A modern Kuleshov effect.

In reading David Bordwell’s blogs, http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2008/04/03/truly-madly-cinematically/  I learned about a Hong-Kong film called ‘The Mad Detective’, Directed by Johnnie To.  This film is about a cop who has the power to see people’s hidden personalities as individual spirits.

To convey this hidden power to the audience the film-maker has used POV as a tool to show the audience what the hero can see juxtaposed against what other people would see.  This hidden talent is first introduced to the audience in a scene in a police station.  The audience hears a women complaining that the cops are useless and we see our hero at a desk who looks up to see a woman standing in the middle of some men, cut back to hero who gets up and walks to the group but now the women is gone and a fat man stands in her place.  He address’ him calling him a Bitch and headbutts him in the face the man falls to the floor with a bloody nose.  Then cut to POV of fallen victim who is now a women with a bloody nose.  This is a modern and more sophisticated version of an idea from Lev Kuleshov known today as the Kuleshov-effect.

In a later scene our hero is following a villain that he sees as a group of seven spirits again the audience sees the villain from the Point-of-view of our hero’s partner and from our hero’s POV.  The Kuloshov-effect is a useful tool for film-makers to convey something that can not normally be seen such as an idea, a feeling, a vision or a political, moral or social message.

 

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