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The Fall

October 15, 2014

I watched The Fall at the weekend, it wasn’t quite was I was expecting but I still really enjoyed it. I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild a few days before and they formed a nice diptych of how the world can appear to children.

The very end was probably my favourite part: a montage of stunts from the silent era of film. When you know that these guys are actually just doing these things they are infinitely more impressive than the biggest Michael Bay explosion:

Then again I am a sucker for some silent film, the Méliès montage in Hugo was probably my favourite part of that film:

Spoiler warning for both I guess. Also not so big a fan of the silent stunt horsies, I guess this is before ‘No animals were harmed’ disclaimers…

See also: Professional archers shooting a hail of real arrows at Toshiro Mifune in Throne of Blood.

Throne of Blood

December 12, 2009

In the final scene of Throne of Blood, in which Mifune is shot by arrows, Kurosawa used real arrows shot by expert archers from a short range, landing within centimetres of Mifune’s body

Washizu’s famous death scene, in which his own archers turn upon him and fill his body with arrows, was in fact performed with real arrows, a choice made to help Mifune produce realistic facial expressions of fear. The arrows seen to impact the wooden walls were not superimposed or faked by special effects, but instead shot by choreographed archers. During filming, Mifune waved his arms, ostensibly because his character was trying to brush away the arrows embedded in the planks; this indicated to the archers the direction in which Mifune wanted to move.