Thursday, August 21, 2008

Land of the Dead

Tracking shot begins in extreme close up of girl on bed of ratty furs, pulls back until her body is the same size as the image replacing it:

A heart made of knotted roots, explaining the audio through most of the movie: a heart beat composed of howling winds and rushing waters.

The owner of the heart is revealed: Demeter, shot in over-exposed B&W huddled at the foot of a tree. Additional audio of screaming infants and mourning mothers.

Original tracking shot continues to reveal Hades' bedchamber and Persephone's ghostly attendants. The shades are animated in time to the heart beat. They are out of focus.

As the shades perform her toilet, Persephone appeals to them for sympathy; but they have no thought or emotion.

Persephone catches sight of her reflection in a basin and is overwhelmed by self-pity. "Zoom" fills frame with her reflection.

Pull out to reveal her memory of the night before. Intervalometric make-up effect shows her become a cadaver and return to herself as Hades climaxes.

Make-up effect is shot from two angles simultaneously so that one can be reversed for her return.

Persephone is led to Hades. The walls of the underworld writhe with squirming worms in blood mud (rear projection).

Hades reaches to touch Persephone's hand, her teeth chatter as she shivers.

Insert shot of her hair standing on end.

Persephone is offered three dishes in succession--each of which she turns away, revolted: a roasted infant, a suckling pig, a pineapple.

Hermes appears at her side to amuse her and goad her to eat. He performs parlor tricks with coins and tampons to no avail.

It occurs to him to offer her a flower, which catches her interest.

The flower ripens into a pomegranate in her hands.

Hermes breaks open the pomegranate and offers it to Persephone. When she declines, he breaks it open again and again. Persephone is hypnotized by the perpetually regenerating fruit and absently mimics Hermes and eats three seeds.

Return to master shot of Hades court as Persephone realizes what she's done. Frantically looking for Hermes, who's disappeared, Persephone softens as the colors fade to B&W and everything loses focus, the sound becomes muted. 

Return to "basin" shot. Raped again, Persephone is virtually unconscious, thankfully so.

Return to master shot of Hades' court. The colors are saturated again and the soundtrack volume is acute.

Demeter enters in overexposed B&W. Persephone rushes to Demeter.

Demeter stops her and Persephone puts her hand to her mouth. She embraces Demeter and color is restored around them. They are at the foot of Demeter's tree and spring is arriving.

Persephone twirls a red leaf between her fingers.

An eddy of leaves becomes a vortex behind her.

Walking down a tunnel, away from the light, Persephone turns when she hears a mother sobbing. A young boy with a head wound passes by her as he loses focus.

Persephone arrives in the land of the shades she appears to be desperately searching for someone.

Return to the master shot of Hades' court. Persephone is still looking. 

Hermes arrives at her side.

Insert shot of Hermes breaking open a pomegranate and shaking seeds loose as though knocking pills from a vial.

Persephone leans against Hermes and accepts the seeds.