The Giant's Fight Scene Analysis

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The Giant’s fighting scene from Spike Lee’s Mo’s better blues is a really interesting scene in terms of lighting scheme, camera composition, etc.
The sequence opens with an establishing master shot #1 of Giant going to the restroom. Shot #2 is a medium close up shot of Giant. Behind him are two men peeking from the stalls. This foreshadows the trouble Giant might be facing. The director uses the division of surface in order to show the conflict between the men and Giant. The focus of the shot shifts from Giant to the men and follow focus as they grab Giant. Shot #3 is a medium shot, more like a two shot, of all four people. The 4th shot is an establishing shot of the on-going show in the bar. The red lighting of the overall area gives the audience a feeling of separation between what is occupying Bleek and what is happening behind the scenes with Giant. Shot 5 and 9 are medium shots continuing from the shot #3. The shots track the movements of the bad guys dragging Giant out of the bar to the back alley. The director makes use of slow motion in order to put more emphasis into the intensity of the sequence. He also makes use of color mixing between the red light and the natural light along
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A few things also stand out for me. Wardrobe choices in this scene are particularly interesting. The bad guys are dressed in black suits. Giant and Bleek as well as others are dressed in blue and brown suits. This shows the contrast between the bad guys and the main characters. There is also a separation in atmosphere achieved by the use of light: red light versus natural white light. The director also makes use of a lot of rules in classic Hollywood filmmaking like the rules of division of surface, the 30-degree rule, etc. The editors have done a great job in creating tension through shorter cuts in the fighting shots than other establishing and ending shots of the

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