Montage/Shot Analysis

The first thirty seconds of Gyakuten Saiban appear to depict a spiritual ritual of some sort. There are a lot of traditional-looking colors including brown and red as well as the only depicted light being candlelight from more than a few candles surrounding the main figure in the shots. Those color could also imply that the scene takes place in the past, or that the scene is meant to be very serious- or both.

However, the greenish (or yellowish) light seems to imply that there is something ominous about the opening scene; not only that there is a bullet being manipulated in an unnatural manner, but also perhaps that something is going wrong with the ritual, whatever it is.

There seems to be a bit of rhythmic montage; the cuts tend to jump from the woman, to the bullet, back to the woman, and back to the bullet. Likely there is a connection between whatever shot the bullet and whatever the woman is doing.

At one point the camera depicts the woman from almost directly above her; this might imply, again, a spiritual meaning to her ritual. Perhaps she’s asking for help from a god, or that she’s calling on the spirits of the dead. It could also mean that she’s being watched by a higher entity.

(Detailed descriptions of each shot are included in the “read more” section.)

(Times correspond to this steam of the film.)

:38- Film begins. It’s what appears to be a woman’s face filling the left third of the screen, illuminated by a candle- only the flame of which appears onscreen, in the bottom right corner. She wears heavy eyeliner/mascara. She appears a little older. The background is a simple cream/black gradient with the cream to the left- probably an illuminated doorway or window, so likely a short depth shot. The camera scrolls down to her lips, which appear to be slightly frowning.

:46 Cut to what appears to be green smoke and fire swirling onscreen with a black background, which gives the shot an almost paranormal feeling. A gun falls into the shot from the top, and slows its spinning when pointed forward and to the left.

:50 Close up of the gun’s barrel, still enveloped in the greenish smoke. The bottom of the barrel (which is toward the top of the screen; the gun is upside-down) is lit up by yellow-green light, a bit like the sun peeking over the horizon. The gun fires at :52; the bullet trails light green smoke as the gun jumps back a bit. The shell falls out.

:53 Cut to the back of a woman kneeling in front of an oriental-looking shrine(?); possibly the one from the first shot. The shrine, the woman, and the foreground are all in clear focus- a wide depth. Dressed in a pink robe (?) with translucent sleeves, she waves her arms to her left as the bullet speeds around her left side in an arc- as it continues its arc it passes by the camera from left to right in a slow-motion shot. The bullet comes into focus while the woman fades into the now-blurred background- short depth of field. It trails a spiral of the same yellowish light from the gun’s trigger. It disperses a bit as the bullet leaves the shot from the right side of the frame.

:57 Cut back to the woman, this time her front as viewed from above the rafters- the view of a higher entity? There are candles lit behind her, all of which are in focus- long depth. The shot has a reddish tone. Her head lolls back and forth in an almost trance-like manner as the bullet continues in a circle around her. It is very obvious that the bullet’s path is not natural.

1:01 Cut to a shot of the woman’s neck. It begins with a very thin, dark cord coming to a point at a charm off the bottom of the frame. The flickering candles are the only light in the shot, so there is high contrast as well as a reddish-orange tone. The camera pans down in a shaky, ‘hand-held camera’ movement to reveal a green magatama tied to the end by a loop. The camera stops on it for a moment. The magatama is probably important to the scene –or the movie- if there was a shot created just to point it out.

1:04 Shot of two children- one is clearly feminine while the other is more ambiguous. The woman in pink’s children? Acolytes? They seem to be watching both intently and with little emotion. Both wear magatamas in the same manner –the smaller child’s is much larger than the older one’s-, and they seem to be sitting in seiza style- that is, sitting on their legs, outside of the candles and in front of a paper screen door (?). The female is wearing a red with white pattern kimono/yukata (?) with a purple obi; her bangs are cut square. The other is wearing a white tank top with either short hair or hair pulled into a ponytail. Short depth; brown tone.


About barberne

an animation student at alfred state from rochester
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