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Movies are a visual medium, right? We look at them. A movie can tell a story; or not: use words; or leave out words: can have a sound track, use music: old music, new music; but there’s gotta be a picture. Money and even sometimes intelligence go into concocting the marketing image for films with a budget. The icon catches us, or it misses potential audience. I was arrested as a teen by the poster for Metropolis: I still am. Of course I’d already been arrested by movie posters before I was aware that I was being arrested. These days I spend more than enough time online to have my attention saturated with sexy advertising: girls’ boobs, faces, mouths … Much of that is annoying, I’ve trained myself to resist it since the 1950s if not since the 1940s. But there’s one shoved at us every day these days that I look forward to seeing again, to basking in.
Divergent movie poster
I notice that there are small variations among the posters as shown online. What they have in common is that Shailene Woodley’s rump is the center of the picture. Her right buttock looks like it’s got a black lamp inside it, shining female into the dark universe. There’s a guy hunkered down behind her. We stare at her bum, mesmerized; he’s looking away: her derriere’s guard, on alert, not plucking her.
But: rotate him ninety degrees counterclockwise and his face will be smack amid her buttocks. Rotate him counterclockwise 270 degrees and locate him on the other side of her right leg and his face will be right in her muff: right where our mind has been all along.
Browsing around online I find minor variations in the centering of her bottom. Here’s a vivid variant I want to analyze compositionally:
Some Kepler math helps here. First: now it’s not Shailene Woodley’s highlighted right buttock that’s the center of attention: it’s a point midway between her her bosom (in profile) and her haunch (straight-on). Think of how a circle has one focus, its center, while an ellipse has two foci: one in use, the other passive. Second: the “center” isn’t in the center: neither is space organized into thirds. No, her female center is in a ratio of two fifths to three fifths. It’s a golden section!
Whew. It’s really rich. I say that this location is just as powerful as putting her right buttock in the visual center. Notice the setting sun on the right border: in line with the bum. That black buttock outshines the sun! Golden sections can be very strong.
Note that the image, especially with the guy looking away, generates a lot of macroinformation!
Speaking of macroinformation — new information, meta information, emerging from frictions among informational types — the bright sun is paired by the girl’s dark ass, the female winning the tug of war in this case, our responses to bottoms are contradictory: on the one hand the ass is the matrix pussy comes in — it’s irresistible; on the other the ass is the sewer, the shitter: ugh, get it away from me. The image of the guy’s face in her ass, sucking her shit bag, is repellant. Still: at the same time: man, the pussy is right there! You gotta get next to the ass to arouse the girl, get her juices flowing, wake up those ovaries.
I don’t know if I’ll ever see the silly movie, but I sure love the poster. (And “Shailene” is a great Celtic name no matter what the actual actress looks like!)
Meantime there’s another more-or-less current movie icon that’s been a not-unwelcome eye-worm for me (as in earworm ).
Brave movie poster
Decades ago I read a really good article, almost certainly by Stephen Jay Gould, analyzing Walt Disney’s deliberate evolution of his Mickey Mouse cartoon to be ever-ever-ever more appealing to an ever-broader audience base. The Disney studio has carried on where old Walt ceased, Pixar joining the developments. They’ve done a great job with this bow-wielding Scots princess: a female voice and a giant mop of red hair, like a big amoeba. Great stuff. Jan and I watched the animation the other evening, and very nice it was. Tonight we’ll watch Ondine: and immerse ourselves in Irish essence.
Ondine movie poster
Brave‘s red mop of hair reminds me of a joke I’ll tell in my joke section.
I wanna add one more thing about the Divergent icon: I’ll try to find a graphic to illustrate, but first I’ll try just words: the couple in the poster, the girl and the guy, the girl standing, in the saddle as it were, ready for action, the guy crouched, ready to spring, or flee, reminds me of the standard military camp trio of the Arabian desert: you need three men for a safe camp over-night: one stands guard, fully awake, a second reclines, fully asleep: the third crouches half-dozing, ready to sleep or leap up, as needed. The Divergent pair is half a military guard camp: as it’s being female and male is half-traditional, half-revolutionary.
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