Earlier in the week I reflected on an essay by Roger Ebert. My next assignment plays off of what was discussed in the paper. We had to choose a picture of clip from a film and analyze the scene and the placement of the characters. This assingment was worth four stars and is located here: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/eberts-analysis/
My picture that I will be analyzing is from game of thrones
In this scene Tyrion Lannister, who is in the foreground, is under trial for regicide of his nephew, a crime that he is innocent of. His case is being presided over by his father, who is on the throne, as well as his sister who is on the left corner. Neither one are particularly fond of Tyrion and both would like to see him dead.
Tyrion’s sister Cersei follows Ebert’s rule well in this scenario. In the show she is portrayed as cruel, harsh, and heartless, a spiting image of her father. Ebert states in the essay that “A person to the right of that position will seem more positive; to the left, more negative”. This scene seems to follow his ruling well with it placing Cersei in the back left corner. Cersei also works well with Ebert’s statement that “The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left”. Cersei represents the old regime currently in the show. She is desperate to maintain her power with cruelty and fear. Seeking to above all prevent change.
Mace Tyrell, who is situated on the right, is a kind gentleman who incompetence despite his good heart. He much like cersei follows the alignment rule. Being a positive character on the show and being portrayed at the right of center shows that character placement was a major thought for the directors. While Mace does not represent the future well his house does. The real heads of house Tyrell are women who prefer to rule with kindness and love. This could be seen to contrast Cersei’s placement in the scene as well as her leadership style.
Tywin Lannister who is sitting on the Iron throne just like the prior two actors also follows Ebert’s rules. Ebert states that “A person located somewhat to the right of center will seem ideally placed”. Ideally placed is an excellent description of Tywin’s position at the moment. He is on the cusp of having his son that he always hated and never wanted out of his life permanently. Further being on the right it makes sense that he is “dominant”, as Ebert puts it, over his son, daughter, and Oberyn Martell who only just arrived at the capital.
Finally there is Tyrion Lannister his is being displayed in the foreground slightly left of center. His placement has several purposes. First he can be seen to be portrayed below and to the left of his father. Ebert describes this position as submissive. Further, while Tyrion is not in the center of the shot he can be seen to be in the center of the room. This could match with Ebert’s statement that being in the center means that the person is objectified. Tyrion was often used as a pawn in his fathers political games and it would make sense for him to be portrayed in this manner.
Overall this scene seems to follow Ebert’s rules very well regarding character placement and what that represents. While I am still skeptical if the directors meant for the characters to be portrayed this way, I can see the reasoning behind Ebert’s arquement.