David Fincher The Complex Charismatic Hypnotic

In today’s modern films there are a few directors that excel in their craft and how they approach several style of films while leaving their mark upon them, continuing the directors showcase we take a look at our third director, an individual who stylizes his films ever so delicately along with his smooth camera work, taking a look at David Fincher and how he can make the complex flow so well and entertain at the same time.

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Taking a look at his feature films and also some music videos and commercials where he first started applying his dexterity, a delicate and balanced director, his sharp camera skills along with their desired shots perfectly emphasize the meaning and plot of his chosen project in which he has undertaken.

Having worked alongside musical artists such as Madonna for her “Vogue” video, Michael Jackson’s “Who Is It” amongst several others, this is where David Fincher first started in music videos, his approach was unique to tell the least, telling a story in each of his videos as well as the chosen songs adapting very well to the videos, he would soon move on and tackle his first project a third part in a sci-fi franchise- Alien 3.

The film was not very well received with critics and was not the strongest film of the sci-fi film series, Fincher simply said he hated working on it, a quote from The Guardian newspaper read, “”No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.”  The film Alien 3 would not be a memorable one for the chronology but his presence would truly be felt with his next project, an intense crime & psychological thriller- “Se7en”.

David Fincher would take us on a dark journey about a serial killer who is motivated to kill from the seven sins, with all his crimes and activities acting as his mode of operations, the detectives played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman form a great partnership on screen and truly apply their detective skills to the test hunting down the menacing  killer in a dark and rainy environment, Se7en a sinister and extremely dark thriller,  we would begin to slowly see the emergence of the “Fincher Thriller”  beginning to make its entrance, the film was successful in the box office both domestic and international.

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The film would feature a climactic finale scene with the infamous question that Brad Pitt asks of “What’s in the box?” , the studio did not originally want to put this scene in but Brad Pitt  stated that he would leave if they did not feature this scene, the scene would amalgamate and bring to a close a tense and brilliant thriller which truly paved the way for David Fincher.

Up next the psychological thriller “The Game” which featured Michael Douglas as someone who receives a mystery gift from his brother Sean Penn a live action game which consumes his life and makes him question his reality of what is real and what is featured within the game itself.

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We are also taken along for the ride but we wish that it was not us who received the gift as we slowly see his character slowly begin to deteriorate mentally as well as physically. There is of course the dark Fincher tone with many of his overall films as well as great twist in the end, but you cannot help but feel sorry for the protagonist and the environment in which he has been forced in to participate in a sinister and unbearable game.

Two years later Fincher would tackle one of his most ambitious projects yet, where he would adapt Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club” on the big screen. The film would be famous for not doing well at the box office but after being alienated by the audiences it would become an instant cult classic when it was released on DVD.

This could have been major factors influencing it when it first was released, mainly because it was quite progressive when it came out and other films at the time performed much better at the box office, but it cannot be helped that once it came out on DVD it had become a monster of a film hit.

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The directorial astonishment of Fincher was truly felt, featuring amazing camera shots and shocking scenes along the way, it had created a massive following, from start to finish this feature was hugely entertaining and it drew us into the world of mysterious characters of Tyler Durden & The Narrator both extremely opposite in their own way but with a mutual goal of starting a revolution through a fight club they both help create in some form. With its humorous and dark tones this would certainly be one of Fincher’s strongest results in creating a great adaption to an already brilliant novel but also an extremely notable unique film that was undertaken valiantly by David Fincher.

Dealing with the aftermath of a massive success of “Fight Club”  three years later in 2002 Fincher would make the claustrophobic and tense thriller (a theme being created already) “Panic Room”.

This would become a mainstream thriller as Fincher would describe it, and one for the wide audience to watch, a suspenseful film to say the least starring Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as the mother and daughter trapped in the panic room of their house while three criminals were looking for a fortune. The action is brilliant and Fincher did so well to contain it in a limited space.

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This film would deal for the first time in Finchers films as having a female lead as its central character, nothing that his previous film had done. After being three years since he released a feature film this would be a good effort as Fight Clubs success was still echoing and would still yet to echo for years to come. “Panic Room”  was great in the sense of a limited thriller with the whole duration of the film set in one specific environment and a good job at that.

His next film feature which was also an adaption of Robert Graysmith’s book, would come five years later in 2007 with “Zodiac” a film based on the book and the infamous Zodiac killer who’s case became famous in the 1970’s. The film deals with three detectives as they become attached and obsessed with the case.

This would become Fincher’s longest film by far in terms of duration, a brilliantly detailed film which also acts as a long case in the years that pass within the film. Having been well received by critics it did not do well in the box office domestically but well internationally. This was a large scale film having been shot digitally and featuring a well-known cast in Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr and Brian Cox.

The actors played their part well and throughout the film David Fincher captures brilliantly how this killer has affected them mentally and physically as well having exhausted them to find him. The film flows well and has always the dark tone of Fincher and makes the spectator want to find out how well this case was projected on the screen and if you don’t know anything about the case of the Zodiac killer, you will be given an excellent story that will make you want to learn more about it.

The next film would see David Fincher receive a staggering 13 Academy Award ®

nominations in his 2008 film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” an adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story which would see the film stretch in just under three hours.

The epic scale of it would see the remarkable story of the protagonist played by Brad Pitt age backwards while being involved in some extraordinary situations and global travels. There is an air of mythical and haunting themes as Fincher tackles the world of fantasy and history, the film’s huge budget of $150million was mainly used for the CGI and also for the aging process of the protagonist.

All in all there is something beautiful and rich in this film that is much lighter to all of Fincher’s previous films, he truly takes us on a journey and helps us discover who truly is Benjamin Button and his bizarre gift not so much a disease, for a short story David Fincher made the most of its vast and picturesque richness.

Next would come one of Fincher’s most award winning of films in the 2010 release of “The Social Network”  about the beginning and creation of Facebook as well as the legal battles that ensued from it.

David Fincher had a great collaborator to work with on this film the brilliant writer Aaron Sorkin, the flow of his script as well as the brilliant direction of Fincher made this film emanate very delicately, it was the first time that David Fincher felt he could truly trust in Aaron Sorkin as this duo was projected on the screen helping the film win 3 Bafta Awards, 4 Golden Globes and 3 Oscars.

The result was apparent in the brilliant writing of Sorkin and how the director had chosen to take on this truly ambitious and controversial project, Jessie Eisenberg doing a fine job as Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg, the cast looked very comfortable in their roles knowing there was a great leader guiding them behind the camera.

Up until then Fincher would take on an equally grand project as he would undergo adapting the very successful “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and for me there was only one director that could tackle this suspenseful and mysterious thriller.

With the brilliant music composition of Trent Reznor accompanying this great adaption I had seen the original Swedish version previously and Fincher does not miss a beat, it felt as though the film was not even for Hollywood as it felt intense, even for an R Rating (18 in UK), It is a harsh, gritty, and rough cinema viewing.

Girl_With_The_Dragon_Tattoo_2This was Fincher’s playground, and I believed he faced no challenges in adapting this, he made this film his own and the actress portraying the protagonist female of Lisbeth Salander played by Rooney Mara approached the role very well with the guidance of Fincher. I would be surprised if Fincher is not chosen to direct the next two that fulfil this films trilogy and I will have no doubt in my mind, as a director David Fincher can deliver on intense and nail-biting thrillers.

David Fincher would then go on to become an executive producer for the political thriller series starring Kevin Spacey “House of Cards”. Although he would only direct the first two episodes, his effect was felt in the oncoming episodes of the series, we can only hope season 2 was as gripping and brilliant as the first.

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He is a director that can make the seemingly complex seem feasible, through the environments in which he adapts in his films he can create a dark and imaginative world where you can exist and be afraid & entertained at the same time for this is truly one of his directorial aspects, to make film audiences seem uneasy while slowly drawing them in his world.

tumblr_mcx8l9tSR81rhmne4o1_1280For he has a charismatic gift of making audiences have a real experience when watching his films through his great selection of camera shots and his approach to characters that exist within his chosen setting along with his established atmosphere he wishes and does achieve.

“A movie is made for an audience and a film is made for both the audience and the film-makers.”

– David Fincher

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Frank Darabont The Skillful Character Cultivator

Continuing this director showcase where we previously left off, moving on to number two of the 23 best directors in the world, an individual who brings the best out of actors and a quite consistent director creating classics and adaptions on the big screen is Frank Darabont.

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His first feature film having made three different types of features before including a TV Movie “Buried Alive”, a short “The Woman in the Room” & a straight to video release“Nightshift Collection”.

His first feature film which had was nominated for 7 Oscars but shockingly not winning any at all! “The Shawshank Redemption” remains an all-time classic, nearly 20 years after its release I simply cannot get enough of this masterpiece, a bonding story over a number of years between prison inmates played by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.

The two onscreen looks exquisite, acting as if no cameras are even around but the presence of a director is felt- Darabont, that is one his characteristics bringing out the best in actors, it is a brilliant gift in which he possesses.

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Throughout this film the story flows effortlessly, each actor is fantastic in portraying their role, for a directorial debut this is certainly one of the best in recent memory, Darabont quickly stamped his mark on Hollywood but sadly not winning any awards for this film, it would remain iconic in every film fan’s record.

This would also make one the best adaptions on screen since Stephen King’s “The Shining” , directed by the equally brilliant Stanley Kubrick.

Shawshank can even make the most masculine of people shed a tear, it remains a debut benchmark that Darabont has achieved and serves as a lesson for any young aspiring filmmakers out there that a directorial debut if done brilliantly like Darabont sets the road for that directors forthcoming success.

Just when we thought that Darabont could not continue what he had started and spectators within audiences thought to themselves how he could possibly follow this up?

At approximately five years later Darabont would release yet another Stephen King adaption but an absolute gem of a powerful drama “The Green Mile”.

Darabont had done it yet again, he brought out the best in characters, their chemistry on screen and the unsettled atmosphere within the story had been achieved, receiving an R-rating (Rated 18 in UK), certain scenes were not for the faint of heart, depicting scenes of execution and unsettling emotion,

Darabont had tapped into the pure emotion of the audience, everyone had sympathised with John Coffey played phenomenally by the late Michael Clarke Duncan, we had felt equal emotions on screen, identical even, the power of Darabont had struck again.

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What you notice in his last two films is that the films flow smoothly, you enjoy them and you witness magic being made on screen, having not only directed the films Darabont also likes to contribute greatly to the script, in The Green Mile set in Louisiana and with a running time of just over three hours (which pass by) this feature made the four years’ worth waiting for,

The camerawork is absolutely superb and holds your attention through the very end, the cast is likewise wonderful and the direction flawless, the marvellous actors and the peaceful yet steady pace of the film held my attention increasingly through the three hours right to the touching culmination, Frank Darabont had managed yet again to bring the best out of his actors featuring Tom Hanks, James Cromwell, David Morse amongst others,

Those who read the book would have no arguments that the characters stood out of the page and they would have no disappointments in how Frank Darabont had handled the adaption.

Shortly after he would release another film starring Jim Carrey, although not one of his best work it tells the story of a blacklisted Hollywood writer who gets into a car accident and loses his memory before then settling down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

MV5BOTI2NjkzMTkxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzM2MjA5._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Frank Darabont challenges the principles of a community before bringing them together, Jim Carrey plays his role brilliantly reminiscent of Truman, Jim Carrey plays a drama version of himself in this touching film, an underrated feature with elements of Darabont, one of his lighter films in terms of intensity, a satisfying picture with great performances yet again.

Frank Darabont had waited six years before he released anything again but his 2007 film “The Mist” had shown us what a powerhouse he is in terms of characters and how terrifying human beings can become when faced with a terrifying reality.

The Mist tells a story of a freak storm which unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens take shelter in a supermarket fighting for their lives, but surprising as it may seem this is yet another Stephen King novel projected very magnificently on the screen.

In terms of character development this is one of the finest Darabont films since his debut, to portray the decaying timeline of certain people in this film, the characters quickly transform, not in terms of physical appearance, but in terms of psychological and mental appearance, it shows a truly disturbing reality of how unsettling we as humans can respond and adapt to a harrowing environment around us.

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With most of the film showing the characters being held up in supermarket they have a limited space to work with but witnessing such a scary timeline of uncertainty in their eyes and their behaviour, the characters are even so real it’s frightening..

The Mist is an underrated marvel, the ways in which individuals handle tragedy after tragedy and the ending nothing short of astonishing which I would not reveal on here, this is a masterful and suspense filled feature which I highly recommend.

This film will make you feel unsettled as you watch it scene by scene, it is unpredictable and truly distressing, in the case that the characters you once knew on the screen have been completely disturbed by the eerie situation manifesting around them, Darabont had made a welcome return to the screen by yet birthing another Stephen King novel.

Three years would pass before we would hear anything from Frank Darabont again, but he would make an unorthodox jump onto TV where he would lend his hand on making and producing an iconic TV show, this time based on a comic book series.

“The Walking Dead” would bring the elements of the existing comic book characters but with Darabont giving his personal characteristical touch, if you had witnessed his previous films you will already be used to his style of character approach and it becomes apparent throughout the seasons of this show but In July 2011, Darabont stepped down from his position as show runner for the series.

He is currently working on a screenplay of a Godzilla reboot scheduled to be released in 2014, but don’t rule out a directorial feature of this individual as he is sure to channel another Stephen King novel in the coming years.

Frank Darabont truly knows what goes into making a character and then selecting the appropriate individual to portray that character and then getting the best out of them,

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This is what makes him more than a film director his method of also writing screenplays adds to his skill of building a character from the ground up, sure enough he has an individual in mind when creating that character and he manages to keep that persistence and consistency when projecting that character on screen and manufacturers something splendid and equally vivid, a specialist filmmaker that really knows how to get to the heart of character and keep it alive, a unique film author.

“I think once you’ve finished a movie you really have to detach from it so that you can come back and watch it as an audience member..”

-Frank Darabont

Christopher Nolan The Master of the Modern Film Noir

There are few film directors today that have defined a decade of filmmaking, films which ignite debates and where moments are repeated by both word and image, Christopher Nolan has showcased in his own idealistic style why he is important to the film industry, and why he is vital in the survival of how films are made and how they become eternal through time.

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His first full feature length film Memento intertwines mystery and suspense, what Nolan chooses to do with it? – Have the film go non-chronological of course, he isn’t your conventional film director, he is what an author would be if a book was written while been filmed at the same time.

Contributing to screenplays as well as his directorial prowess, Memento gives the audience and the individual spectator a chance to participate in the film and solve the case as well as the protagonist Leonard played by Guy Pearce in the film, a character lost and confused while he tries and finds out who murdered his wife. Memento showcases the very best of Early Nolan and does it on a heavyweight scale even though the budget was under nine million dollars. The film takes us on a gripping journey in which we try and solve but Nolan being Nolan don’t expect an easy ending for a twist is always around the corner with this influential director.

Just two years after Memento was released Nolan follows up with another mystery starring Al Pacino & Robin Williams, an unconventional cast Nolan makes the most of it and delivers a great thriller based on the remake of the same name Insomnia.

A detective thriller set on a slightly bigger scale remade into a Nolan style, it has its moments of Nolanism with its twist and turns and brilliant still camerawork, Nolan manages to pull off a great remake of the same name of the 1997 Norwegian thriller while using two great actors side by side of Pacino and Williams.

For three years the director remained absent in Hollywood, he had picked up a project to reboot, a superhero series, a series that had been made well before in the past with Burton at the helm but Nolan wanted to offer his touch to it and deliver a momentous superhero trilogy that would remain untouched and locked in the memory as one of the finest superhero trilogies ever made.

2005 the year and so it had begun, Batman Begins showed what Nolan had in store for us, offering his noir and mysterious touch in his previous features, although it had made the least money out of the three films in the trilogy it had paved the way of something big to come, something much much bigger.

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People were sceptical at first that another Batman film was in the works but Nolan had shown us on screen that this trilogy was his, that he would own these films with his cemented directorial style, encompassing drama, action, suspense and mystery, The film had portrayed Batman as a detective who showed justice while knowing various martial arts techniques, Gotham was dark and gritty and the cast was perfectly picked to deliver a first class first part of a trilogy that would start something great prodigious.

After this The Prestige followed Nolan’s directorial feature timeline, a film that showed magicians at war, both Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman were brilliant in the roles as deceiving and mysterious individuals and this film came with plenty of twists and turns, Michael Caine also remained a loyal counterpart in his second appearance of five to come in Nolans later films.

Just when we thought the art of magic was an easy going occupation Nolan showed us all the darker and clandestine elements of it, set in London in the 19th century it shows the hunt and execution of the ultimate illusion and our hunt for the ultimate discovery in a film that would challenge us in its deception and enigmatic dexterity.

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One of Nolan’s very strong efforts and his oldest films in terms of its established timeline, Nolan had shown us a London in the 1900’s a very different one at that and with magicians at the epicentre of it he had delivered a durable, brilliant mystery while incorporating factual settings and Nolan being Nolan again challenges the audience to discuss the film in more detail, and to come up with their own conclusions and explanations. (It’s just what he does!)

After a two year break from directing, in that time since The Prestige Nolan had been working on a film that would launch him into the stratosphere and establish him and this film as a monumental achievement in terms of both comic book to film and how superheroes films were to be made today.

The Dark Knight which was Nolan’s fifth feature film paved the way, the film had become an instant game changer in terms of how comic books would be made into films, it had featured a great mystery within the film and a brilliant but dangerous cat and mouse (Bat & Joker) game with The Joker & The Batman, never before had such a film drifted so much attention away from the protagonist. Heath Ledger’s portrayal easily challenges Nicholson’s but bearing in mind these films were made at different periods and different styles but also a different approach to the character.

Nolans Dark Knight resembled a graphic novel and a mysterious one at that, it had participated the audience and challenged responses and debates about the film, it had become a film that you could never tire from, and Nolan had put his stamp down in his own directorial heavyweight style, the directorial brilliance of this film had enhanced the characters in every sense making them stand out of the screen especially the manipulative, sadistic Joker.

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When a director transforms an actor into an unrecognizable one that’s when you know he had performed his duty, and in this case there is absolute no exception. A momentous and astonishing comic book feature that would bring and set up a brilliant finale to a great trilogy but the second in the trilogy still remains the greatest superhero film of all time.

Inception which challenged the full idea of the origins of dreams as well as the subconscious mind was Nolan’s heist film in a way but in the case of Nolan it was an enriching and perplexing experience in the greater sense that made for repeat viewing.

A great cast as always in the case of Nolan films this film had mastered the idea of searching within your dreams and taking control of them, manipulating them to your advantage and gain. Sure we had seen films made from dreams in the past but not in the great and magnitude of a scale, Nolan had a massive budget to work with but he used it well and again he had challenged the audience with a brilliant ending that would spark again a debate amongst people, its Nolan loves to do, leave it to the audience to decide what happened.

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Inception was a mystery pushed to the full, a mystery on a brilliantly large scale that showed us an imaginative and wondrous world created from our minds or in this case Nolan’s mind. Lucid dreaming plays an important part in this film which is the ability to control your own dreams as you become aware in them, the feature had questioned our own ability in dreams and had made us research the origins of them, what truly makes us project these realistic illusions and portrayals of our minds and what would they look like on the big screen, Nolan had shown us an epic mystery feature that would again challenge our ability to handle yet another fantastic Nolan feature.

The time had become to experience a finale with the Batman trilogy being the first of Nolan’s creation, he had made fantastic films in between and he would set up a great finale featuring one of the darkest comic book heroes.

The Dark Knight Rises which came out in 2012 saw the end of the Batman franchise or the Batman reboot, Nolan knows great casting and in this film he had cast Tom Hardy as Bane shown in his previous film Inception, but Tom Hardy had been transformed into a brilliant and clever monster.

This would be regarded as the blockbuster Nolan film and Hollywood had now taken attention of his true directorial power, this film featured a large scale explosion as seen on the trailer but not seen in previous Nolan films, the only thing I would remember is the car chase scene in The Dark Knight, but in my opinion The Dark Knight Rises had been a fitting finale incorporating Nolan’s idealistic and brilliant directorial touches, he had created a brilliant trilogy that would remain immortal and untouched until someone decides to reboot Batman yet again, which I don’t see happening for a while.

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Christopher Nolan’s next feature film will come in a years’ time out in 2014, Interstellar which is an examination of scientist Kip Thorne’s theories of gravity fields, as well as other numerous theories that Einstein couldn’t prove, but before all that we would all witness how he approaches Man of Steel  as a writer and producer we will certainly see shades of Nolan but not being a director in this film we can’t help but feel the inspiration that will emerge from him within this film.

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Christopher Nolan has remained an influential figure in the master class of filmmaking and his films are proof of that, he has created an outstanding feel to his films, ones that intrigue and challenge us, no doubt in my mind that he is one of the best directors in the world right now and we cannot wait to see what vivid, dazzling and magnificent films he has in store for us next, In just fifteen years he has become a name in Hollywood that most directors both established and up and coming seek to aspire too, a glorious filmmaker, writer and storyteller.

“But I have been interested in dreams, really since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the idea that your mind, when you are asleep, can create a world in a dream and you perceive it as though it really existed…”

-Christopher Nolan

Revolution in Film: The Mayhem, Algiers & Vendettas

Revolutions have existed in our time for a very long period, such revolts occur when higher order becomes too much and its limit is exceeded, the order must be restored but not in a way to suit the higher power but their citizens which reside in their states. Such is three films that have this exponential topic residing within it; we first take a look at “Fight Club”.

David Fincher’s directorial feature is based on Chuck Palahniuk book about consumer revolution where one individual takes the fight back along with several other characters he persuades along the way to follow into his carefully constructed scheme.

The Narrator as he is known in the film along with the iconic & memorable Tyler Durden have enough of the so called “system” but this is all starts at a secret underground club known as “Fight Club” where normal everyday workers meet and fight each other, their meeting offers high adrenaline rushes and they are at such a place where they feel manly and connected, but Tyler Durden the main anarchist has started this club as a beginning for the revolution that is to come….

As the days and months pass more and more individuals join this so called craze known as Fight Club they are persuaded so by the curiosity of their workers coming in to work all bruised and battered but little do they know that this is a recruitment process of what is to come that will slowly come to being as Project Mayhem.

As consumerism takes a grip on the Narrator, Tyler Durden is there to make sure that consumer companies don’t have the last word, through his carefully constructed plan, Tyler Durden argues that television and advertisement have given the wrong message to people, making them believe that one day we’d all be movie stars and rock gods. Tyler though has had enough and along with his army of revolutionaries they aim to take down this message, given to them falsely and create a society of their own, with their main goal to take the credit score to 0.

How they aim to do this is, is a series of cautiously orchestrated attacks one being the destruction of a main coffee chain and the creation of a large smiley face on a large building.  Although these attacks are an account of vandalism they do serve an overall purpose and which slowly countdown to the main event.

The General in this revolution is Tyler Durden he has carefully recruited individuals and given them a purpose to carry out these attacks, these acts are NOT an act of terrorism as Tyler does not target society it targets the plagues of society, the false ideology and message that large corporations give to the citizens.

Through these acts the group gains fame appearing on the news, the people that should be scared are not the consumers but the businesses, the consumers join along in Tyler’s defining message, to liberate consumers so they can be free.

The final scene of the film is one of majestic wonder, as Tyler’s “disciples” have placed explosives on several buildings around the city aiming to implode them, he also said that no-one would be harmed and the buildings are empty reassuring us that Tyler is NOT a terrorist but a liberator, by laying destruction to these financial institutes the credit score of everyone will go to zero, offering people a fresh start and liberation from the corporations which have plagued society.

The Narrator slowly begins to realise Tyler’s message “In Tyler we trusted” that his outlook on life is not one that is shared by most individuals; it’s an outlook that wants to liberate and through this progression unshackle the burden that society has placed on itself.

As the film advances the audience gets drawn in into Tyler’s mastermind thought and begins to understand that not everything is perfect and we ourselves can make a difference how we see things and how we react to certain situations, Tyler’s recruitment process hails a new era and a great fight back to corporations & franchises that give the wrong message to the people. To quote the film “It’s getting exciting now, two and one-half. Think of everything we’ve accomplished, man. Out these windows, we will view the collapse of financial history, one step closer to economic equilibrium.”  The liberation is only the beginning…

An individual revolution heralded by one person is a start but when it exists in separate groups only then it becomes a great marvel, as witnessed in the 1966 classic “The Battle of Algiers” which provides a gritty and unflinching look at the factual revolution which occurred in the Algerian war from 1954 to 1962. The war on colonialism raged on as Algiers wished to seek independence but not all things will go accordingly as soon they would be a clash of cultures in this bloody revolution.

The revolt begins very rapidly in the film as several figures of authority are shown to be murdered by the group National Liberation Front (FLN) aiming to eliminate higher authority and restore independence to Algeria, but as all revolutions go it’s hard to start one and even harder to maintain it.

The assassinations that occur in the film and the documentary black and white feel to it make the film even more astounding than it is, some deaths shown on screen are graphic for a film set in the 60’s, but it’s an unbiased account on what went on during that revolution.

The explosions that happen in the film from both sides spare no shock, both from the police detectives which set up an explosion device in the designated area formed by the French government to restore to order and to maintain the hostile Algerians.

This film spares no punches to deliver an unwavering assault on the visuals, showing us that not all revolutions come without death or casualties; this was a revolution that was driven both political and religious purposes but most importantly independence.

To take in all modern revolutions into account this film is the best account of a contemporary revolution a highly recommended viewing of a true uprising, especially the parts that occur between the National Liberation Front and the paratrooper army, letting us know that if a revolution were to happen the government will be well equipped in handling it, but as the outcome goes that’s the true unpredictability of a rebellion.

To fight a monster, often the heroes become monsters and heroes once again; they take over the original state machinery of propaganda against which they were fighting. Revolutions are never ending; the end of a revolution is the wholesale acceptance of state propaganda.

In this revolution the scenes are sometimes hard to digest knowing that this revolution did take place and realistically portrayed in this feature, The Battle of Algiers is one of the closest account to a modern revolution by far and who knows its actions may echo through the ages, for the revolution in film the accounts of the Algerian war resonate deeply in this brilliant depiction of modern uprising and the true fight of liberation.

As far as modern revolutions go in today’s society we are not far from one, protests are occurring around what would a revolution look like if they were led by an iconic figure?

V for Vendetta pushes this to the limit in absolute spectacular fashion. Hugo Weaving’s character V takes us on a revolutionary journey against the totalitarianism government as depicted in George Orwell’s 1984, the true definition of film rebellion is brilliantly depicted in this 2005 film.

The government has a strong hold on society, executing curfews and designated areas, the citizen’s future is limited and character is calling to save the inhabitants of London set not too distant in the future.

V for vendetta is an engrossment of the revolutionary idea. The main characters are a dictatorial, leader played by John Hurt who runs a police state, amongst the imprisonment of society the hero a masked vigilante with super strength known as V that stands for liberty at the expense of an ordinary life or existence.

Natalie Portman playing Evey becomes the torch bearer and pseudo leader of an anonymous revolution through force of training and innate human courage she is put through by V.

Through this trauma, she undergoes transformation via internal and external revelation.

The film is overtly idealistic, and is no different from a superhero film in terms of the main characters importance. As for the revolution in the film, the climax of it is one that would send shivers across England and the world if such a scene of revolution magnitude ever occurred in real life…

The individuals at the end commit the mass revolution donning the masks, as in all have become the anonymous V, symbol of freedom and take them off at the point of revolution as if to say the job is done, the people have awoken, the destruction of parliament. They regain their identities after acting as a single organic anonymous entity incapable of being overcome by the authorities.

Over these three films we see revolution experienced in many different ways to those who start it, to those who maintain it and to those that reach the absolute goal of defining a nation through this. In Fight Club it took one individual to light a spark into one person’s mind and through that spark would send a ripple to other members of society.

Through this unity the revolution was awakened and sustained by careful and loyal dedication to a cause, a cause that may be a common cause with a main reason behind it. The person has had enough of a consistent forced ideology imposed by higher authorities and thus wishes to start something new and ideal for their fellow revolutionaries.

Together they united and through sustainability and fight for this cause some overcame their goals and got their message across. In Algiers the long war had tragedies and casualties but most revolutions do, portrayed brilliantly by sides, those wishing to fight for the cause and those who oppose to stop their cause.

Through one shared ideology and one common goal the revolutions in these films would not have existed if it weren’t for the one sole person or many shared voices that spoke up, and acted so. They remained true to their cause and in astonishing custom they showed that revolutions are possible in film and perhaps real life…

The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

The Evolution of the Motion Picture Batman

August 1989 almost 23 years to this day the first ever projection on the big screen of the caped crusader, Tim Burton had finally brought to us his vision of Batman..

Our protagonist is introduced as well as his minimal origins drawing from his alone upbringing showing us the death of his parents, who in this adaption the killer of which was in fact The Joker. What a Joker we would be introduced which up until 2008 was the most showman of a villain portrayed in this version by a certain Jack Nicholson, who showed us his acting origins by revealing to us a sick and stand out individual.

Tim Burton had cast a hell of a villain and as the protagonist Michael Keaton who Burton had worked alongside in BeetleJuice almost unrecognizable as I feel he played Bruce Wayne suitably, not too lavish or undermining the role but somewhere in the middle.

Up until that time many in the popular culture had seen Keaton as a comedic actor and this was quite perhaps his first serious role, Burton had entrusted him for the role of Batman, and he did not disappoint by that much of a margin.

The direction of Tim Burton was felt throughout this film including the casting of the astonishing Jack Nicholson as The Joker in which he played brilliantly, he was madcap as well with a hint of evil genius, but this role cast upon him did come with heavy negotiations from the actor himself but they sure as hell paid off with the film grossing over 250 million dollars domestically it was the 3rd highest in the Batman series of seven feature films.

Tim Burton would then go on to direct which was again up until 2008 quite possibly the best film in the series with “Batman Returns”. At this time the sequel was much more darker and atmospheric, Tim Burton applied the same aesthetics as he did in his first film but this one had two other villains to work with the memorable Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman and the brilliantly cast Danny DeVito as The Penguin, superb as in the sense of being an intense arch villain of Batman, it seems Tim Burton does bring out the best in his actors.

Michael Keaton had reprised his role as Batman and once again delivered a suitable performance of the crusader but this time he had more to work, more in the sense of two villains but more importantly Catwoman who brought out certain sides of Batman we did not see in the first film.

Their chemistry on the screen is of that of a sexual tension and by belonging to identities behind masks, they would be seen as behaving much more differently behind them, more freedom to express them and delivering to the spectators and the audience a great insight of the two characters.

As we all know though we are reminded that we are still watching a Tim Burton film and the darkness descends on us pretty quick with the terrifying Penguin making his presence known throughout the film, we are saddened by his origins but at the same time unaware of what he is capable of doing and what is in his power to do as the main villain in this feature.

All in all Burton provides us with an unsettling Gotham as well as disturbing and memorable characters which surround the city, Batman certainly has his hands full in this film squaring off to both Catwoman and The Penguin.

The curtain slowly came down as Burton would leave us with two very distinctive and dark Batman films which he left his own directorial trademark and signature upon them, in three years’ time another Batman film would come along shadowing both of these films but not in the most best of sense..

Joel Schumacher would come along in 1995 with a hardly unrecognizable Batman film which he spun around his own way, adding comic elements and over the top exaggerative sequences in “Batman Forever”.

Joel Schumacher spins the Batman franchise on its axis in the most extravagant way with bright visuals and wacky camera angles he gives us a Batman played well by Val Kilmer alongside quite a recognized cast including Nicole Kidman as his love interest and great villains as described in the comic books.

Executed quite average but still comically memorable with Jim Carrey as “The Riddler” and Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. I remember the time when this came out and what Schumacher did here was to reach to wider audience incorporating family viewing, which explains the under violent tone of the film, it had been rated on the borderlines PG slash 12. (PG-13)

The direction that Schumacher had taken had forced Michael Keaton to drop out of his third Batman outing as he did not like the direction Schumacher was going, but what he achieved was appealing to larger audiences.

The audiences of the previous two films would find this one quite disappointing, as the dark tones had turned brighter and the characters themselves jumped off the screen but were being forced back by the spectators of the two first Burton Batman films.

Jim Carrey had lent his wacky acting quite well to The Riddler to me he was just acting himself but in a bigger environment where he was not necessarily the core character.

Robin had been introduced as a role but the mixture of different characters, villains and heroes set amongst a comic and excessive backdrop had made this Batman film a memorable one but under the genre of comedy less than action.

Tommy Lee Jones had been assigned as Two Face quite well but the combination of him and The Riddler may have looked well on paper but was executed poorly, you wonder what these two are doing on the screen playing off each other, you question if Schumacher had assigned the correct villains for this but the chemistry between them had made this Batman film into a theatre of a film with unnecessary and extreme comical overtones.

Just when we thought Schumacher couldn’t do any worse along came the next eagerly awaited Batman film, and it was certainly the least memorable of all, with George Clooney who had played a well-known doctor on television show had now stepped into Batman shoes and delivered a performance unlike no other but not in a great sense.

There isn’t much to say about this Batman film it was the least successful in the box office and the least of all favourite with the critics as most of them had buried this film. Villains such as Mr Freeze, Bane and Poison Ivy had been introduced and with the inclusion of Robin and Batgirl this still did not make it a feature to see in the slightest.

Schumacher had followed up with a dire representation of perhaps one of the darkest comic book characters and had turned him into a side show character and in this film it would become the least memorable Batman film ever…

So where does the Batman series go from here, so far it had produced two brilliant adaptions, a mediocre one and shameful last, the right director needed to come along and propel Batman on top again and make him the comic book hero he really truly is.

Such a director was Christopher Nolan and in his mind the Batman series needed his own signature reboot and the trilogy he delivered was unlike nothing anyone had ever witnessed…

We would familiarise ourselves with Nolan from his past films such as Memento from which he was well known for, people who had not yet experienced the enigmatic experiences of Nolan would familiarise themselves with Memento and see what he had in mind for Batman Begins.

A somewhat complicated director in the best sense who challenges the audience to think for themselves and offer audiences and spectators alike with their own point of view on topics within his films, that’s Nolan’ style challenging his audiences in the greater sense so they are free to make their own conclusions.

The Batman reboot had started with “Batman Begins” in 2005 who gave Batman the origins he truly deserved, drawing from his childhood of losing his parents and overcoming the fear of bats.

Nolan had introduced David S. Goyer the writer who had lent Batman his dark history so we could really see the birth of the great caped crusader as told by Goyer, the result would be an immaculate background which will have extinguished all previous Batman films with Nolan’s reboot that Batman had needed.

In this film we are shown how Batman had acquired his Batman skills as taught to him by Ducard as portrayed by Liam Neeson, he takes Batman under his wing and teaches him about the injustice and corruption which plagued cities around the world including Bruce Wayne’s Gotham City.

Bruce Wayne’s world had completely been shattered at the loss of his parents at a young age and Nolan does not hesitate at all in showing us in perhaps a scene which lasts less than a minute but still has a strong impact on us-the shooting of his mother and father.

Over the years Bruce Wayne matures as a consciousness and a fighter and slowly he encompasses the skills and mental thoughts of a Batman who we have been waiting to see for a while, a hero who had been described in the original comic book adaptions and graphic novels. The villains in which Batman had to thwart in this film existed both internally and externally, as he had to battle his demons within him and also facing challenges from Scarecrow played by Cillian Murphy who frightened us in ways he could manipulate people fear’s through his hallucinogenic drugs.

Gotham itself is pictured quite futuristic but no flying vehicles or extremely tall skyscrapers, but in a sense it had given us populated city that was filled with crime and corruption, Gotham really needed a hero and Batman would make one hell of an introduction in this targeting Carmine Falcone played by Tom Wilkinson, already Nolan had graced us with home grown British acting talent offering an interesting array of actors to engulf us in his own version of Gotham along with Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy previously stated.

Guided by Bob Kane who had created the characters and David S. Goyer who came up with the story & screenplay, all that it needed was Nolan’s personal writer’s touch to engage us and his direction to give us its deserved visuals.

Our attention was certainly grabbed, this film may not have performed well in the box office grossing just over $200 million domestically but it certainly caught the attention of critics and had revitalised fans of the crusader both former and new, where Nolan had taken this film in its sequel was certainly and what importantly had been dubbed as a game changer.

Christopher Nolan had introduced us to a version of Gotham City and its characters and it was very hard to take our eyes off it, in 2008 such a sequel would come along that it had become a benchmark for ALL comic book adaptions and comic book films.

“The Dark Knight” just by me typing its title is sending me goose bumps as I write, never before had such a film leaped so highly of its origins, this was a film that would make us forget the Batman we once knew and give us a Batman film that we would immortally remember and an antagonist that would cement his place in film villain folklore.

With three years having gone until the last film what direction would Nolan take it to and would the audience and more importantly the spectator be prepared for such a film. The answer was in fact mixed; yes we would be prepared because some of us were expecting a sequel which would introduce Nolan’s Joker but more importantly Heath Ledger’s Joker which he had made his own. We would witness such a diabolical and proactive character which made us question our ability in Batman, here we had a character which believe in no rules whatsoever, and would turn Gotham and the crime world upside down…

The pulsating and unpredictable orchestral brilliance of Hans Zimmer would deliver to us along with a Nolan spectacle unlike anything we had ever witnessed, just by the sheer magnitude and scale of this feature every other Batman film that ever existed would be put to rest.

This film delivered a timeline of epic brilliance and a storyline along with a plot that literally was a graphic novel that had leapt on the screen and had encapsulated us ever so strongly. The Joker would deliver us a noteworthy performance that would shadow Nicholson’s version of The Joker in the first Batman which begs the question was this Batman film or a film that was brilliantly rotated around the Joker.

So far Batman had never faced such a villain, he wasn’t the most physical but he sure had a mental capacity that would define him as a criminal mastermind for years to come, he had played with the idea of Batman’s views on justice and also had destroyed his meaning as a superhero, we hadn’t witnessed such a downfall of Batman since he lost his parents, Batman had come a long way but he would soon find the path that he came across with an obstacle in the magnitude of The Joker.

Our expectations of this sequel had been over exceeded, none of us were expecting a spectacle like this, but those who did definitely did not know how to react to an environment unlike this one and the characters this film had produced would question our reality and perception of comic book and graphic novels of the Batman.

Nolan had made a gigantic leap igniting comic book films and creating such a benchmark of a film nothing would closely touch it, this would become the film that all other had looked upon for inspiration in terms of storyline and phenomenal villains.

Batman had gone from a dark atmospheric content led by Burton to a grand scale cataclysmic majestic showcase that would rival anyone who dared to remake their own Batman after this series known as The Dark Knight series which would see a phenomenal conclusion in four years’ time which would close the curtain to a sight a comic book trilogy that would rival any comic book adaption that would dare line up against the Batman series.

Nolan would bring the curtain down in absolute spectacular fashion, in “The Dark Knight Rises” he would bow out in a way that would leave us applauding for a lifetime.

Just how do you finish such a series of films that were revamped and rebooted to truly suit Batman’s true origins from the graphic novels, he would have to come face to face this time with a physical villain with the likes he had never faced before, he had endured the psychological genius of The Joker but was he prepared to face such a strong manifestation of physical precision known as Bane…

The final film in the trilogy would see Batman come face to face with Bane and would introduce a character previously seen before twenty years prior as Catwoman.

Set around eight years after the first film we now see a different character of Batman, he has aged and may not have the skills he held prior which makes us question his capability to face off to Bane. His physicality would be tested to the max and would see him battle more of his inner demons.

Some of us would question the end of Batman here, he had come a long way in Nolan’s remake and in fact as a whole after all this is the evolution of Batman in motion picture, a character who had gone from a television show in the sixties to having himself perceived in three different film directors ways, that of Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher and Christopher Nolan. Three directors who have very different directing styles and who each added their own element and their vision of what their ideal Batman would be in their casting choices.

Tim Burton had given us an atmospheric Batman that distinguished himself from Bruce to the costumed hero, he had given us styles as featured in his previous directorial styles of the Tim Burton effect, with orchestral sound and gloomy environments, although he had directed two fine films I still would have liked to see how he would have approached the third if he ever chose to have directed back then.

Instead of that the Batman character had been transferred to Joel Schumacher who had delivered us a comic Batman not in a sense of comic book style but one that wasn’t taken seriously more in fact in Batman & Robin and less in Batman Forever, quite perhaps because he hadn’t taken his time to discover the real Batman and his origins.

Christopher Nolan though had delivered us a Batman we all had eagerly anticipated to see and witness, he had given us real challenges and villains to truly test him and the setting at which we saw him was of sheer brilliant greatness.

Just when we thought we had truly witnessed his end Nolan gave us a reason to see why Bruce Wayne and Batman would become immortalised forever simply we did not want to see him suffer and deceased at the hand of his villains.

The true rise of the Dark Knight was sure accentuated when Nolan had given him the choice to live on and offer an absolute fantastic conclusion to such a memorable and exceptional trilogy.

All seven films would go on to gross in domestic total over $2.6 billion dollars which meant that Batman had come a long way in terms of motion picture history, during the last 23 years we had seen a Batman grow and evolve.

Notably because of the directors and the people that were in charge of bringing him to life and none more so than Tim Burton who had given him the dark origin he deserved, Joel Schumacher the extravagant and over the top style he did not need and Christopher Nolan the eternal, everlasting watchful protector that DC Comics had given him along with the vision of Nolan and the people who had worked to give us a true character portrayed by Christian Bale.

As far as the evolution of Batman in motion picture history goes never before have we witnessed such a worthy series of films dedicated to the undying and unending legacy of The Batman.

La Haine, Amelie and the City of Paris- A review of how these films use their navigation around the city

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The essence of Paris as a city itself is captivating one may look at it and say it is quite a primary location to drive the plot of a film and the story, also it brings out the best in characters within the film itself. Paris itself is mostly seen as a romantic hotspot for the quintessential requirements of the genres of romantic dramas or comedy, Paris can be seen very little in action driven films or other genres, whatever the case the city itself uses the space very well in the following two films-  Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain(Amelie) and La Haine.

When comparing and contrasting the two films themselves at first there are very vast differences between the two and how they use the space around them to progress the plot and the characters motives within the plot.  First of all “Amelie”[i] just the starting sequence alone we are delved in to the world of Amelie Poulain and her extraordinary world and how she makes it what it is and at the same time influencing those around her. Her routine follows her around as she wonders around the friendly environment and her neighbourhood, the film shows us several environments but more importantly Paris so vivid like a painting, the colours are vibrant and adjust to the mood of the characters effortlessly.

On the other hand a film which does not rely on normal colour to provide its impact of it, “La Haine”[ii] which is a gritty film focusing on the riots in France, a quite opposite depiction of the space around the characters as the environment itself is seen in ruins and shops and establishments which have been damaged due to the riots. The three main characters themselves which come from different race backgrounds guide us around their town while eventually guiding us to the main focal point of the two films being compared of Amelie and La Haine towards Paris.

La Haine itself provides us with an uncomfortable and granular look around the characters spaces when it ultimately leads to the boy’s catalyst location that is Paris where some of the films main focal point of impact leads us there. 

The city itself also plays an important role in distinguishing the genre of the films and how it is portrayed, in Amelie we see Paris as an effervescent painting where Amelie’s imagination soars and delights the audience, her environment is almost a playground of sorts where the plot of the film itself distinguishes this, the film itself relies on Paris to make the film stand out in what it wants to get across the city itself acts also as an important surrounding for Amelie[iii] to carry out her plan in the film of reuniting someone with their lost book and her other goals in the film where she just wants to make people happy while at the same time feeling good about her good deeds that she is doing using Paris as her recreational space.

Also Paris drives the plot of the film, in one scene where Amelie’s mother is killed by a jumper in a cathedral which is in fact Notre Dame, the director Jeunet portrays this in a way where it is infact a dark humour scene with the narrator also providing his insight, using one of the most famous cathedrals in the world Notre Dame the director shows us a distressing moment in Amelie’s the death of her mother by a tourist jumping of the infamous structure. Montmarte in Paris which is the main setpoint of Amelie’s apartment and along with the grocery store where Amelie goes to dip her hands into the sack of grain this being one of her small pleasures, also the location of this coming a focus point later in the film where the owner of the grocery store mocks Lucien throughout the film but Amelie not standing any of it plots revenge in the apartment of the grocery owner as a way of punishing him for mistreating Lucien due to the fact that Amelie likes his discreet eccentricity.

A delightful scene which takes place on Métro Lamarck-Caulaincourt where Amelie describes the sounds and sights to a blind man along the busy street of rue Lamarck, a magnificent scene which shows Amelie describing every little detail from the laugh of the florist to the price of the meat, a sort of magical moment where the space around Amelie is described so as the blind man immediately paints a mental picture of what he is witnessing around from the sounds of the space to Amelie’s thorough description of the marketplace.

While the mood of La Haine is not this pleasant the main film setting takes place in the banlieue of Paris the outskirts. Their journey with a train towards Paris would prove to change them in a way none of them would imagine and the space around them would become more threatening and dangerous as they progressed towards Paris. The city itself poses no threat to the boys but it is their fear that makes it a threat, they are outsiders of the city itself not fitting in with the city’s metropolitan status and through this they stand out from the citizens of the capital. The whole movie itself is in black and white so the splendour of the city is not admired to the full as it would be in colour, having the city shown in black and white makes it seem more classical and inimitable which makes the three main characters seem more out of place as they are embroiled in the magnificence of the city.

As they reach the capital themselves the first scene when they go and visit the drug dealer staying at the upscale apartment they cannot even work the telecom so as to contact the person, even doing this they pose a threat especially Vinz[iv] who threatens the individual on the other line, eventually they manage to make it up to the apartment which is lavish and modern due to its location in a decent area in Paris.

Back to Amelie where the lavishness and vividness of Paris co-exists within it, its simple to see that that Paris positions itself around the citizens and characters of the films, the noise of the busy market as Amelie described to the blind man represented ideally with the noise and the sellers of the market and the commodities that they sell to the consumers, the colours and the beautiful description that Amelie provides consigns well with Lamarck the marketplace.

Following along the lines of Amelie quest to bring happiness, she finds a box in her apartment and sets out to return the belongings to Bredoteau the owner of the box now being an old man. The phone booth scene where she puts the box near is set at the northern stop of rue Mouffetard at rue Clovis, down in the Left Bank’s not very far from the Pantheon, as Bredoteau approaches the ringing phone we get nice glimpses of a cafe and a florist shop nearby, as Bredoteau stands in front of the ringing phone ready to answer on his left is nice representation of the green of the lovely bushes at the horticulture stand along with a nice park area situated on the right of the scene near the phone booth, mixing the flowers with the green of the setting along with the coat of Bredoteau which is a dark green, the space around this scene makes of a vibrant setting and prompting the audience that something good is about to happen when the colours around comprehend the scene beautifully, the trees on the right of the screen as Bredoteau approaches the booth compliment the beauty of the shot itself and represents a nice green area of Paris attributing the lovely green and flowers when even the subject has entered the booth there can still be seen the flowers behind the individual adding more splendour even if the subject is inside a phone booth made of metal the flowers still add beautiful effect to the confined space outside the area of the booth.

Comparing the beauty now to La Haine a different sort of beauty is witness the green of the trees and the friendly noises of Amelie cannot be heard, but a different beauty is witness of Paris as seen in the old films back in the decades of the forties through to the sixties where films could still be shown in black and white, the effect we get from black and white from the city is not exaggerative difference as black and white helps us admire it more closely to the limited colours in the frame, the city of Paris which we see in La Haine is much more threatening in some cases than Amelie, we see police cars accompanying the streets of Paris and the characters been caught up the hostile space, the space around offers the audience a chance to explore the environment of the characters, it shows us that they are outsiders by the way they are clothed and the manners around the metropolitan capital which poses the question “Is Paris suited for their permanent residents rather than their temporary ones?”

The citizens of Paris themselves have become accustomed to the city and depending on their financial status are of no threat to its environment depending where the people are from the city itself poses no threat to the individual if they wish it to do so, the characters in La Haine are outsiders in this and they are put to the test on how much they can become accustomed to the city and its inhabitants.

In the scene where the teenagers are stopped outside the apartment by police we immediately feel for the teenagers, how they have acted around there immediately puts the police in action due to the fact that the characters are out of place and have caused a disturbance around the area, when Hubert[v] and Said[vi] are arrested it is on a busy road, and as the cars pass by they immediately stereotype in their mind that these teenagers are a problem in the area and they are dealt with by the police, and being humiliated in the process from the cars passing by and the passengers witnessing this and immediately stereotyping due to the current news at the time being the riots being caused by that demographic. In a scene where the three main characters are in the metro station after they have missed their last train, isolation is in the air as the three teenagers walk through an empty part of Paris, we get a feeling of their loneliness and non-acceptance as there are no other citizens around that can judge them fairly, we see three remote individuals now trying to survive in Paris as they have no means of getting home, they are left stranded in a city that doesn’t want them, a city which is out of place for them and a city which is not their idyllic surrounding.

As they walk out of the station down a road and towards an art gallery we are immediately aware that the characters will feel more out of place surrounded by art connoisseurs and painting intellectuals, Paris is represent elegantly and stylish but with the addition of the three teenagers it manages to make them feel more incongruous to the setting.

They are confused and bewildered by the space which surrounds them; Vinz even tries dancing humorously to the music which is his own way of relaxing and “adjusting” to the environment but still the three get stares from the people in the gallery. The gallery also acts as a place of a nice chic bar seen from the teenagers eyes as there is complimentary drinks and food and women in which the characters try to flirt with and become comfortable with, by doing this they are adjusting to the environment through communicating with people within their recognized surrounding of their love of art, but this process of communication would only last temporarily as the youngsters immediately act upon their own upbringing of their environment by disrespecting the females and start being a threat to that chosen gallery environment and eventually walk out in a ruckus of the gallery, we see immediately the clash of the cultures and background of the citizens of Paris, the calm collected smart crowd of Paris and the rebellious youth of the outskirts ,which we saw the chosen representation of space do not mix well together and thus a unconstructive outcome is produced within the two types of Parisian populace.

Amelie while not having threatening outsiders throughout the film, the film itself involves the primary citizens of Paris, the citizens which have familiarised themselves very well with the city and are comfortable with their environment. Amelie setting herself different quests while using several locations of Paris as her source of navigation achieves it well placing herself in a world of adventure.

In a scene where she sets a quest for her secret beloved Nino Quincampoix[vii]  in Sacre Coeur, dominating Montmartre, she uses a phone booth yet again as a method to starting Nino’s search for his album of the photos, the space itself is something of a wonder, using the sound of the carousel infused with the accordion the space around Nino acts a mini quest to find his belongings.

The pigeons on the ground along with the arrows in which Nino must follow place us in a beautiful setting as we pursue with him to find his precious items, we are taken around the beautiful park area along with a view of Paris in the distance, the greenery of the trees and sound of them moving along with the wind provides as a better sense of tranquil as with the previous scene with Bredoteau[viii]. The grass complimented by the faint background of the cloudy sky and sunny meadows brings a wondrous Paris in motion, the relaxed Paris on the hill.

Amelie using this place along with several others to the climactic scene where Amelie reveals to Nino the identity of the photo individual who has been appearing in all of his missing photos, this takes place at the ticket hall of Gare de l’Est, the huge space in the ticket hall as Nino approaches the booth comes all to this moment, the mystery identity of who truly is this man, the large ticket hall with the streams of light creeping through acts as a massive space and yet offers the little detail that Nino needs to discover the man’s identity situated in the booth, the focus upon this huge space is fixed on the tiny booth amongst the vast space of the station.

As witnessed from La Haine and Amelie Paris like all films and their respective cities within them act as a driving point of the film plot, Paris the city of love as cliché as it may be acts also a focus point for the realisation of the characters that exist within it, whether it may be within the city or just externally minutes from it ,Paris shows us what effect it chooses to have on its citizens and its population, some admire the city for its art and creative space while others see it as an escape or retreat from their permanent space, either way the city of Paris can captivate and influence even the most problematic or inventive of their inhabitants.


[i] Amelie Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2001)

[ii] La Haine Dir. Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)

[iii] Audrey Tautou- Amelie

[iv] Vinz- Vincent Cassell

[v] Hubert Kounde- Hubert

[vi] Saïd Taghmaoui- Said

[vii] Mathieu Kassovitz-Nino Quincampoix

[viii] Maurice Bénichou- Dominique Bretodeau