Practice scene analysis: Aung San Suu Kyi is placed under
house arrest
1) Scene 1: General Ne Win hands Aung San Suu Kyi over to
his military commander:
What is taking place in the opening of this scene? What are
General Ne Win’s concerns?
How does General Ne Win’s military commander react to his
his superior’s concerns?
What do you see? (visual techniques)
What do you hear? (verbal techniques)

  • The General is concerned she will gain support from both Burma and overseas. This would cause more bloodshed and uprising putting more attention on his country. Fears that she will overthrow him the people will choose her and he will be pushed out of leadership.
  • The commander reacts to the concerns by offering the General help, he places Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest that lasts for 15 years.
  • Cinema du look technique-over the shoulder shot from General Ne Win perspective.
  • a mixture of medium shots showing conversation and close ups of facial expressions and body language.
  • colors are military green with red on the uniform, colors show and are an example dictatorship and the need for control.
  • Close up of the newspaper shows that the main focus of the General is this woman, it is literally his focus as the shot is from his perspective. Shows his paranoia as it is his only focus of the whole movie his worry of this woman taking over.
  • The sound effect during the looking at the cards. non-diegetic scene airy superstition of the general. He is now the whimsical superstitious person and is reading his fate. The sound indicates he is being led and manipulated by his own superstitions. The card is the right number is meant to represent that fate is involved and this was supposed to happen.
  • Body language in the medium shots are showing the tense situation and that he is uncertain and is falling into his beliefs to find answers- it is disturbing how he is outing the fate of her and her party and the country and his nation in the number of a card he chose.
  • Close up of his jewelry show his wealth.
  • Set design- military flags of the navy, soldiers etc showing the military first nature of the country and how in this room the priority is military and how they do things.
  • The map behind the General makes Burma look very large showing the idea that in that room they believe they are the most important and the center of the world.
  • The commander has the power to put her under house arrest this can be seen through costume he is wearing a military uniform which shows he has rank by all the stuff on his uniform.

Camera Shots:

  • Over the shoulder shot from General Ne Win’s perspective of an international newspaper, showing Aung San Suu Kyi tipped/nominated for the Nobel peace prize- showing she is distracting his mind pulling him from other military jobs/focus. It shows she is gaining international support and putting his regime under the watch of the world which is not good for his dictatorship.
  • Close up of Ni Win considering to give his authority over to the general.
  • Closeup perspective of the cards from the Generals perspective-shows us his need for superstition and his beliefs in fate. all reactionary decision making.
  • Medium shot of General shot resembles a judges courtroom, her fate has been decided by the court, it is a final decision.

Verbal:

  • Straight away there are non-diegetic sounds of eerie wind noises, similar to those of the tarrot card reader, showing that he has taken over the role of supertition from her and is deciding his own fate through means.
  • Dialogue- “severe their links with the world” because that is foreshadowing what he is going to do by putting her under house arrest.
  • Low hum under the dialogue to make the audience feel uneasy about what is going to happen.
  • “I’ll ensure she is forgotten both here and abroad.”- even though she was gone for 15 years she was never forgotten she gained more power and support not just here but abroad. This dialogue is used to foreshadow/predict what will take place.
  • “pick a number” “5” represents Ne Wins superstitious beliefs- the commander does not question what is happening showing he is used to it, the whole regime has been based on this whimsical beliefs.
  • The music reaches climax as he is turning over the cars, Ne Wins getting more and more excited as he is turning over the card, the anticipation of seeing if the card matches the number. as the number is shown there is the sound of an explosion.

How do any of these connect with Luc Besson’s Style: Cinema du look.

  • There is very little dialogue and the story is told by what we are seeing and some musical backing.
  • The visual of the newspapers.
  • The house arrest makes her an outcast to society.
  • The story is based on fate so the setting is uncertain.
  • General Ne Win rules by his superstition so the lines of right and wrong are blurred. It also shows a distasteful society where the citizen’s lives are at risk as his protection and choices are based on fate.

 

2) Scene 2: Cutting off Aung San Suu Kyi from the world
What is happening in this scene?
Describe the action/activity that is taking place?
What is Aung San Suu Kyi’s reaction to the military control?
What do you see? (visual techniques)
What do you hear? (verbal techniques)
Consider how any of the details you have listed in both
scenes, reflect Luc Besson’s auteur style. List the
connections.

  • The red scarves represent communism and dictatorship, they sacrifice their lives for the ‘good’ of everybody and that they will sacrifice themselves for the country.
  • The scarf gives them the power to kill which is stated throughout the film.
  • Trucks and military arrive and surround the house putting up fences and removing items from the house, they command everyone to leave except for her children.
  •  A close up shows a soldier removing the number 54 from their property-showing that she is not there and there is no longer that property.
  • All there supporters of democracy are arrested and everything they have been working for has been taken or destroyed.
  • The scene is a great representation of cinema du look as there is hardly any dialogue. The story is told visually.
  • Extreme close up Camera shots shows the phone cord being cut so that she is shut off from the rest of the Burmese community to get them to forget about her. It’s metaphoric she is literally cut off from the rest of the world
  • The scene is rushed and spliced making the audience feel on edge and the anxiety that those in the scene are feeling.
  • A large number of people in the military turn up.
  • They try to use fear to break her and rule over her.
  • They separate her from her supporters and party members, isolating her from everyone.
  • She remains calm, they are dysfunctional and ineffective while she is calm and in control. the contrast highlights her functional ability to lead and their dysfunctional leadership.
  • She remains calm keeping everybody safe while they believe it’s over she knows it’s not.
  • The behavior of the military is frantic and assertive.
  • medium shots show her watching and keeping calm they aren’t going to faze her.
  • medium shots show the military breaking into the house and kicking everyone out.
  • Music is strong and bold giving a sense of panic, control, and mission.
  • The music builds up as they go and arrest the party members. is frantic makes the audience feel worried an don edge for them.
  • Short and sharp editing flipping from people to people.
  • Her dialogue is calm but assertive she needs to keep her cool for her people but she also needs them to leave so they remain safe.
  • Little dialogue as images is telling the story an example of Luc Bessans Cinema du Look techniques.
  • Her dialogue remains loving she does not see this invasion as the end.
  • The flashback shows that she is remembering that guy, they don’t have to tell us that it is all done visually.
  • you can’t make out what people are saying their voices are just running together to make the audience know this is rushed and they are working quickly because they don’t want to give her a second more of power etc.

Camera Shots:

  • Medium shots showing many militaries, and extreme military resources poured in to control one lady.
  • medium shots of the blockage around the house and blocking of the entire street.
  • Close up of barb-wire as they believe she would try to escape over the fence. Shows the contrast between how each side fights, the military is violent and uses extreme action while her fight isn’t with guns it’s her life and what she represents is how she fights, she doesn’t let hate or violence destroy or break who she is,
  • Close up of the number being taken off the gate, removing any way to contact her. the number 54 represents her place in society so they are taking it away. no mail from the outside world will be able to get to her
  • The point of view long shot from her perspective watching as they surround her and remove her existence as she stays calm.
  • The extreme measures that the soldiers and military are taking show Luc Besson’s extreme style.
  • medium shot of her in the boy’s room is a direct contrast to the extreme activity outside, she is cool, calm and collective even though she is going to be under their control.
  • long shot flashback is quite significant and shows who is trying to put them under control and informs her she needs to stay calm and get her friends safely out.
  • Lots of long shots of them rounding people up and in the streets etc.
  • Close up of a woman reading Gandhi- representing the desire for peace and how they need to fight with calmness in peace, which is ironic and in contrast to the violence she experiences when she is arrested.
  • Series of close ups of the military removing papers and documents and everything that connects her to her military party the house is totally swept clean and those of her employees.
  • Extreme close up of the soldier cutting the phone cord, cutting her off from the rest of the world literally.
  • Music is rushed, creating tension and anxiety.
  • Can hear drums, militant sound.
  • Things breaking and being thrown around, havoc occurring, so much stuff is happening.
  • Dogs barking often used to show disorder and that things aren’t right. The dog barking shows that things happening shouldn’t be it knows and senses something is chaotic and shouldn’t be occurring.
  • Military trucks could be heard pulling up and pulling up and pulling up.
  • The music stops in that climax as she is cut off and controlled and it is all done the chaos is over.

Luc Besson’s Style:

  • Extreme events are taking place
  • little dialogue happening
  • actions of the main character of the general are extreme as they want to bring greater clarity to the environment and bring order and control to stop her showing his fear.
  • It shows the extreme contrast between Aung San Suu Kyi and the authority in her environment.
  •  She shows integrity in the corrupt world she stays calm and non-violent while all this is occurring to her and those around her.
  • the setting is extreme and outside the experience of most- house arrest for 15 years is an extreme experience none of us can understand.
  •  She grows stronger as the society is weaker and turns to shambles and the country is dissolving. She has developed and grown since she was first asked to run a party.

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