The hidden laws ruling screens



Professional comercial movies are different from  home movies by amateurs, of course. 


 Do you remember your father's home movie ?  

might his camere  just follow you whether you would move right or left ?


You just moved as he wanted.

and  the  camerea just follow you.





But characters in proffesional comercial movies never move freely as you did in your papa's video. Acters' movements are controled by a directer'will  or a camera or a script.


Today, in a movie,

a goal is set in the end of right direction.

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 If character goes right, he or she will come close to the goal.

If left, away from the goal. 


For example

" From the Earth to the Moon "  Melies 

(a very old short movie,but  showing clearly how movie is edited)

A Trip to the Moon / Le Voyage dans la lune - 1902 ...

This famous french short film in the era that movie had just began, already showing "the movie's law " . 

The moon locates on the  right end of the screen . 

Travel to the moon is shown  as .

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On the moon, the astronauts encountered the moon creatures and then they obstacled the way  of adventure.

In the middle of the juarney, the astronauts took back their way from the moon. The returning direction is shown as  .







 This is a very simple logic.

And too simple to be cared  by ordinary audiences.

How old are you?

How many movies have you ever seen?

Did you notice this logic before already?

Do you feel you have been fooled by movies?


Yes, movies have fooled us for a century.



form " 2001: A Space Odyssey "



 The Spaceship travels from the moon to Jupiter.

If you are careful to check the direction of the spaceship taking on the screen, it keeps the way as to Jupiter.

But  nobady cares…

Because our minds are not made to do it.



For example,

this is a famous impressionist's work  "Impression, Sunrise"


 How do you watch this picture?

Try for 10seconds.


In this picture, I found at least 3 rowboats.

But for only one locating in the center, the others have only vague shapes. 


When we see objects, our eyes foucus on the point which we are most interested in.

Then others become just a back ground.

This famous painting imitates such a style of the eye's function of foucusing.

We only carrefully wacth the inside of the red circle, because only that part painted rather in detail.

The other is as this,repples of watrer.


  The back ground is always treated as this way, paid no attention.

(This expansion seems to me a modern abstract art. How do you feel? Title must be our subconsious ripples. )


Another exsample, sometimes we feel TV sound are annoying.


 Because TV sounds are ajusted to emphasaise the sound range of human voice.

For us the most important information is carried by human voice. then our mind is arranged to foucus on the sound range of human voices.


It is very natural for ordinary people to foucus on melody sgng by voices and ingore low tone range.


In movies, we foucus on stories.

Who cares the directions as  or   ?





In our daily communication, we mainly care about words of the others.

But if we check nonverbal parts, for exsample the movement of fingers of the rythme of breathing and blinking, we will get more pieces of information behind  the words. 


basically, pictures has no words.

But very often they are more eloquent than words.


In silence of centureis, by how this picture has talked to us  ?

By fingers ? By postures? 




Our minds are set to foucus on stories, voices, word , and centers of view.

Such materials consist our shapes of conciousness.

And the rest and marginals may consist our subconciousness.


We can emphasise the others by checking  fingers or blinkings or clearings of throat. 

By that way, we can share the almost subconcioss feelings of the others.


If we are more carefule about bass tones, we may unerstand  music better.

 If we are more careful about marginal area of our views, we may understand art better.


and, how about movies ? 




Another too simple logic to be paid attentions is 

 Characters sharing the same values or emotions face the same direction.


This very often can be seen in propaganda posters.


The workers, soldiers and Mao have only one value.

They are all 


If they don't, they face each other.


 A propaganda poster of Korean war.

North  Korea and China share the same value and the same direction as  .

But the USA as   .


 This logic  is too simple. Never an invention by communists. 

By Goya 1808



Naturally this logic was taken into movies.

for exsample  " The lonley villa by D.W.Griffes"



This screen is composed as below.



The robbers try break into, the members of the family try to defend the villa and then  police help them. 

Screen somehow seems like a chart of battle field .



From "Sound of Music" 

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 Julie Andrews as Maria, who is too freewheeling and always late for morning adration .

 The sisters who denounce her stand   ←  side.

 The sisters who vindicate her stand   side.


 From "Sound of Music" 

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 ColonelVon Trapp

The children singing  to soothe the stubborn Colonel's heart  




For  exsample "Ikiru by Kurosawa "  

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 Shimura Takashi acted a terminal cancer patient.

This girl is the last chance to give him a meaning of life.

He is trying to ask  her such a very serious question.

But the girl feels  umcomfortable being in a stylish cafebar with a shabby old man.

She looks at the lovers enviously. 

← who don't share the sadness of him.



From  " The Wizard of Oz " 

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Her direction is basically when she comes to Emerald city

Toto, Scarecrow, Tinlumberjack and Lion :  all companions also share the same direction.



 → Dorothy and the companions  

 The  evil witch  



The members of the Millennium Falcon appeare one by one.

But the first shots show the same direction, because they share the same goal.

Liberate the universe.


From  " Star Wars " 





Screens are composed very similar  to football field. 


Or ”Starwars” is composed like footballgame field.



Team members  share one purpose: To get goals for victory or defend goal gate.



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If a movie does not a represent aprocess of  travelling, the goal is an achievement of the purpose.





Combination of these two logics are the basis of constraction of screens.

  • a goal is set in the end of right direction. If a main character persuits the goal,  the trail is basically shown as
  •  Characters sharing the same values or emotions face the same direction.


 When I discoverd these laws about movies a few years ago, I was very surprised and felt having been fooled for long years since I was born.

Then, I told about these to anybody around.

But their reactions were always

" So what ?  "

Then I asked them, " have you thought about this before ?"  

" Never." They said.

"Are you surprised to know about this laws ?" I asked.

" Why ? "


These rules seems too simple and very natural for us. That is why most of us ignore the meaning of these rules.

But do we always care about nonverbal expressions belonging to subconsiouss field, for exsample blinking or breathing?

Some shcolars insist that our daily comunications are consist mainly nonverbal factors not by words.


Let me introduce exsamples to indicate how these hidden laws ruling screens.


For exsample  "The Kid "  by Chaplin


 (to be continued     below is machinary translated)

A baby is abandoned by the mother.Then Chaplin happens to take him and brings him up.


The goal must be mother and child reunion. Rehabilitation of abondoned love.

And In American movies, stories progress  way. 

So pictures goes as below.


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When the mother abondoned the baby and leave the place, she goes ← . This act is very contorary to the goal of  this movie.

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When she regrets it and turns back there. She walks back   and is now facing  .


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When Caplin takes the abandoned baby to his home,

he walks  .


Once being assumed the goal locates on the right end  and story progress  , 

how to put characters on screen is decided automatically.


Because main characters pursuit the purpose of story, they basically face and go for the same → direction of that of progress of story.


So  this layout is basic.




And mainly story progress   way.  

Being set on red side, main character can face the goal and pursuit the purpose.

If main characters are set on blue side , they can not pursuit their aim and are frustrated.

Then we can feel something going wrong and very negative atmosphere.


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The kid was taken to an orphanage.

Chaplin lost his purpose of life and can not look at the direction of  .


In movie screen right and left have much deeper meaning.


 To dispaired Chaplin, a man come and he take Chaplin on a car.

The car goes .

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The car takes him to a mansion where the kid and his mother happily live.

We can sense vwry positivatmosphere just because of the direction of the car.

This works subliminaly. 

Movies use directions as advance hints, this is totally different from those of novels


"The Kid" is composed by many shoots. They are not like bird view of football game.the

You can not see all acters at one sight nor can not check  their directions.

But if you see "The Kid" by bird view,you may have this kind of vision.






And  why American movies go → way ?

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In silent film, characters could not speak.

To tell story, captions were needed.

Very often captions were added to screen, audiences must move their eyes →,

So the stream of pictures had the same direction, it would be less stressful.

And this also can be said on comics and cartoon.


Characters directions are unified with that of letters.

In West, they turn pages 

.That's why Tintin runs 




Blade Runner " 
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The scean which harrioson ford shots a replicant doing a snake charmer.

The replicant run ,Harrison Ford also opened fire for  .

I think this is very usual.



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The  bullet hits her

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Then He fires the second bullet.This will take the replicant's life.

Don't you think it is unusual here ?

The replicant runs , Harrison Ford must fires the same direction. But he didn't.


This could be explained as:

The replicant runs for a goal.

It is to live.

To want to live means to live. 

Then to kill such a replicant is an positive act or not ? 

Or we may share the inner feeling of  the main character. 


Harrison Ford shots from blue side.

He stands on the side from where can't see a goal.


Audiences feel something negative from this scean subliminaly and  from this vague feeling they may catch theme and message of "Blade Runner". 


And such information is notcarried by  performance of actors. 

The actor does not need to act to convey deep meaning

Just camera change the directions, audiences feel difference subliminaly and meaning will automatically arise.

This is very similar to Kuleshov effect 

this theory is about the effects of  montage 

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Acting in movie is very different from acting in stage play.

sometimes meaning of acting is decided by editing.

Not only Kulesov effect, but colors, B.G.M, or directions.

And I believe direction control is the tool which is represent innner feeling most efficently.

Everyone see it but always ignore, so it works sublininary.


In fact we can not see other one's feeling.

But in movie it is not quite diffecult. In many cases we can share the same feeling expressed by acters.

Because in some cases, the inner feeling is expressed by only directions of pictures.

Dichotomy between right or left.


If acter trys to express whole by his acting, such an acter must be called as a ham acter.

We think hearts are imvisible, so inner feeling must not be acted visibley.



Movies use a kind of subliminal technics to show sign of future or innner feelings of characters and make audiences to share them.

It can be said movie can connect unconsciousness of characters and that of audience directly

This is why movie moves audience more vividly than other media and have been used as propaganda tool. 




Movie has such properties therefore we can often see these typicals.


  • Guru

If a movie has message, is it equal to that of the main character ?

message of movie is equal to that of main character ?


I think many cases, message of movie is presented by connection of some character's views.

how to connect different character's point of views ?


Check the positions of characters, you may know how. 




I've described that movie screens are composed like football field.

It's like battle between red side and blue side.

Now I want to correct a little.

it is hard for Characters in blue side to see the purpose of movie.

Star Wars 2 " 

Both Yoda and Luke are Jedai knights. But this timeLuke can not understand  what  Yoda can see. 

Their relationship is like that of Zen master and young samurai. 

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Redford acts young fraud.

His master was killed by the underground boss Donegan.

Then he eager to revenge.But middle aged Paul Newman  admonished him that being ruled by the personal feeling is dangerous thing when they do a big buisiness.

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In this movie, episode of woman killer is not  presant.

But basic tone of "Sting" is not emotiona and crispyl.This atmosphere comes from middle aged man's attitude.



Money Ball " 
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 Brad Pitt talks about the new course to his staffs of the team.

 He is the leading role but he is in blue side. And just introduces a chubby man.

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He knows everything about the theory of probability.

The team will be managed by him and the story will be led by it too.

So he sits in red side.



  • Our geographic Image is often betrayed

If you make a war film between the U.K. and Germany, how do you layout two armies on the screen.

Map is as this, so you may pu tBritish  → ←German. 

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But layout of characters is done by this logic.


 If  a German is the main  character, german army must be placed in red side.


For exsample "Blue Max" 





 German →  British 



  • Old information  →  New information

 Story progress as → way. It also means that new characters that appears from the blue side.

for exsample " The Wizard of Oz "

 When Dorothy meets new companion's, they are be surely blue side.
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Drothy is taking   direction  to Emerald City.

 New fellows come from the other way. 
In movie, new person or new situation comes as  


( to be continue   below is translated machinary)










What kind of  character is a main character ?

An example is Sherlock Holmes, Holmes, how it is really a leading role?Or Watson or What a leading role?

When you wonder Docter Watson or Sharlock Holmes which one is a main, their  positions can give  

Would say that any man is a hero? When you think, and position on this screen gives a guideline of one.  
I think generally, Holmes is a leading role, it's treated Watson that section talks but,Grenada in the Holmes series of Jeremy Brett starring in television production, the standing position of the base of Holmes ← is, who Watson → will . When I say this is what it means, usually, when you watch movies, since we are watching with interest the development of the story, we overlap in the direction of travel of the screen inevitably → in a state that is easy to sympathize with the person in the direction have. However, such a genius like Holmes's leading role is, I wish we could I can not quite sympathy. Intelligence about Watson is not just right. (I'm good head in its own way and I do not have to fool Dr. Watson, because I'm a doctor once)

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That is old information, the person to person other than the audience already knows, there is no need to know in particular is common for the audience, the person that can be easily understood, have high affinity to the position of → side, 
This means that new information, has a high affinity to the position of the side ← The person that goes beyond a person unknown, understanding for the audience.

In other words, are you pursuing the purpose of the story is you can look like a hero, but what about the truth? I think that he devoted to the story at your own discretion to select the character that can relate to most in the context each individual of the story, but the audience I think in only being manipulated almost entirely to the author really? 
Why can not we know the prospectus producers about what to watch movies how the audience is feeling by letting placed in the → side character that is easy to sympathize most to the audience on the fly? 
Actually, I have been pursuing the goal in the virtual space of the movie, and I think in fact that such desire of the audience. And how desire of the audience about what to change, It is a thing that is assumed fully completely the production side before the movie begins.

«Related» "Sherlock Holmes"

Gandhi " 
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It is history as seen from the side of the white only, the mystery of not understood to exist in the Oriental. Movie because it left the view that typological such, when it is lined with white Gandhi is ← side.

«Related» "Gandhi"

Enter the Dragon " 
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Gandhi movie surprised Asia! through the point of view of white "as well. 
From the point of view of white as a new information = heterogeneity exists Bruce Leeis ← side. 
time the screening time was approaching in the second half, the white audience Bruce Lee It was not until the time the distinction of the face of the Chinese and other have been with Bruce Lee position is changed to → side.

«Related» [ Http://D.Hatena.Ne.Jp/baphoo/20110417/p4:Title = " Enter the Dragon " 

Rambo " 
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Rambo because it is present in a non-standard, there is no island that attaches to us ordinary people honest. You know that it's there that he carrying a sadness, and finding the identity of the sadness does not may be the backbone of the story, but a rather, we Rambo in a position to be hunted Will it not to taste the thrill while empathy to the police
The general definition of the world, any way you slice it Rambo is expected it to be the leading role, but his standing position is not meant so much. And Rambo rather than to pursue is the purpose of the story, that it Slithering to sorrow in his heart I wonder if the purpose of this story? I will believe.

«Related» "Rambo"

Past, reminiscence 
I also can say things like this. That story is that progress on the right side of the screen, is that the time course as well as advance in that direction. 
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"When the five-year flows and" cloud movement on back →. 
Because the one that does not visibly time, say "time flows", something like that is "flowing" It is a verb that indicates the movement of the liquid, but can not be represented that it is not using that kind of representation figurative. 
There is one metaphor of course be to advance the screen → Thus. Shall we say, even the iconic metaphor.

So, and if you are going to slip past time, is a scene that recalls the past, affinity with the screen of the ← direction is high.

«Related» "tell the story"

The " somewhere some day " 
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While it is movie while Nekorogari bet, and that time slip just self-hypnosis, a set of array fairly, 
When you back in time in the past, the orientation of the hero ←.

«Related» [ Http://D.Hatena.Ne.Jp/baphoo/20110915/p1:Title = "time travel movie" 

"Storm of Love" 
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The reunion chance to sex slave of the camp era. Recollection of the past begins from there.

"Once Upon a Time in America" 
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This is not to say the movie was centered on recollection with the title, but Dennyaffinity with the ← direction is high when the recollection of the furnace starts. ←

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The old Denny and Russia had been longing once Jennifer Connelly and peeps again hole except for the house. This is an act that recalls the past rather than looking into the hole simply, movie transfers stage in the past from this point. 
Therefore, Denny line of sight of the furnace ←

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The earlier you looked, Jennifer Connelly and appearance of.

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Now, of boyhood Denny I mirrored a cut of from the outside of the eye hole of the furnace peep. Story, so go to the stage of childhood for a while from here, Denny line of sight of the furnace has been switched to that of →.

There is a term turning point. So you should I say even a turning point if correct in Japanese, but to convert the direction of the character literally is often at this turning point in the movie screen.

The Godfather " 
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Guru as well and business rival vice The dinner scene with the cop.

I went to the toilet after this, to return to take the handgun was charged in the aquarium.

→ to enter into the toilet and proceed in the direction of, 
By gripping the pistol, change of direction.

And, back at the table with a handgun ... 
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← and opened fire in the direction of, and throw away the pistol on the scene, as they flee abroad.

The Godfather tells the story of the conflict between the cruelty of the Mafia family and love. 
Is not only a conflict as a structure of the story, and like the attitude itself Coppola, who was in charge of supervision, he, this is to oversee the movie that can lead to exalt the Mafia is a part of the darkness of Italian immigrants It seems to have been opposed to originally.

Mafia hostile vice scene that shot dead a policeman, I would exceed the point that can not be life Michael Corleone is Hikkaesu.

To tell more, "this scene Godfather not only a turning point of the story of "I is also a turning point in the life of Al Pacino. Film company because opposed to be starring Al Pacino anonymous at all at the time, Coppola shot the scene at an early stage in order to silence it Paramount seemed to show a director of. 
The result, the film was completed while Al Pacino leading role in convincing performance of the remainder.


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I found the meaning of life inspired from the motion of the toy rabbit Takashi Shimura .And start running in the → direction as obsessed.

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A car accident 
It is dropped into the abyss by traffic accidents daily peaceful, I or charmed kind of video you go to driving school, but the moment of traffic accidents, affinity seems to be high and letting the left and right rotation the orientation of the screen.

Well, if you crash the car while carrying a person in the driver's seat, since there is not Jaikane dead people in,

  1. What a scene! "Dangerous"
  2. By dividing the scene of a car that crashed

Direction of the two is not possible to connect reverse.

The movie is the expression that they feel representation to feel "something" is switched by switching the orientation of the screen, "something" has been switched by or screen is switched.

And, there are few general audience that is aware of this. Therefore, the message of such switching will be received by the audience subliminally entirely. 
And the subliminal effect to further enhance, and putting the theory plausible to switch the left and right of the screen has been done conventionally. The reasoning plausible, switching of direction is further camouflage, further insignificant it means to be received by the systemically.



"Taku Shidora Iba
It is a scene famous film history, but when I try to check well well, rendition subliminally has been made in this context. 
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Denny and Russia have your gun, at first, I have opened fire on ← direction much. 
Line of sight of the audience because it is easy to assimilate the development direction of the story →, when bombarded bullet in the direction of ←, which, I feel is the evil feeling yourself as being shot.

Empire of the Sun " The boy who over-adapted to the state of war, the sense that scary even encounter a raid is paralyzed. If you recognize the reality of their own is a poor child who can not remember even the face of their parents first thing I know, go down the stairs while being had to the adult back to the children weak with age-appropriate.
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Representation dramatic likened to zig to go down the stairs a rapid change in recognition of the boy.

«Related» "Empire of the Sun"

End of movement

In the scene of the move, it does not mean that the process reflects all. It is unlikely that you just want to express the fact that you move, to project all the scene that you are moving. 
It is usual to abridge the process by pinching a point-to-point, but to show the continuation of the movement, the screen if you keep indicates the direction in which it was continued so So you such excuses.
→ → → → screen is followed and ← It is easy to feel the person who sees when entering the wedge, its continuation was interrupted, that move has been completed.

The Third Man " and came to Vienna to ask the old friend.
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007, and the false identity of their own, boarded alone in enemy territory, since you are not exposing yourself in desperate struggle at all times, while being a hero ←compatible with the orientation is high.
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Room of boss

Room of the boss is the situation of truly Away From a day-to-day sense. You also can not relax easily, and it is not a place where Furumaeru to want to do their own. Will it from such a theory, entry into the room of the boss is a very high probability <over will be.

Lawrence of Arabia "
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Presence to be called the ultimate boss is God a sense, for the people, of the scene pray to God ← affinity of direction is high. 
"The Ten Commandments"
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«Related» "Only Yesterday"

Rest of the warrior

Within this blog, I am using the term positive-negative for the sake of convenience, but it is that whether it is negative or positive for the purpose that has been set in the story. 
Separately, there is no g directly related to the sense of forward and backward, which is generally said that in the world. 
If, that it is told in the film is the horror of war, tragic moment when the hero fall painful on the battlefield if it's the goal of the movie, the most bloody in the movie →affinity with the direction of that high will be.

All Quiet on the Western Front " first World War of the trench is a movie that soldiers die in battle. It is a war weariness movie, it does not appear to other movie for the purpose of victory. Flow dying person → .
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When you covet the comfort of temporary away from the battlefield, ← is normal.

Shoot toward the tomorrow " This is the bike scene of the famous "Ameninuretemo," which also ← direction is. In a story that is bloody finally, it is that time of the "rest of the warrior" heartwarming heartwarming.
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Hardly be elusive


when taking pictures of people sitting in the front passenger seat and the driver's seat of the car, and the easiest way to do is to reflect and put the camera in the seat opposite each, but then

"Thelma and Louise" orientation of the face of two people will be inconsistent. You expected it to be the easiest to pick this composition to shoot, but the inner surface of the two people he? Would seem to disagree when do it.
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So, if you mind of two people are each other through, 
you may screen the direction of the two people are ready to shoot by placing the camera to the outside of the vehicle is required.
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The turn around or allow the back implicitly to people on the passenger side as this, align the orientation of the screen.

If you take the driver of the car, the location of the camera, because there are only five places basicroad movie is very various.


Train train ship

The airplane, face of the person who rode is peeled traveling direction always automobile, a motorcycle it. Compared with them, there is an interesting feature to move these means. 
It's no problem orientation of the face of the person to the traveling direction even if at odds. 
Compared to a situation the direction of travel of the vehicle, it is a useful tool to represent the discrepancy of the inner surface of the main character and the situation.

And, the move means that do not need to face the direction of travel is something that does not require characters to sit in the driver's seat himself. In particular, if such appears to be firmly to the direction of movement of the vehicle something called flow situation in addition to the inner surface of the hero is often in the case of such a vehicle.

Gandhi " The train → but are heading in the direction of, Gandhi is ← The orientation. Become bound to long, it rejects the way of life in the channel basis Yasuki, send a revolutionary life Gandhi It seems like it was a representation. Then, in a scene immediately after this, you will be thrown out of train from racial prejudice.
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Two-seater bicycle, motorcycle

It comes out as a scene of two-seater bike I always say to the youth movie of Japan, but the two people I have peeled the same direction, but of that two-seater bicycle bike, before to people who are driving to ride, I can not see the figure of people behind. 
Therefore, it is convenient to represent a situation where the person in front you do not notice me so much love to those who are riding in the back. 
Or, to put back the girl you do not want clear while using false heart of his truetsundere able to produce a scene of also well done.

Japan movie I really like this scene a lot, but I have never seen so much in American movies.

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Wound is healed, I'm fine completely. And the orientation of the head is also turned over all too soon.


I tilt the screen

Wrong from the ground.

The Third Man " It is a story of mystery solving by amateur detective goofy, but I can not its analytical capability and ability to collect information is to provide a material of puzzle correctly to the audience low for hero goofy. "In this Akuroido murder case is the situation as well as unfair. "
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I tilt the screen when therefore, there is a problem with the powers of observation of the hero, in order to perceived subliminally to the audience that you have not pulled out the information correctly from key persons and suspects, in fact dubious character is reflected.

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Speaking further, since it is source of information the hero itself is ill, in the scene where he is drinking, he itself has tilted violently.

Chungking Express " Takeshi Kaneshiro is not made ​​a decent story drunk. It is not against the other girls of the other end of the line, but it is a message that should not be subject to or about him as well we the audience.
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