see.
Haha, although saying that, might a little more than that soon…
Keaton seems to be considering something, hesitating before he speaks.
… hey, I’ll let you in on a job if you want. We’re looking for an extra guy, and you could be perfect. There’s big bucks involved?
There is another hesitation before the first man speaks, suggesting that he is pondering his options.
[the shot pans over revealing the first man, sat next to KEATON]
I’m interested, go on…
[the shot and back to a close up pf KEATON, but slowly pans backwards as he speaks, moving to a position where both men are equal in the frame]
As the shot pans backward, KEATON tries to hide his emotions, but fails and becomes more animated due to his excitement at the topic of convocation, whilst the first man slowly rotates his shoulders, inviting KEATON to speak more.
Well basically me and a few of the other guys got someone on the inner circle who’s got a key to Costello’s personal safe, I don’t really know much as I’m new, heck I’ve never even seen Costello, and I’m robbing him. Anyway, they said they needed some muscle; and well, I can’t see us finding more muscle than you, what’d say?
[cut to an angled shot with both men in, but
the first man in the foreground]
I’d say tell me more about the man you’ve got on the inner circle…
[Camera pan round to an extreme close up shot of Keaton]
You’d never believe this, but its Jimmy…
[cut to square on extreme close up of the first man]
The first man is shocked for half a second, but controls his facial expressions so that KEATON doesn’t notice.
[cut to square on extreme close up of KEATON, mirroring the shot before of the first man]
KEATON looks to find the answer funny, chuckling at the first man.
…as in Costigan. Costello’s cousin! Haha
[Cut back to the extreme cause up of the first man]
The first man has a sly smile with a hint of humour and confusion at KEATON’S answer.
What’s he doing this for?
[Camera pans quickly to revel KEATON in the shot]
Fuck if I know, but he seemed really pissed at something when I met him.
[cut to a medium shot of the first man]
The first man turns back to face the bar, and starts to stare into space, with a ponderous look on his face.
And when was this?
[cut to a medium shot of KEATON, again mirroring the shpt of the first man]
I can’t remember. Last Tuesday, I think. You know, I reckon he was the guy who planned this whole thing in the first place; seemed to really want to get revenge for something. But hey, whatever the reason, I’m glad it’s making me rich hahaha. Where’s this barman gone anyway?
The first man seems unconcerned by the question of the barman whereabouts, and becomes inquisitive.
He stepped out for a bit, do you know what he’s pissed about?
Nah, only that it’s something to do with him getting even, something like that.
Yeah… Anyway, can I count on your loyalty?
The barman comes back, interrupting the conversation, so that the first man doesn’t get a chance to answer.
Sorry ‘bout the wait, had to hide the bottle from the other barmen. They’d sell this to anyone. Idiots, couldn’t tell their Glenfiddich form their Glenmorange.
Wheres my whiskey
Make the barman ask for Keaton’s gun, but not Costello’s.
(camera blur and fade out when the barman reviews the secret)
Make Costello tell the barman to put a sedative in Keaton’s drink (offer to pay for KEATON’S drink, and order his ‘speciality’), so that’s why Keaton goes unconscious.
Make Keaton wake up from the blur being tortured by Costello, who kills him for giving away the names too easily.
As KEATON takes a sip off his drugged drink, the first man asks for a whiskey, and the barman replies, “yes, Mr. Costello” – KEATON is shocked and says “What!?” as the camera fades and he blacks out.
Start with an establishing shot – Fenway park, northeastern uni, MIT, Harvard bridge, docks – time-lapse from light to dark.
Start at the dock
Outside of the bar?
call him Costello
make Costello get it out of him – or show how much of an idiot Keaton it – keaton is on drugs?
what is keaton doing in the bar anyway?
Give the flashback the same idea
costello says what are you doing here? – and he looking
How does Christopher Nolan express the Byronic Protagonist in different ways in his films?
ITEM 1 -The dark knight
I chose this as my focus film because it is the most critically acclaimed film, of his ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’, which are arguably his most recognisable films (due to the character, and Ticket sales). As well as this, Nolan deals with the traditional presentation of the Byronic hero, in arguably its most famous incarnation; Batman. As well as looking at a Byronic Antagonist in the form of ‘the Joker’.
ITEM 2 – Memento
This was his second feature length film, based off of a short story his brother wrote, and his first Studio movie, and shows clear examples of traits the he uses throughout his career, such as a non-linear narrative. As well as this, the troubled protagonist concept is shown differently here as he has to deal with not being able to know whats happening, making the audience question the concept of their own reality.
ITEM 3 – Inception
I chose this, because it is seen as an individual project from Nolan, as he had unlimited time to create it, and Huge resources, used as a sort of reward for how much profit he made the studio’s with the ‘dark knight trilogy’. This allowed him to do whatever he wanted to do, with his own project, making it in some sense, his ‘truest’ film. As well as this, the idea of the Byronic Protagonist can be seen as a reflection of Nolan himself; as the team is meant to mirror a film crew, with ‘Cobb’ being the director, ‘Eames’ being the actor, ‘Saito’ being the studio head etc. Thus making Cobb a reflection of himself as the writer and director.
ITEM 5 – Inception Review. Veriety.com. Justin Chang. JULY 5, 2010 | 04:00PM PT – http://variety.com/2010/film/markets-festivals/inception-1117943114/
ITEM 6 – Memento Review – Roger Ebert.com. Roger Ebert. April 13, 2001 http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/memento-2001
ITEM 7 – The Dark Knight Review. TheHollywoodReporter.com. Kirk Honeycutt. 18/07/2008 9:19 AM PDT. – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/film-review-dark-knight-125033
These Reviews Gives me an insight into how the use of the ‘Byronic Protagonist was received at the time of release. All of the reviews are by different company’s, and different reviewers in order to diversify the reaction and response to the films in order to grasp a wider my understanding of how critics reacted to the presentation of Nolan Byronic Hero.
This has basic information as well as good quotes about the Byronic Hero.
This source has examples of Byronic Protagonist’s that will helped me to grasp the concept of the Byronic Protagonist. As well as this it has information about the role the Byronic Protagonist has in popular culture.
“[Interstellar]… Plays like a confused mix of daringly unique space travel footage like you’ve never seen, and a daringly familiar emotional and plot beats that you’ve seen all to many times before” – James Rocchi for ‘the playlist’
ITEM 10 – Christopher Nolan on the structure of the portrayal of the narrative structure in ‘Memento’, which allows me to .
ITEM 11 – How does Christopher Nolan use cinematography to tell a story?
This explains common themes and techniques, and how they’re applied to create narratives, with common threads, as well as explaining how three different.
ITEM 12 – The Dark Knight — Creating the Ultimate Antagonist
ITEM 13 – Christopher Nolan | The Illusion of Identity
This explains how Nolan uses the main protagonist and links all of his protagonist through the theme of identity (as well as comparing them to different antagonists throughout his films), which is relevant because all of his films are very main protagonist focused, and are about men who struggle to perceive reality.
ITEM 14 – Christopher Nolan – The Pursuit of Complexity
This analyses some common conceptions about Nolan and his films, and compares them to his influences, and how similar they are.s
ITEM 15 – Camera Angles and Movement: Christopher Nolan, “Pencil Trick” Scene, The Dark Knight
ITEM 16 – Byronic Hero in Literature | Definition of Byronic Hero
I choose this because it clearly defines the idea of the ‘Byronic Hero’, which is an essential aspect of my research focus.
ITEM 17 – How Christopher Nolan was inspired by Francis Bacon
This source links to the visual influences of Francis Bacon and how it influences Heath Ledger’s face paint for the joker, and how it gave the character a . As well as this, Nolan says that he was inspired by how the “black spaces” in Bacon’s paintings make the audience wonder about the emptiness of the paintings, about how “The more he removes, the less he tells you whats out there, the more I [he] tend[s] to think about whats out there in the black spaces”, and how he used this to create his characters. The mystery of the blank spaces add to the
ITEM 19 – http://enfilme.com/notas-del-dia/como-el-arte-inspira-a-los-directores-de-cine-christopher-nolan-mike-leigh-y-ken-loach
Sight and Sound
ITEM 20 – http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/features/christopher-nolan-escape-artist
Robert McKee – Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
(A protagonist and his or her story can only be as intellectually fascinating and emotionally compelling as the forces of antagonism make them.
ITEM 21 – The Fictional Christopher Nolan:
ITEM 22 – Recapturing the Byronic Hero: Christopher Nolan’s Batman Films (University of Arizona)
ITEM D1 – The Prestige
I choose this because it has a conflict between two Byronic Protagonists, and interestingly presents the conflict between them.
Review – http://www.empireonline.com/movies/prestige/review/
ITEM D2 – Christopher Nolan’s Top 10 Rules For Success
This clearly examines common traits Nolan uses to create his films, and how he applies them.
ITEM D3 – Christopher Nolan Interview – The Culture show
What does Irezumi say about men, women, and Samurai?
Irezumi suggests that, in the ‘new age’ of Japanese cinema men and women are more equal than the typical Japanese culture of the ‘golden age’ of Japanese cinema, in films like ugetsu, where the women are chiefly used as dramatic devices, suffering so that the men can learn their lessons, ‘new age’ films like ‘Irezumi’, has a main protagonist that has the power to change the narrative, with male characters, like her husband, being used as a narrative device; in order to show her change, as he has not changed and thus contrasts on who she was at the beginning of the film, and portrays the change the spider has on her character.
Irezumi also expresses relative equality between men and women by exploring the complexities of their characters, and what gives them power in different circumstances. Irezumi explores this, using the dynamic between Otsuya and the samurai, as when she goes to meet the samurai for the second time, the samurai takes up most of the screen, showing his confidence in his power over her, even though in previous scenes they were in conflict with each other. Despite this shot of the samurai’s power, there is a shot, later in the scene, over the shoulder of the samurai, looking down at Otsuya, initiating the start of the promiscuous activities, and also the shift in power between the two characters, as even though the samurai takes up most of the shot, looking down on Otsuya; giving him the physical power, the woman has a calm expression on her face, telling the audience that not being intimidated but his physical presence, initiates the shift of power, as the next shot, with them together, the spider dominates the screen, finishing the shift of power from the samurai, to the woman and the spider. The fact the the power can shift between a man and a woman within scenes, proves that equality is more common place, and acceptable in the ‘new age’ of Japanese cinema.
Irizumi also explores the new ways of thinking, in terms of the equality of gender, by creating a complex protagonist, in Otsuya, who is not typecast because of her gender, as she is manipulative, and evil, but is so because of evil done to her. Otsuya is seen to justify her actions throughout the film, with lines of dialogue, telling her husband to “blame the spider on my back” for her vengeful ways, creating a sense that she doesn’t want to take responsibility for her own evil, making the audience think that the spider has no supernatural qualities, and is just a metaphorical representative of the wrong done to her, that she is using to justify her actions. However the audience become conflicted, by being offered an opposing view; as the spider is also suggested to have a supernatural hold over Otsuya. Throughout the film, there are long extended shots of the spider tattoo, every time she murders someone, and every time she manipulates her husband into doing so, the audience become conflicted over the true nature of Otsuya, as the two suggested perceptions of Otsuya presented by the film (that being the powerless victim; being controlled by the supernatural spider, and the complex, evil woman, manipulating, men, women and children, and hell bent on revenge), are a representative of the conflicting perceptions of women in Japan, in the transition of the ‘golden age’, and the ‘new wave’ of cinema; with the ‘simple minded victim’ being the golden age’s perception of women, and the ‘complex, independent and intelligent woman, doing what she wants’, being a representative of the ‘new wave’ of thinking.
As well as the film giving a conflicting presentation of Otsuya, the characters in the film, also seem to have conflicting views concerning her, with her husband, and the samurai viewing her, in the ‘new wave’ view; that being that she is complex, and can change, and the rest of the characters viewing have ‘golden age’ style perception of her, just being there to serve the men.