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

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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  1. Watch the full scene without commentary:

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  2. LOL Love all the dopey non-shooters mouthing off about a scope on a shotgun… in a video about EDITING. (Seriously. Google “shotgun scope” and just shut up. You sound stupid. )

  3. Cool vid !!! I also like “The craft” that going into this piece. However, I also think if a director paid the same amount of effort into a story itself, it would’ve been awesome kino. I did not like the third act being so mediocre.

  4. The lack of clarity about how far back he is makes perfect sense, because we're seeing her perspective, and she never turns around. We never get a shot from where she is, looking back, because she never looks back. She's just running, she doesn't know how far back he is and doesn't have time to find out. We can both guess that he's far because he keeps missing, but since she doesn't know, we don't know either.

  5. Watch it just now. The movie sucks. Not even these asmr close-ups are slightly entertaining. Lame dialogs. Lame story.

  6. I'm surprised – given that this is a cinematic analysis – that they guys missed the lovely graphic match between the blood trail at 4:35–4:37 and the winding road at 4:37–4:40. It's a subtle but pervasive cinematic technique used throughout the film.

  7. Also, the blood-trail itself is a visual and story motif throughout the film, underscoring the hunter elements. Early on, the guys use the trail of Jen's blood to stalk her; after she cauterizes her wounds, she begins using blood trails to stalk Stan and Richard. The whole film uses traveling-camera movement to emphasize the theme of hunting prey, from its establishing shots where they first enter the house to the final hunter-and-hunter bloody climax.

    Oh, yeah – there's also the element where Jen's sexual rape is offscreen but her penetration by the tree is in brutal close-up. Later, Jen penetrates / rapes each of the men responsible for it: Dimi with his own knife, Stan with the shotgun, and Richard with her own hand. That inversion of power dynamics is just one of the many things I love about this film.

  8. basically these guys who know nothing about the weapons in the scene are trying to talk intelligently about the filming in a film that knows nothing of weapons they portray and the end results are both parties look and sound stupid. The reality is she is using a shotgun with a scope mounted on it, no one puts a scope on a shotgun, it's useless. She was holding it relatively correct it wouldn't have knocked her down like that and she would not have hit shit at that range that looked to be about 100 or 200 yards. Even if she did hit him it would have had to be a slug and it would have ripped his arm off. The chase scene with his rifle doesn't add up in timing and perceived distance and the way he was shooting he wouldn't have hit shit. This is a waste of film and it could have easily and cheaply been made more believable.

  9. They should make another similar gun revenge movie where a man or woman taking revenge on a sadistic team of Neo Nazis and ISIS….

    It will be real fun.

  10. That rolling apple transition to the wooden shades made me start learning more about video editing. That was the most visualy memorable moment of the film to my inexperienced eyes.

  11. At 5:42 the camera should really be closer to his right shoulder, not his left. The way it’s positioned in the film crosses the line and makes it a bit disorienting. In the next shot the camera is to the left of the actress.

  12. I don't think it is a feminist revenge story. It is a spiritual journey story. She hang from the tree like Odin who hung from the tree of life to gain spiritual powers. The she sets herself on fire like Egyptian Phoenix, who sets itself on fire to be reborn again. She takes peyote drug, which reveals her spiritual animal is falcon. But falcon is symbol of Horus, who fights evil god of desert Seth. So she realised who she is and must fight him and his servant as in old Egyptian story. I find her journey fascinating.

  13. The movie tells it fine, but you need to stop saying she is firing a rifle, fact is its a 12 gauge slug gun that is short range.
    If you need to throw a big chunk of lead don't listen to Spooky Joe,, get a long range rifel in .50 BMG.

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