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>> Speaker 1: First 40 minutes of Sicario are some of the best in recent memory.
Culminating in the brilliance that is the Juarez border crossing bridge sequence.
So, we're diving in and for this entry into our brilliant moment series
we're looking at the structure of tension in Villenueve's Sicario.
>> [MUSIC]
>> Speaker 1: After an honorable mention-worthy raid on an abandoned
Arizona house, led by FBI agent Kate Maser, reveals
dozens of bodies inside the drywall and dozens of explosives rigged in the shed.
Kate finds herself offered an opportunity on an inter-agency task
force to get the men who were really responsible for the violence.
But there's something rotten in Denmark.
Maybe it's the smug, need to know attitude of the besandled Josh Brolin, or
the implication that the somewhere near El Paso they'll be going to is
actually Juarez, Mexico.
And somewhere between the dangerous mystery of Benicio Del Toro's Alejandro,
the serious military hardware they're sporting, and the warnings about where
an attempt will be made, we realize that we're on a crash course with violence.
>> Speaker 2: Delta if you can identify yourself so
everyone knows who to hide behind when shit hits the fan.
>> Speaker 1: So, when Johann Johansson's brilliantly grimy score swells for
the first time as we arrive in cartel controlled Mexican
border town we know something's going down.
And the tension mounts, and mounts, and mounts, and mounts.
The convoy has to divert when they hear gunshots.
>> [MUSIC]
>> Speaker 1: They arrive at the Juarez prison to collect the prisoner.
>> Speaker 3: If they try anything, it won't be at the border.
>> Speaker 1: They're tailed by a rogue state police officer.
>> Speaker 4: I spot a vehicle nine o'clock.
>> Speaker 1: And finally, when we've just about cut our backsides on the edge of our
seats, we get back to the borde, and, gridlock.
And this is where we expect we've been told
three times already that the most likely attempt will be here at the border.
And here we are,
stuck in traffic surrounded by cars, any of which could hold the enemy.
Especially, this one here, and, that one there.
The rules of engagement are clear, we can't fire until they fire.
We can't exit the car until they do.
So, we sit and we wait, wait and we wait.
And the simple act of rolling down a window is transformed from
mundane to lethal.
The tension builds and we're ready about to bust when we get our moment.
>> [SOUND] >> Speaker 5: [FOREIGN]
>> Speaker 6: Don't move,
[INAUDIBLE].
No, no, no, no, no, no,
[FOREIGN] >> Speaker 6: [SOUND]
[FOREIGN]
[SOUND]
>> Speaker 7: What the fuck are we doing?
>> [INAUDIBLE]
[SOUND]
>> Speaker 1: Holy shit,
right?
What a build up, what a climax.
If you're a nail biter, so sorry about your stubs.
If you're a pants shitter, well that's gotta be rough man.
So what makes this so goddamn brilliant?
In a word, it's tension.
What makes this tension?
How does Vilnu do that?
Well, let's zoom out a bit and take a look at the bridge sequence as a whole.
If this is the bridge sequence from here to here, at about four minutes long,
these parts are just tense waiting, these parts are ratcheting up the tension,
these are the big crescendos, and this all of just nine seconds is the action.
It's mostly just waiting.
It's just baiting breath and baiting breath, and baiting breath.
It's promises of violence that keep not harming.
How many ways do films delay the action here?
First we don't know where they are.
Then we open pour windows and
wait, then can't get out because of the rules of engagement.
Then we are in their car waiting for them to master up the courage to get out,
then they get out and we are trying to DS movie and then there is the talking.
The decision point do you wanna die?
And then only then about three minutes from the beginning of the sequence do we
get our violence, that's not all.
If you watch the whole war sequence,
you'll know we've actually been doing this for about 13 minutes.
This is tense waiting, this is for
rationing up a tension, these are the big crescendos, these moments are scary,
silent, waiting moments that break it up, kind of the come for storm, and
at this is distance, the violence just looks like this
>> [MUSIC] >> Speaker 1: That's nearly 13 whole
minutes, built entirely around nine seconds of violence.
Vilnu takes his time with it, where a lesser director may be tempted to rush to
the actiony parts, Vilnu knows that the morbid details are way more interesting.
30 seconds sitting, waiting in alley isnt work.
It's one of the most exciting moments of the sequence, because we're with Kate.
Looking around every corner when things popped up.
And Vilnu is giving us enough clues that things will pop off and
that's what tension is.
Apprehension about something we sort of seen coming, but not exactly what, and
not exactly when, and not exactly how.
It is a burlesque strip show of violence,
it is incremental promises of what's to come followed by delays, and
when we think it's nearly upon us it's still minutes away.
And if we're being entirely honest the film really starts getting our hearts
pumping well before we get to Juarez.
You can follow along on our infographic.
In the video description to see the full landscape, but Villeneuve is
planting suspicions and hints of violence to come for nearly the entire movie.
And it is all driving towards just this,
nine brief seconds of brutal violence, which brings us to the violence itself.
It is not glossy or slick or clever.
There are no tactics to the violence, no dodging or back and
forths or clever maneuvering.
Instead, it's just a series of executions.
>> [MUSIC] >> Speaker 1: Sudden swift,
efficient humor.
Look at how the violence ebbs and
flows in a straight action film, where the details of the action are the plot.
It's an entirely different thing than Sakaria,
where the violence is simply a plot point, emphasis on point.
It is a perfect capstone on top of a brilliantly structure of sequences
with smart pacing down to the shot and frame level.
Here is our buildup.
Shot by shot.
Alejandro is trying to convince them not to do it.
One long push as the kettle is boiling.
Two shorter shots as the music crescendo.
Here is the instant that the enemy first moves, and then boom, boom,
boom, boom, boom.
Five quick shots in three seconds.
And just as soon as it started, it's over.
We get a slow shot like a blow off valve.
And then we return Turned to hate.
This is an excellent time for us to mention that this entire sequence and
most of the whole film is structured around her POV.
She is our audience surrogate, reacting as we react.
Watching as we watch.
Although the camera sometimes takes an omniscient In prospective it is usually
constrained to things she can see, and often to her explicit point of view.
And as we'll see after every moment of violence we return to Kate for
her reaction.
So we get it here, and just like we said, cut directly to her POV as it pivots from
the first part to the second, and then we almost precisely repeat the pattern.
Stand off, try to talk him out of it, music swells Shots quicken.
One of them makes a tiny move and then boom.
Four shots in three seconds and they're all dead,
almost exactly like the first car.
We've established a pattern and we've repeated it.
But the music doesn't let up.
So just like before, we return to Kate.
We get her reaction.
We cut to her POV.
It scans the field and then out of the corner of her eye,
we see the final black clad shooter, a state police.
Exactly what we'd been warned about.
The music swells.
The shots quicken, and then Kate moved.
Just as each moment of violence previously hinged around one of the Sonora
cartel members moving first, this time, Kate is the target, and the pattern that
Villeneuve has established against the cartel members, is now turned against her.
Kate's flinch sets it off.
We're so in tune with the pattern,
that now it's being used against our own surrogate.
And it's about 3,000 times as effective.
The pacing, the swell, the dread, is all pointed at us.
So, just like the pattern dictates, eight flinches, and boom.
Four shots of violence in three seconds.
A reaction from Kate, and then it's over.
The rule of threes has been satisfied.
Introduction, reinforcement, subversion.
Finally, the promise that was made long ago, has been kept.
The music changes from drone to a beat, and they're free.
With one final swell of dread at the violence they've left in their
wake this sequence, a culmination of Thirty minutes of build-up is complete.
Unfortunately, the rest of the film never quite lives up
to this level of brilliance.
Sure, the opening set piece succeeds by following this formula at a smaller level.
But the rest of the film wraps itself up a bit too much in the plot and
lingers a bit too long on some of the violence that doesn't dedicate enough
time to building us up to the same fever pitch attention.
So, why is this moment so brilliant?
Because it's a meticulously executed explosion of violence that has
almost 30 minutes of tension supporting it.
Because it's the culmination of an entire act's worth of anxiety.
And because it is a brilliantly paced microcosm
of the entire film's structure thus far.
Creating, subverting, and manipulating our expectations to a perfect climax.
So what do you think?
Anymore thoughts about this particular moment?
Any other moment you'd like us to take a long hard look at?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe for
more Cinefix movie list
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充滿張力的時刻 (1 Brilliant Moment of Tension)

56 分類 收藏
Pedroli Li 發佈於 2019 年 1 月 29 日
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