Film Clip Analysis: Blade Runner and The Last Samurai

During our first seminar with Helen we were learning how to analyse a film with 3 basic steps-

What is the scene about?

What do you understand about the characters thoughts and emotions?

How did the scene make you feel? 


Blade Runner

Blade Runner, 1982. YouTube Video Print Screen. BONDataski007 Channel. June 2012, [3.08] Available https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOfvq5ZO-Qw

The first clip we watched was a ‘Love Scene’ from Blade Runner. Initially I thought the clip was going to make me feel happy, jealous, content and smiley because it was a ‘Love Scene’ however my feelings were complete opposite. I do think this is a love scene in a way but I also don’t think it is a love scene. I have mixed feelings.

The clip shows a woman who looks pretty old fashioned in a style sense but as I had not watched blade runner before I brushed off my instinct of it not actually being a very old film and thought that it may actually be an old style film and I was just making a judgement on a style basis. On my second viewing of the clip I noticed certain things like props that gave me clarification that it was not an old film and it was in fact pretty recent (1982).

As for the actual scene it’s self I was a little confused as to some parts but I got a sense of sadness from the female actress, she looks stressed, down, unsure about herself almost like she doesn’t know who she is. Her male co star and on screen ‘lover’ goes in for a kiss (after kissing her neck) and she pushes him away and makes a dash towards the door which really confused me. I got the vibe that she doesn’t know if she loves/wants him and is confused about not only herself, but her feelings towards others.

As for the male actor I find him quite dominating, the first time we see him he looks as if he is passed out drunk on the bed due to the glass being balanced on his stomach which is quite humorous. He seem’s to know himself more than the woman and when she tries to flee the house he seems to get very angry and slams the door closed with his arm which shocked me a little and made me think that this film could have a domestic violence story line. The female actors face and emotions did not seem to change during that particular shot, she still looked unhappy. He then pushes her up against a wall which seems like a bit of sexual tension and it again, shocked me as I initially expected this to be a lovey dovey scene.

The male actor definitely, to me seems like he is forcing the female into a relationship emotionally and sexually, especially when he makes her repeat the things I assume he wants her to say but in hindsight, she does not.

Some of the emotions/feelings during this scene are bought to life with the use of lighting and sound. The whole scene is very dark/dismal with regards to lighting the location which corresponds with the feeling it gives me and the music is particularly sad but fits the scene.

I definitely got more of my above analysis from my seconds/third viewing of the scene. During the first and second times I missed certain things because I was writing notes so watching it a couple of times gave me more insight to the clip.


The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai. 2003. The Wire Online, A Definitive Ranking of Tom Cruise’s Leading Ladies, Post-Nicole Kidman. June 2014. Available http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2014/06/a-definitive-ranking-of-tom-cruises-leading-ladies-post-nicole-kidman/372124/

As another film I have not watched, I did expect this to be a love scene and that it was. I was a little thrown by the female character getting on her knees and doing a small bow with her head after addressing the male entering the room, obviously this is clearly a cultural thing which shows some respect for another person. The female character seems to me like a servant/staff as I noticed she does not speak other than ushering him into the room where she displays an outfit she wishes him to wear, which makes me think that he may be a fighter of some sort, I also got this from the title of the film.

I noticed that he also does not speak and the fact there is no speech but lots of facial expression, emotion and body language makes me uneasy. I find the female characters emotion and facial expressions depressing, she looks numb. As she starts to dress the male character I get a whole new sense of her emotional state, I feel as though she loves this man, the way she touches him in such a delicate, almost sexual way really opened my eyes the clip more. I noticed a lot of scarring on the man on his front torso which clarifies my initial thought he is some sort of warrior/fighter. She seems to stare at his back in sadness that makes me feel like she is tormented by this man who has battle scars.

As she finishes dressing him I notice she has a tear in her eye and then they have a very small but passionate kiss that I feel almost shocked both of them but I feel the female character instigated it and it gave me the idea that maybe she had been in love with him for a long time and now he is about to leave and fight for something, she is worried she will never see him again and wants him to know how she feels. The way the female actress holds the male to is comforting and very intimate.

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