Project 8 - Balance - Viewing II

After analysing my own material, I'd like to show a few examples from how the Golden Section is used in almost any scenes in films and series. When the divert from the rule, there is almost always a clear reason for it. I think that the Golden sections mainly let your eye go from one place to the other, and when watching a movie that is what it is intended for; unconsciously seeing everything that the director wants you to see and experience. If this is not the case, there is a reason for it. Here are a few examples where you can see it at work: First a few scenes from the movie Nightcrawler:

In all these shots the idea is to show the intens gaze of the main character. He is a cameraman and able to film the most spectacular scenes. His thirst for action is emphasised in his gaze, so putting that on the lines of thirds immediately draws the eye of the viewer there.

The first shot of the trailer of the new upcoming Star Wars abides perfectly to the Golden Section. Everything seems in balance, the colours and textures as well. With the wide angle, you sort of expect a small figure to come from afar or from the side, but not somebody jumping straight in front in the middle of the frame. I always jump up, even though I know what's about to happen. It's a nice way of breaking the balance and the Golden Section rules and an incredible amount of tension is built up.

In the movie 'Inglorious Bastards' (2009) the first scenes show the round up of a Jewish family on a farm. It starts with a German general entering the home of a dairy farmer and ends in German soldiers killing a Jewish family hiding under the floor and one girl escaping. There is so much tension built up through the lighting as well as through the positioning of the lights and subjects in the frame. Looking at singular frames you can see how the director is using the Golden rule to navigate the eye through the scene to get a clear overview of what's happening, the tension in the conversation, the isolation of the farm and innocence of the French family. When the general asks for a glass of milk, the white colour and light on the table have an added function in the frame, symbolising how the general doesn't feel any remorse about what he's doing, the innocence of his victims and pointing to the people hiding. It's also interesting to see how we go from still shots to moving shots, that also build up the tension even more. In some scenes, the subjects are put exactly in the middle so that the viewer is forced to focus on what's going on at that particular spot and is not distracted by other things. The director intentionally uses composition and the use of light and movement to build up tension, get insight in the characters of the scene, focus on the fear and bring out the contrasts of darkness and light, innocence and guilt.