(These are all just my observations and opinions. They may not reflect the intentions of the filmmaker. They are also not all organized chronologically in relation to the film.)
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1.

From the opening sequence. Great composition, great mix of vertical and diagonal lines. The downward slope of the tracks keeps your eye moving from left to right, from the train to the guys on the tracks. What the heck are those guys doing there?


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2.

Note the use of perspective, the balancing of the composition. The man in the bottom right corner and the pillar on the left are both visually supporting the bridge.. The scene is horizontally cut in half by the bridge. The crane and its line split the scene in half vertically.


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3.

The angle/tilt of the bridge makes the train feel like it’s helping pull up the horse. The horse is in front of the sky, giving it a strong silhouette. The horse is perfectly framed by a rectangle created by the bridge, pillar, and right and bottom parts of the screen. Below the horse, three men form a triangle that complements the triangle shapes in the bridge. (Three men are also pulling on the crane line.) Because we only see one pillar supporting the bridge, it creates tension because it feels as though the bridge could tip right over.


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4.

The diagonal perspective lines of the hallway point to to the center of interest which is the little girl. She is also framed by the doorway, further enhancing her importance in the scene. Window light brightens the space the little girl is standing in, reinforcing her as the focus of the scene as well. A cross on the back wall looks as though it’s suspended above her head. Foreshadowing her role as a savior in the film. The girl sits in a green box, the crusafix sits in a yellow box. In fact, the bottom half of all the walls in the hospital are painted green, at exactly the height to frame the girl. A red bucket is also framed within a rectangle of the wall. Red. Hmmm.


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5.

A very horizontal and 2d composition. The horseman becomes the focus as he and his shadow break the horizontal planes in the scene. The further back in space, the more blue and less contrasty it gets, making the horseman stand out more. The foreground is very orange. Oranges (both the color and the fruit), Reds, and Blues play very important parts in this film.


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6.

Sweeping downward curves. Steps forming downward spiraling patterns. It all drives our eyes towards where the woman is going. Our eye is partially drawn to her red dress, but the overall warmth of the scene lessens the punctuation of the red and keeps our eyes moving along the path laid out by the lines and patterns. One of the best compositions in the movie (a movie brimming with brilliant compositions). It also has a very yellowy/orange palette that pervades much of the film.


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7.

With the forced perspective, the triangulation of the compositional lines, our eye is drawn towards the woman and then where she’s going to. An extremely centered composition that emphasizes her destination.


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8.

Again, our eyes are drawn towards her destination by the lines and shapes in the composition. Particularly the white diagonal slightly converging lines of the railings.


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9.

The figure is framed by the vertical lines of the buildings and the horizontal lines of the ground plane and the top of the scene. Our eyes are further drawn to the figure not only by circular light of the sun, but also its converging light rays. The rim lighting from the sun gives his head a halo effect. Again, oranges are the predominant colors here.


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10.

The frame is split in half by the vertical shapes of the sheet and the pillars. On the right are the characters and the blue sky, on the left is the mountain and clouds. Our eyes are drawn to the bright blood red stain rising up the white sheet in the middle of the picture. The fact that the characters are also looking at the sheet further drives the focus of the scene to the bloodied sheet and upwards.


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11.

The mountain and the ground form a frame that the poles and sheet fit perfectly in. The downward diagonal slope of the mountain points right to the sheet as well. And, wow, there’s even a little squiggly line of a road that leads right to it as well. Plus, that stark red is calling to your eyeballs.


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12.

The doorway creates a square frame for the man and the horse. The silhouette of the leaves further pushes our eyes down towards the man and horse. The burst of sunlight coming through becomes a target for our eyes.


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13.

Our eyes are pulled toward the fire in the tree (the burning bush?) by the bright orange color, the vertical shape of the tree, the horizontal lines of the ground, its dark contrast with the sky, and because the characters are all looking at it. The characters are also arranged by height, downward angle created by this pushes our eyes to the left as well.


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14.

A very orange palette. The sharp edged right angles of the buildings are bridged from the rounded shapes in the shield by the curved sword that vertically intersects the space the character is occupying and the background. It also serves to frame the character, who also visually demands our attention with his green garb.


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15.

Red is death in this film. The character is framed by the vertical pillars in the foreground and the door in the background. The diagonal lines of perspective and the receding ornamental patterns draw our eye directly to the character and the red figure. Their colors also make them stand out in the scene. This scene is visually, extremely busy, but all of those elements work together to create a very dynamic and focused composition.


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16.

Contrast that with this scene, which basically has no background. The character is in a strong silhouetted pose, lit from the back and side. The curved horns of his helmet echo the curve in the bow. The horizontal movement of the arrow is echoed by the horizontal placement of his left arm. If he were completely centered in the composition, it would not be nearly as interesting. Now our eye can go from him on the right, to his arrow, and then we still have space for the arrow to lead us to the next scene. The orange light and orange fur on his belt make him stand out from the pastel blue sky.


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17.

The same scene from a completely different vantage point. Still making strong use of silhouette. All the empty space above gives weight to the bottom of the frame. Our eyes are also quicky drawn to bottom of the frame by the red outfit. The tall ornate orange building makes the scene weigh heavily to the left, the same direction the arrow is moving. The horizontal lines of the stairs also keeps our eyes moving from right to left.


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18.

Blue and Orange! The opposite colors (on a standard color wheel), work with the opposites of the scene. A huge, super heavy animal floating and swimming through the water.


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19.

Another very orange palette, but electrified by bright red stripes. Red. Hmmm. The perspective lines of the buildings converge on the figure. The depth of field makes the character stand out, as well as his centered placement.


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20.

Now a much more 2d composition. No dominant perspective lines. Lots of straight vertical and horizontal lines (the pillars and the stairs). The blood red car is centered and between the two characters, but restrained to the bottom of the composition by the framing elements of the horizontal stairs.


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21.

The character’s arms and guns are parallel to the perspective lines of the building in the background. Very effective at pulling our eyes to the right. Note the yellow/orange of the building is repeated in the reflective colors on his shirt and the metal on the guns.


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22.

An amazing 2d horizontal composition. Most of the frame is taken up by the sky and clouds. But your eye goes to the bright red wagon at the bottom. Not only because of the red color, but also because of the weight of all those mountains at the bottom of the composition. The wagon also breaks the plane of the ground and juts into the shapes of the mountains.


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23.

The character’s head is dead center. The curves of his outfit draw your eye right to his face. The baldness of his head breaks out of the curvilinear frame created by the white cloth. Is this a friendly character? The spikey shapes of his outfit say no way! In fact, they look like teeth.


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24.

The jagged curves of the mountains on the left and the right, along with the curves of the tracks in the sand do the same thing in this composition. And the mountain at the top breaks out of the frame, much like the bald head. Why, you’d almost think these two scenes were composed identically on purpose.


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25.

The negative space created by the palace in the background frames the characters along with the red umbrella and balcony. The characters break out of the framing up into the sky. Does her purple dress stand out in this color palette? You bet your booties. Are those oranges on the table? Hmmm.


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26.

Another amazing composition. (and an orange/yellow palette too). The patterns of the swirling arms keeps our eyes circling the focus of the scene, which is the character on the even brighter yellow cloth.


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27.

Hmmm. Why is she dressed in red? Three arrow shaped crystal decorations mirrored by three red pillows. Don’t let anyone tell you three isn’t a magic number.


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28.

A red dress, red eyeshadow, red nail polish, and red lipstick. Quadruple hmmm. This pose, with the fan/mask, creates some great positive/negative space. Note how her face is framed by the fan and her hands.


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29.

The shelves break up the top part of the composition and give it a framework for the patterns of all the small bottle shapes. The giant bottle in the foreground mirrors the pattern of the bottle shapes framed within the shelves. However, that’s not medicine in that bottle. Its bottleness makes it feel like it belongs there, but its size, placement in the middle, and contents make it stand out. It also is the only bottle that is not sitting within the frame of a shelf. in fact, it is right in the middle of the middle vertical line between the shelves. The filmmaker was making sure you noticed that bottle. It’s so creepy, it almost makes you think that this room is not a place a child should be in, huh?


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30.

The magic of thirds. The screen is broken into thirds by the windows frames. The girl is mostly within the middle frame, but part of her is in the first frame, driving our eyes to the right. And she is looking to the right. And the slight perspective of the windows are converging to the right. Something must be happening to the right!


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31.

More complementary oranges and blues. The sweeping curve of the balcony is echoed in the positions of the arms of the dancers. They are also dancing in a curved circular pattern and spinning in a circular motion, all within a curved room. Even in this still shot, our eyes keep moving round and round.


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32.

Note the juxtaposition of the pills that Roy wants to use to kill himself, placed on the child’s drawing that Alexandria has made for him. The pills are framed by the drawing. The characters are also boxed in by the sheets, in a sense existing within a different world than the rest of hospital.


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33.

The two characters are framed by the doorway and tied together by the lines created by the arches.


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34.

In the next shot, from another angle, the character is still framed by a doorway.


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35.

And in another shot, much further back, they are still framed by the architecture. The diagonal perspective lines created by the path in the foreground, point directly at the couple.


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36a.

Because so much of the dream world is in a very orange lighting scheme (lots of early evening shots with the warmer sunlight), when the scenes change to blue, they have more impact (orange and blue are on opposite sides of the color wheel).

36b.



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37.

This next sequence of shots are very 2d, not much perspective. But because the horizontal elements are so strong, they really keep the energy moving from right to left. Whether it’s this medium shot…


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38.

Or this close shot..


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39.

Or this pulled back shot. Notice how the characters are confined with the bottom third of the frame, which has all those horizontal lines and shapes. Notice the vertical repetition of the four towers with the four characters.


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40.

Dynamic perspective paired with architectural patterns, figurative repetition, and arrows in flight. Alll the motion in the scene (the arrows) fills up the negative space made by the building. They are framed by it.


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41.

The character is framed within the curving V shape of the tree limbs. Is he trapped by them, or embracing them?


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42.

Notice how all four falling figures are framed within the vertical lines created by the architecture. This helps us focus on them, even though they are small and the building makes the scene visually very busy. The figures are also dead center in the middle of the screen.


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43.

More patterns. The angle of all the sticks of dynamite are all pointing at the figure. And why is the inside of his coat red?


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44.

The resulting explosion. And the building is red as well.


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45.

Amazing patterns here. And yet the perspective lines draw our eyes from the top corners to the center bottom of the frame, where the central character of the scene is. He is also the most colorful thing in the scene. Perhaps the best example of focused complexity in the film.


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46.

An image divided into thirds. Centered composition. The central character is within a bulls eye. And yet she doesn’t visually overload the scene because her colors, and even the pattern in her dress are reflected in the patterns in the floor.


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47.

This scene is like a Mondrian painting. A clean white stripe of sand along the bottom. A heavy, dominant orange block taking up the rest of the frame. The tiny tiny characters below intersecting the line that divides them. Most of the characters are gathered on the right side of the screen, being approached by a rider with a bright red plume.


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48.

Orange meets blue again. With a little of the green accent color that makes its way through the film. Hmmm, even a spot of red…


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49.

One of the most touching scenes in the movie. Amplified by the close, intimate shot, with life leaving one character, much like the butterfly leaving his hand. Red is a dominant color. The orange butterfly becomes framed in a triangle created by the diagonal lines of the arms and hands. (Michelangelo and the Creation of Adam, anyone? Anyone?)

Look back through all these images. Why does the filmmaker use so many centered compositions? 1. Because they work really well at making you look at what he wants you to look at. 2. Because when he uses a scene with a non-centered composition, it contrasts the centered ones and enhances the motion of the scene. Much the way he uses a lot of orange palettes and then drops some blue on you. Whammo!

I also wonder what the title of the movie is referring to? The fall the stuntman took? The fall the little girl had picking oranges? The fall from romance when the stuntman lost his girlfriend? The pivotal moment when the girl falls again because of the stuntman? A biblical reference to sin and death? An allusion to the season when things go from warm to cold, life to death?