Back in March of 2012 I posted about tangents. Most of the time in my classes, students are so busy creating an image that they tend to loose track of lines and the resulting tangents flatten the intended space and makes the image confusing. As we continue to cover composition, I am posting screen grabs from two great films that use tangents to their advantage. This post focuses on the 1999 blockbuster, The Matrix. Huge props go out to the directors, The Wachowski Brothers, Director of Photography, Bill Pope, Editor, Zach Staenberg and the crew who put this together. My favorite sequence isn't one of the action sequences or 'super hero' nature of the "bullet time" effects but the interrogation scene involving Agent Smith and Morpheus. Hugo Weaving's performance is fantastic here and everything comes together quite well in this moment and the tangents in it act as divisions between the characters. You will find these 'divisions' throughout from start to finish especially in sequences that describe Neo's education in the world of the Matrix. The "Morpheus is fighting Neo" (better known as the "I know Kung Fu") scene is full of these divisions and is a lot of fun to watch from a cinematographic stand point, but the interrogation of Morpheus is the best part IMO.
OTS off the very close Smith. Cut to Smith, the camera is lower than his eye line, giving him a little more power, he is pushing in on the division. Building on the tension, that dark line is an implied, weak force field separating Smith from what he wants.
Stay tuned for the second look at 'good' tangents, coming soon. Thanks for stopping by.