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>> Speaker 1: Last episode we brought you five brilliant moments in some of our
favorite action sequences.
Until Game of Thrones came along and delivered a master class.
So here are three more brilliant moments from the Battle of the Bastards.
>> [MUSIC]
>> Speaker 1: Can we just gush for a little bit?
Like, my God, what an incredible 30 minutes.
This is why we love cinema, beautiful and horrifying and nerve-wracking and
just aah.
With intricately designed choreography reminiscent of Braveheart,
CGI set pieces reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings,
cinematography reminiscent of 2015's Macbeth, and
a vastness of scale that clearly and admittedly pays homage to Kurosawa's ran.
The Bastard Bull's pedigree is clear and it is prestigious.
But besides looking like a million bucks or
30 million, what made this episode so incredible?
What specifically about it that kept us on the edge of our seats?
Or jumping up and down on our couches,
screaming at the TV, which I totally didn't do the whole time.
And I think the clue is in the question, we were jumping up and down, and
screaming, and crying, and cursing, and losing our breath, and
stress eating the LD 50 of Doritos.
We were emotionally involved.
It didn't feel like we were watching the fight, it felt like we were living it.
Which is exactly what the mad Game of Thrones genius that is Miguel Sapochnik
set out to accomplish, to put his viewers inside of a pitched battle
in all its pain and chaos and randomness.
Sapochnik may have had a lot of intellectual ideas about war and
battle and what it is or is not good for, but instead of investing all of his
energy trying to convey the concept war is bad, he tried to show us how war feels.
So first up, let's take a look at Rickon's decidedly neither zig nor zag demise.
>> [MUSIC]
>> Speaker 1: Hitchcock famously talks about suspense and surprise,
the differences between them, and
how the former is far more relevant to film making than the latter.
You take a scene with a bunch of people at the dinner table, and
then half way through boom, a bomb blows up from underneath.
But you play the same scene and instead reveal the bomb beneath the table in
the beginning and all of the sudden every moment and word and itchy knee
carries the dread intention and anxiety of will they or won't they discover the bomb?
But here Sapochnik basically says, [BLEEP] it, why not both?
And the why is simple.
Isn't Jon Snow's experience here exactly the experience of suspense followed by
relief followed by surprise?
The dread and terror and anxiety that his brother will be killed and then the breath
of fresh air when it looks like he's safe and then the shock at his sudden death.
That's how Jon really feels here.
I mean that's how we'd be feeling if our brother was about to be,
we need to talk about Kevin by a medieval psychopath, but
just showing us Jon Snow feeling this way isn't enough.
No, Sapochnik draws on age-old techniques to force the feelings inside of us.
And he does this by planting a bomb.
In this case, an arrow into Rickon's back.
And then teasing us over and over about how it might go off.
So first he sets it up.
Rickon has to run or be shot in the back.
And then he toys with the detonator.
He gives us a beat of Ramsay shooting the arrow and a shot of Rickon 's back,
which in this context is less of a shot of Rickon the character, so
much as a shot of Rickon the target.
So we know exactly what is going on.
The arrow is going to end up in Rickon 's back.
But then it misses.
No worry though, he's gonna repeat the pattern and tease again.
Ramsey draws, fires, we see the target and the miss.
In the meantime the distance is closing, so
here we go one more time with the repetition.
This time he makes a much bigger meal out of it.
Ramsey's drawing.
Rickon is running.
Jon is galloping.
Ramsey is firing.
Rickon is panting.
Ramsey is watching.
The inter cutting is has intensified between the three spaces,
the shots are shorter, the music is swelling to a climax, and by this point,
remember, we're smart cinema viewers and we know two things for sure.
One, Game of Thrones likes to kill its characters, and
two patterns come in threes.
So by the time we see the third shot,
we know that if there's going to be an arrow that kills Rickon, this is it.
See, Sapochnik isn't just playing with elements on screen,
he's playing with elements in our mind.
He knows how we expect things to work and is using that to build the kind of dread,
Jon Snow must be feeling.
Jon Snow isn't thinking, shit, this is the third arrow, I know things come in threes,
this one is definitely going to get him.
No, this pattern repetition is a storytelling artifice introduced in
order to induce us to feeling the sense of dread that Snow is feeling in that moment.
So when the third repetition misses, we breath a sigh of relief.
For a moment it looks like he's in the clear, which again is how Jon's gotta
be feeling now that he's within spitting distance of Rickon.
Movies won't show things a fourth time, and we know this.
It would be redundant.
We would feel cheated.
And sure enough, we're right.
Sapochnik specifically does not repeat the pattern of teasing expectation draw,
shoot, miss.
We get a breath of air, we leave Ramsay behind, we don't see him do anything else,
we're probably assuming he's out of range.
And then he shoves an arrow through him with no warning, and
it's [BLEEP] brilliant.
Imagine this sequence on its own with no suspense.
Rickon running and then [SOUND], he's dead.
Kind of a let down, right?
Or imagine if he'd actually gone down on the third arrow.
We would have felt, ugh,
I knew it was going to happen, but that's now how Jon Snow is feeling.
Jon Snow isn't resigned to Rickon's death, like Sansa is, Jon Snow has hope.
Jon Snow rides out there because he thinks he can make it.
And Sapochnik realizes this, so
he plays us against the expectations we have for the show.
Sets us up for a death we know is coming and then doesn't give it to us.
We say holy shit, Game of Thrones has gone soft, and
then he rips it away because that's how Sapochnik thinks death feels.
Not a completion of a pattern but a sudden violent removal of a life from a body.
A viscous out of nowhere arrow to the chest, it feels like we've been cheated.
It feels like we've lost the relief we'd earned, and Miguel gets this thing.
>> [MUSIC] >> Speaker 1: Last time we talked
how Lord of the Rings does something rare and
incredible with its action that we dubbed pyramid action.
It positions its heroes at the tips of its narrative thrust such that every one of
their actions had consequences that rippled down to the entire war.
And then Battle of the Bastards came along and flipped it on its head.
No, really, it flipped it on its head.
Jon does exactly two things that affect the battle.
He starts it and he defeats Ramsey,
the last of which honestly really could have been anyone.
The rest of the time, he's just a really, really bad ass soldier.
Jon is a victim of this battle, not a causal agent in it.
So in this case, the pyramid is upside down.
It isn't Jon's actions that ripple down to tell us a story of the battle,
it's the story of the battle that ripples down to tell us the story of Jon.
But the key important part is that both are being told together.
We are able to keep track of the micro and the macro because they're connected.
And nowhere is this
better than the fantastic
fog of war running.
>> [SOUND] >> Speaker 1: [INAUDIBLE]
This part is
mother [BLEEP]
incredible, why?
Well partly because it's a solid unbroken minute of a massive choreographed battle,
but partly because while it is so chaotic it's also so bloody clear.
It simultaneously shows us everything that is happening to Jon
without allowing us more than a second to see what's coming next.
Miguel Sapochnik designed this shot around a scene description in the script that
called it Jon's Fog of War.
I mean, that's exactly what it is.
The layered framing privileges us a massive wide view of
the entire battlefield while still keeping us in an intimate space with Jon.
And we get to follow his personal journey while contextualizing
it within the greater conflict.
But the real brilliance is that while we get a survey of the entire
battlefield at a distance right up close to Jon,
our peripheral vision is narrow, threats arrive with little warning from the side,
from behind, from above and there's a ruthlessness to how long the shot holds.
He doesn't let us look away.
He doesn't allow it to let up.
We're stuck in a fray with Jon and the odds?
They don't seem so hot at any given exchange.
So when the seconds turn into minutes, it looks bleak.
Sapochnik has taken every decision at his disposal and pointed them all in one
direction linking the cinematic experience we're having on our Lazy Boy loveseats
with the battle experience our hero is having in up in North Westeros, and
he does this the whole damn time.
When the heroes collide, when Jon is stuck in the world's worst mosh pit,
when he's standing there readying himself for
death, everything about the experience is designed to make it feel immersive.
And it works so bloody well, we just have to appreciate it.
>> [SOUND] >> Speaker 1: Finally,
we wanna talk about decision.
We [BLEEP] love The Two Towers, and we raved about it all last week.
But Game of Thrones takes its tactical approach and one ups it.
In Helms the tactics are important, the battles were a wits between Betta and
Saruman, each trying to outsmart and
out muscle the other and push through their defenses.
And all the heroes rallied the armies in support of these tactics.
But in Game of Thrones, tactics are extensions of character.
Tactics are emotional decisions made in the heat of the moment.
They're reflections of a mental state,
not necessarily clear-headed moves on a chessboard.
Ramsey isn't playing Jon's army, he's playing the army's commander.
He's playing Jon.
Look at how Sapochnik suggests this by pitting them against each other.
Shot against reverse shot despite the physical distance between them.
For Jon, Davis, and Porman the tactics are reactionary, they're flawed,
they're made on tilt, they're influenced by morals and
pity and desperation and feelings of utility and anger.
Sapochnik takes time and
expends energy trying to explore why these decisions are made.
He builds to Jon's anger when he charges.
He contrasts Thabus' humanity when he tells the arches to hold their fire.
He illuminates Torman's desperation when he flees the encircled.
This is a brilliant character focused way to look at a battle.
It's completely in keeping with the personal narrative approach.
But the decision we wanna look at because it's tiny, and beautiful, and simple, and
a little different, is Jon's decision not to kill Ramsay.
>> Speaker 2: Aah!
>> [SOUND]
>> Speaker 1: It's small and
it's simple and
it's over in
two shots but
this moment is
Jon's beating Ramsay and beating Ramsay and beating Ramsay and beating Ramsay.
And when all of a sudden shot, reverse, and boom.
Jon has remembered Sansa and decided that this is not his victory.
How do we know that's what Jon's thinking?
We know this because we're thinking.
Because Sapochnik let's us come to the conclusion just moments before he shows
Jon doing it.
The first shot tilts up and the camera just notices Sansa.
It remembers that she's there with a slight tilt and a clever focus rack,
it shifts our attention.
Remember her?
Yes we do, we're thinking.
Shit, what about Sansa?
Shouldn't she get a say with Ramsay, we're thinking.
By the time we're thinking that we're looking at Jon,
looking at Jon looking up at Sansa.
So we project our thoughts onto him.
Snap, Jon is recognizing it, Jon is noticing Sansa.
And look at him remembering her stake in it.
Sapochnik let's us explain his story for him.
The tilt and rack of his shot and
the adjusted position of his edit guide us to do the work.
He plants in us a seed, lets it grow, and then lets his story reap the heart.
So what do you think?
Did you like this kind of episode?
Would you like more deep dives into single scenes?
Were there any other moments from Battle of the Bastards you loved?
How about that finale?
Let us know the comments below and be sure to subscribe for more Cinefix movies.


3 Brilliant Moments from the Battle of the Bastards

333 タグ追加 保存
Pedroli Li 2019 年 1 月 29 日 に公開
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