23rd August 2017

3.9 Film Analysis Notes

Friday, 18 August

Scene analysis: General Aung San is assassinated

What is happening in this scene? (Give Context)

General Aung San is meeting with his cabinet members to bring Burma into independence from Britain. Military rebels who do not want to see democracy in the country and in fact would prefer military dictatorship stays in power. Assassination ordered by former president/leader/dictatorship Aung Saw. They are getting ready to have lots of excitement and anticipation for their future until….. Rangoon 1947. General Aung San, 6 cabinet member and his brother were shot at point blank range in the parliament building with a hand gun and machine guns. The scene ends with military coming to tell his wife and her breaking down zooming in on their daughters face.

What do you see? (visual techniques)

  • Car comes in in a medium shot taking Aung San to the council chambers
  • Close up shot of Aung San walking into the council chambers nearly an over the shoulder shop.
  • Military uniform green but none of their uniforms have the dictatorship red on it.
  • Gang are wearing red scarves representing dictatorship
  • Close-up of the gun being pointed
  • Close-up of Aung San’s face looking calm and direct at the gun-isn’t going to be phased or lose his cool- shows integrity. He isn’t going to let them break him or his will or lose all he has stood for in the face of death. Parallels to the strength of his daughter. The dictators get what they want and fight with violence and guns while they fight with their integrity and beliefs and stay calm and will die before they break.
  • Setting in the room is quite plain
  • Overhead shot of the scene, it makes the bodies look small and part of a map. Showing the entire assassination of unarmed peoples.
  • Communist showing sacrifice blood of the people to reach what they believe is a better system.
  • Room is very white bring the red blood out and obvious.
  • Medium shot of those believed to be on Aung San staff put their red scarves on showing they are against him. Use of costume
  • Pan flute plays as Aung San turns to face the gun. Gives an airy sound.
  • Lights moving in the over the top shot showing that even the setting is unsettled.
  • Medium shot of the guys all toasting and happy, toasting towards democracy but they don’t get to drink it symbolising that they were so close to independence but just missed it.
  • Ancient spears are in the background from burma of people have fought before. Symbolising how he is not forgetting about the past but bring Burma into a new future and are learning from the past.
  • His face before he is shot is half in light and half in the dark once again symbolising how close they were to finding democracy or a future and leaving the dictatorship and darkness behind.
  • Lack of color light greens and whites, shows a peaceful environment and calmness and future which is tainted by the red blood.
  • The shooter is smoking and more intense compared to the other body guards.
  • The rebels have different hats and costumes so are in all the ranks and are not just low down.
  • The contrast between the shooters and Aung San’s face he is smug and all good to shoo has a look of evil in his eyes while Aung San remains calm and peaceful isn’t afraid to die for what is right and will allow his legacy to pass on.
  • Red symbolises communism and comes from ancient china and represents the blood of the people.
  • British flag in the background with the burmese national flag the peacock symbolising the two countries coming together against the Japanese and forming a relationship to get independence for Burma
  • Long shot of his car arriving at the council chambers
  • Lighting throughout the scene is generally half in the light half in the dark representing peace vs communism.
  • The amount of unarmed people vs  those armed
  • Close up of the daughter at the end of the scene foreshadowing how she will change and continue his legacy. She is asleep and at peace showing how she is peaceful and can bring peace to the country
  • Close up of the red blood on the guys hands when he goes to tell his wife of his death.
  • After Aung san is dead the man shoots him again multiple times
  • Close up of the wife face in shock
  • The men are all in the light as they represent democracy and bringing peace to the country. While the shooters are generally seen in darker rooms and costumes.
  • The men are all in peaceful colours.
  • As the shooters are walking down the hall they are in extremely dark lighting shown in a three shot medium shot.
  • Map of burma in the background later seen in General Ne Win’s office.
  • Panic of all the men’s faces except of Sung San
  • Medium shot of the soldier holding up the gun after he shoots aung san.
  • Medium shot of them holding the big guns.
  • Over the shoulder shot from the shooters perspective or our point of view shot to show the horror and intensity.
  • Low angle shot at the shooter with the gun holding it over aung san’s dead body ready to shoot him again. From aung san’s perspective.
  • Medium to close up of a leg covered in blood, the red of communism in contrast of the white costume of peace and democracy.
  • Overhead shot of the room, lights swinging and the three men walking away leaving the caos.
  • *(consider what doesn’t happen as well as what does)
  • No one runs into the room to try and save or help then as the men have either already been shot or were actually in the communist side and undercover.
  • Close up of the fire/smoke coming out of the machine guns.
  • Medium shot of bodies being thrown back across the table. Red cups still in their hands
  • The peace of the room has been disrupted.
  • Some men are wearing traditional burmese clothing rather than military uniform.
  • The national emblem of the peacock can be seen in the background. (the lady and the peacock-book)
  • Reloads their guns many times but they are trained and all have good aim so they are reloading to shoot multiple times.
  • Military car comes charging in shown in long to medium shots.

What do you hear? (verbal techniques)

  • Lots of excited sounding dialogue
  • piqno key sounds as he talks to his daughter before he leaves.
  • Soft music as Aung San is walking in, doesn’t represent any evil
  • Darker music begins to play, almost western like building up as soldiers walk into the scene. Gets louder building to climax as the shooter gets closer to the chamber
  • Stops suddenly with a windy bang sound as he opens the doors storming in
  • Music changes to a sad and somber as he held the gun to Aung San head almost like he is in a wind tunnel and memories are coming back as he looks into the barrel of the gun.
  • Lots of percussion and music from shakers. Whiplash sound coming through
  • “The main priority is to form a government.”
  • Airy sound begins as the shooter starts to head up and reveals he is part of the dictatorship
  • Pan flute plays as Aung San turns to face the gun. Gives an airy sound.
  • Pan flute gets cut of by the sound of the bang from the gun and begins again during the overhead shot of the bodies creates an unsettled and sas somber mood.
  • Western sounding whip and rattle as the soldier puts on his red scarf and heads to shoot the men. Builds anxiety.
  • Diegetic sound of gunfire. Disturbing the peace, cuts of the western music and begins again after they leave.
  • Shouts “let’s go” as they turn to walk away.
  • long shot of the military truck coming sweeping through the gates, smashing into them in their hurry
  • medium shot of the soldier out of the car crying
  • close up of his hands covered in blood.
  • medium shot of the wife putting it together and beginning to break down.
  • the father puts a flower in her hair before he goes, which she continues to wear in her campaign and throughout her life as a tribute to her father and what he stood for.

Consider how any of the details you have listed reflect Luc Besson’s auteur style. List the connections.

  • At the end it reflects the officer aiming the gun at his daughter both literally as she walks through and metaphorically when the guards are removed from her house.
  • Not a lot of dialogue story is told visually.
  • Cinema du look, there is little dialogue and the story is told more visually than through what we hear. He was trying to use lighting, costume and expression more than the dialogue.
  • Society at this point has not established democracy so his beliefs do not fit easy into society.
  • Aung san shows integrity and dignity even as he has a gun pointed at his head shown through expression.
  • Those who shoot him are young and believe they are doing the right things- can be seen in today’s world. Believe they are protecting society and bringing clarity and truth to the world
  • They have blind faith in what they are doing by carrying out the assassination
  • The setting in the halls is dark and uncertain while the room in bright to show contrast.
  • The viewer is lead below the surface and sees a more distasteful reality if the system and military
  • There is huge conflict in beliefs and views of the world between democracy and military
  • Answers of who are not shown.

Today, you will be viewing the second scene from “The Lady” for analysis: Aung San Suu Kyi is confronted by the military at an NLFD (National League for Democracy)  rally.

1) Where is this scene set? Streets of Rangoon capital of Burma.

2) What is happening in this scene? Aung San Sui Kyi is following in her father’s footsteps and has organized a rally for the National League for Democracy in Burma. She is taking a stand against the military regime with a group of supported and employees. However, at her rally, the military arrives with great weaponry and cause chaos, tearing down their flags and having a line of soldiers with guns pointing towards them. Aung Kyi, calmly and gracefully much like her father refuses to let them stop what they are doing or phase her and she walks’ towards them and past the first lot of guns. She continues as the commander counts down. Mirroring the same look. Morals, beliefs, and dignity of her father the viewer can easily see the comparison between father and daughter. The military pulls out knowing that like her father if she is killed she will become a martyr and make Burma rebel even more than what they already have.

3) Who is involved?

  • military
  • Aung san Sui Kyi
  • the nlfd (her party people)

4) What significant film techniques do you see?\

  • The first shot is a medium low angle shot of the nlfd sign in red which is a significant colour for Asian cultures. (history and tradition)
  • Close up of paintings of Aung san Sui Kyi and her father, camera shot is looking up from a low angle. Both paintings are on red backgrounds, their images are cutting through the communist red.
  • Medium shot if an employer outside setting up the microphone, he has got their campaign flag in his shirt of the red flag with the yellow peacock through it, also symbolizing cutting through communism.
  • Long shot if the military arriving. Saying they can’t have a public meeting. Lots of natural colours and peaceful. Basic furniture and props and costumes that are being disturbed by the military.
  • Military costumes with the red scarves the combination represent communism can be seen throughout histories such as communist China and North Korea,
  • Other men are in simple and peaceful costumes showing how they are there for peace and not violence.
  • Medium shot of a soldier pointing and yelling to destroy the rally.
  • Long shot of soldiers pulling down their nlfd flag, symbolizing how they won’t allow democracy and peace here
  • Soldiers take some of the ralliers pushing them around demonstrating their power and force over the people.
  • Close up of a soldier watching what is happening but not acting himself just watching\
  • The red and military props are in extreme contrast to the peaceful setup and nature of everything around them
  • Long shot of Aung San Sui Kyi walking into the rally. She is walking in from bright light into darker light as she gets closer to the military.
  • She is wearing a flower necklace/scarf which is the same colour as the peacock on their flags
  • Long shot of the soldiers storming towards her, for all but the commander they are looking down and not at her, showing that they may not believe in this act.
  • Medium shot of the soldiers taking aim and beginning to look up. Many men in the background as well once again showing the immense number of resources poured into control one women.
  • Medium shot of men listening to the commander but not looking like they want to be. their by their facial language and body language.
  • “Prepare to fire”
  • Wide angle lens of the line of men holding up their machine guns ready to fire.
  • Mid shot of Aung San staying calm in the line of danger and keeping her word of keeping a peaceful rally.
  • Men and her employee look worried but she stays calm and they look towards to her.
  • She is a woman standing up towards a bunch of military men and she is surrounded by men. She brings the idea of gender equality to Burma and never lets the fact she is a woman stop her movement.
  • Medium moving into close up from the perspective if the men behind her (over the shoulder shot) as she walks towards the military calmly with a gun at her head.
  • She gets yelled at to turn back from the military.
  • The medium shot shows her walking up from behind.
  • she is wearing lots of flowers again like the one her father put in her hair in the memories.
  • She is pretty gutsy to walk towards them as her father was assassinated and she had seen people being shot in the streets.
  • Close up of her face as she looks at them
  • Medium shot of the commander getting frustrated and not sure what to do as their threats aren’t working.
  • Medium shot possible wide angle as she begins to walk through the first line of guns and past the barrels.
  • Close up of her employee turning around worried and not wanting to see
  • Flash back to the same close up of her father with a calm expression and at the same point ready to die and be are martyred for their country.-link back to a ghost is more powerful then a spirit, his supertitions are the reason why he won’t kill her. did the tarrot reader know this and know he wouldn’t and knew her power over him so sacrificed herself for her.
  • End of the scene as they rush her off.
  • a defining moment in history
  • the military is less confident and doesn’t shoot straight away. the country is changing, even though she defied them because it will just lead to a bigger uprising.
  • compared to the opening scene he does not have the confidence to just shoot.
  • the military is living in fear, they fear death and being shot.

I.e. Camera shots/angles, lighting, costume, colour, set-design, props, special effects etc.

5) What significant film techniques do you hear?

I.e. Dialogue, sound (diegetic and non-diegetic), music, sound effects etc.

    • Little English dialogue. Dialogue is rushed and intense
    • Music builds anxiety on what is going to happen with military their double beat drum sound every through seconds
    • Music goes into an intense hum with beats
    • There is a mixture of peaceful and intense sounds representing the military side and democracy and freedom.
    • Music builds as she walks past the guns and into the barrel of the hand gun
    • Music stops suddenly when the commander calls for the attack
    • And the more peaceful type sounds begin again in victory
    • Before the military arrives it is peaceful and then a harsh sound begins as they arrive.
    • music has an almost Gailey wind aspect to it at the beginning.
    • Panflute
    • the anxiety of the drum beat is in contrast to the excited and happy clapping.
    • suction sound/ steam
    • “no public meetings allowed, go back home.”
    • “in line”
    • “go back or we will shoot”
    • soldiers look serious we should come back another day.”
    • “No, we will carry on in a calm  and orderly fashion.”
    • “stay here first”
    • “stay back that’s an order”
    • dialogue disappears and mouths are just moving
    • “stop, let them go, were pulling out.”
    • orchestral- if not pop or modern music

symphonized sound- long notes like holding down key cymbals.

  •  a mix of high and low sounds, harsh vs angelic. both present showing the contrast.
  • (look up significance of pan flute in Burma and Asian cultures)
  • rattles can be heard through the angelic music with a low drum beat.
  • buzz

6) Are there aspects of this scene that relate to Luc Besson’s auteur style (attached)? Make the connections in your own words.

  • There is little dialogue and lots of visual aspects.
  • The setting is extreme and out of the experience of most, especially in our world. None of us have gone through anything near this.
  • Large contrast between the protagonist and the antagonist
  • The protagonist shows integrity and dignity


  • General Aung San-father
  • Aung San Suu Kyi- protagonist
  • Daw Suu-madam Suu
  • General Ne Win-Antagonist
  • Rangoon-Capital in 1947
  • Burma-  Country
  • military
  • dictatorship
  • Council Chamber-where the assassination took place while the chamber was in session
  • six cabinet members and his brother were assassinated alongside General Aung San
  • General U Saw (previous military leader) organized the assassination but was not there and did not carry it out.
  • military rebels fighting to keep military power


  • The first scene is set /shows. Give context, where, what, who, when, why
  • Film techniques. The director uses…. this shows/signifies,/is significant/symbolizes……(purpose)
  • The viewer can see the auteur’s style through/when…..
  • no less than 3 paragraphs per each scene. No less than six film techniques per scene.



Respond now!