Sunday, April 12, 2015

"The Fifth Element" - Korben's Intro Scene

One of my all time favourite movies (for several hundred reasons) is Luc Besson's 1997 sci-fi action comedy romance futuristic everything "The Fifth Element". Upon recent re-watching, one scene stood out as a great example of a character introduction, that being of hero protagonist Korben Dallas played by Bruce Willis. Yes this is another Bruce Willis post.

So I wanted to follow up my "Last Boy Scout" post with another screen-grab-tastic post showing some stylistic choices and in my opinion a great way of introducing a character without any need of exposition dialogue (or as little as possible). And the sequence is fairly quick and by the end of it you know exactly who this character is and why you should be rooting for him the entire movie.

The previous scene ends dramatically with a superimposed skull of the film's unseen antagonist blasting at your face and cut's to Korben waking up out of what seems like a bad dream. His face quickly turns into the classic Bruce Willis dopey grin as he realises he was only dreaming.


People read the time and date backwards in 2263

Eric Serra's oddly urban percussion influenced song blasts on the cut with lights turning on in timed unison with the beat showing us who exactly this character is by choice of paraphernalia and vices.

This shot sets up the later scene point of the attempted robbery

Korben has a pet, audience members love hero's with pets. Now you do too.

I love this shot for it's simplicity and Bruce Willis' tired read of the line "Trying". In my opinion it sums up Korben's character as someone who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time (much like Bruce Willis' other notable characters) and even though there is a giant sign warning him, he just can't help but be the hero.

No food or groceries in his tiny fridge, which helps the story later on when he has to pile in a bunch of the soldiers to hide them from Cornelius and Leeloo.

Quick shot of Korben's multi pass identification showing again his mean special forces army photo.

The next few shots cut back and forth between the robber and Korben. Beginning with the camera looking over each others shoulders, with the robber clearly holding a sense of fleeting power as the dynamic of the scene slowly shifts towards Korben as the camera then becomes a collection of POV shots.

 He clearly isn't fazed at all by the giant gun in his face.

Interestingly enough this shot shows the most amount of Korben's tiny apartment then any of the previous shots in one frame. With his medals and trophies in one corner, it is a kind of summary of all the shots that's now confirmed in the audience's mind that this is the protagonist that we will root for till the end. Who also is a bad-ass.

I love the robber's dance and acting.

With amazing music from Luc Besson's usual composer collaborator Eric Serra and great cinematography from Thierry Arbogast (also a Besson usual) this movie is re-watched atleast once or twice a year.

Ending this post once again with that dopey grin.

The Little Prince - Japanese post

Recently a Japanese poster for "The Little Prince" was released.  Check it out below!