REVENGE: Blunt, Bloody, Pure Cinema (Scene Analysis)

(graphics whooshing) (suspenseful upbeat music) – [Sven] Revenge is a 2017 French and revenge action horror film. It follows a young
woman which is assaulted and left for dead in the desert. It screened originally
at the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto Film Festival. It also was at the
Sundance Film Festival 2018 at the midnight program. What I love most about the film was just that it was almost pure cinema. Really, the story was told visually, more than anything else, and sound. – [Tyler] Yeah, an
important thing to look at is the power dynamics in that scene, so we start off, immediately
she has the upper hand, and then we see, once
she pulls that trigger, (gun firing)
(bullet slicing) (Jen groaning)
(Stan yelling) instantaneously, the moment he gets shot, we think, okay, this is a
victory, she’s gonna win. (sand scraping)
(gun clacking) And a lot of that performance, and a lot of the way that’s
filmed, is we’re immediately, even though she has this
big gun, we’re realizing, oh, she’s in an incredibly
vulnerable position, because now he has the upper hand again. (heavy breathing) (fast-forward zipping) (footsteps crunching) (fast-forward zipping)
(ominous music) (Stan breathing) (metal clacking) So even in spite of
her finally being armed and ready to fight, it’s
really cool how that scene, you’re able to be put in her shoes, as a person in a place of
danger, and travel with her, rooting for her,
(Stan groaning) and see how the tables get
turned, to keep it exciting. And then, at the end of this scene, they are even.
(rewind whizzing) – [Sven] Yep, couple of
things I want to point out. Visually, yes, I love
when shots tell the story, when there’s like a through-line, where what we learn,
the piece of information is done through camera/editing, so at the beginning,
we’re on her, close-up, with the rifle, at two seconds, we cut to the barrel of the rifle, and then we cut to, what
is that called, view– – Sight glass.
– And what we see through it is our antagonist, cut back to her, kind of her reaction, closer to her, and then really close on her finger as she wants to pull the
trigger, and then to the shot. Everything we’re seeing here is really told through the right shots and the way that they’re
edited and paced out. That for me is pure cinema. Nobody needs to say anything for us to understand what’s going on. I love that, I’m just
gonna keep watching here, see if I notice some stuff. Jump cuts at around 18 seconds, 16 to 18,
(rewind whizzing) as she’s lying on the ground,
this kind of stuff I love, we’re creating the energy of what’s going on through the editing. Also the camera, I
think, is just right on, like the movement, the
shakiness, all that stuff. A shot like, for example,
the shot at 35 seconds, I believe it starts blurry
and goes into focus. (footsteps crunching)
(Jen breathing heavily) That’s a great editing choice, where I feel like you picked
a moment in that camera shot, where they were still finding the focus, which could have been planned,
but also just happened, as the camera is finding the focus. Like we’re focusing in
on what she’s looking at. – [Tyler] The balance of getting from point A to point B.
– Yeah. – [Tyler] Because that’s
probably like a four-minute walk, and the way that it’s accomplished, it gives you not only that suspense of actually a feeling like it did take some time to get there.
– Yeah. – [Tyler] But it doesn’t
feel like we’re cheating in the editing at all,
or jumping us through it. – Yep.
– Or transitioning. – [Sven] We’re jumping all over the place, but we have a really good sense of where we are at all times.
– (laughs) Right. – [Sven] I want to point
out something at 1:19, there’s sort of a music cue
(fast-forward zipping) that ramps up.
(ominous music) And then we cut to a wider shot, and listen to what happens to the music. (rewind whizzing)
(footsteps crunching) (ominous music lowers) I thought it was really, really effective how the music seems to change on that cut, like it’s off in the distance. And I love this pan out to him, and now we understand where
he is, while she doesn’t, so we have more information
than the character has, which is suspense, that’s
classical Hitchcock right here, we know more
– Yeah. – than the character.
– And it’s a huge switch in the power dynamics
too, there’s where it… – Yeah.
– She’s slowly losing power, from the minute she fires
that bullet, to here, it’s like oh, great, how
did we get back here? And so, kind of giving us
that hope for a moment, of all right, she’s got him now, to… – Yeah.
– Ending up in this is just really good drama.
(rewind whizzing) – [Sven] And then that shot just evolves, we actually see behind her the guy standing in the
far distance out of focus. It’s another brilliant move, I
think, in terms of the craft. – [Tyler] Yeah, and you want so badly for her to just successfully kill him, when she shoots him, so that not working, again, that’s just great storytelling. – [Sven] Yeah, and then on 2:04, he finally ends up
(muffled gun blast) shooting her, I love how the
blood splatters onto the lens, and then it goes to darkness. Its’ like we’re not afraid of
making stylistic choices here. Yeah, and then basically,
(loud high-pitched buzzing) the next part of this segment here is all just
(heart beating) that little siren noise or
whatever you want to call that, and everything else is muffled. So we’re really,
(Jen moaning) again, inside her head. I hear some heartbeats.
(gun clacking) (rewind whizzing) Jump cuts, like her reality–
– There’s some great jump cuts (talking over each other)
– Is dropping out, out of focus shot of the gun,
(muffled gunshots) and throughout this
now we’re cross-cutting between her running, camera’s behind her, camera’s in front of
him, and we have no clue how far they are apart.
(metal clanking) – It feels like he’s much
– Right. closer than he really is.
(muffled gunshots) – But look at 2:48–
– Yeah, 2:48. – When she smashes the glass.
– He’s not even there. Now we understand why he didn’t hit her, because she’s much further away than– (Stan grunts)
– But it also, in watching it, I was doing
(rewind whizzing) that math in my head and understanding that there was a great
distance between them, and I think the next thing
that happens after this is a reaction of her
and she is quite a way, and it’s a weird kind of
way to play with timing and editing where it works really well, because I still have that sense of this huge amount of space between them, and I’m okay with it.
– Yeah, yeah. This was just a short scene analysis. If you’d liked this, you should really dig into the podcast.
(suspenseful music) There’s a link that you can check out, which is, and it’ll take you to
all the different ways how you can subscribe to this podcast, including Apple Podcasts,
Stitcher, and Spotify. Go on a run, use it in your
commute in the morning, and listen to us, really
nerd out on a scene. – [Tyler] And thank you
to Coudert for the music, and as Sven always says. – [Sven] Happy editing. (graphics whooshing)


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