Author Archives: michaeldepasquale

The Use of Split Second Imagery to Depict Evil in: Passion Of the Christ

The director of the Passion of the Christ, uses some very interesting techniques from a directors POV to portray evil throughout the film. The way that Satan and other figures of evil are depicted in the film gives an insight on how one might think the director views evil especially in our modern world. In scenes in which evil is very much present, or more so than usual the director usually adds a supernatural spin to the scene to depict to the audience that evil and Satan are behind these deeds.

The first instance of this involves Judas and his betrayal of Jesus. At first when the guards drop Jesus off the bridge and Judas is there, he looks into Jesus’ eyes and feels horrible guilt. Just after this one starts to hear a growling and suddenly appears a hellish creature as if it was there to scare Judas and let him know he is being watched. Evil follows Judas like a curse because he has given into it.  Not only does it follow him around but it is very scary, and terrorizing to his well being.

Picture 6.png

(Time Stamp: 15:32)

Judas also has a run in with evil once he realizes that he has ultimately betrayed his former savior. He is bleeding and sitting down, stewing in disgust with himself when some children run up to ask if he is ok. He lashes out at the children and the camera cuts in and out between the children looking normal to them looking very distorted and evil. The director uses hellish children to describe the torment Judas is going through. It makes the viewer ponder what evil is, and what scenarios it shows up in. In the film it seems that evil is present in every scenario but it is up to those people to either let the evil in and embrace it, or deny it. Evil can twist and distort even the most normal and beautiful things on earth, in this example it is children who are usually seen as innocent.

Picture 8.png

(Time Stamp 32:09)

Lastly the movie shows Satan throughout the film as an observer of what is happening to Jesus. A particular scene that I would like to point out is when Jesus is chained to a stone pillar and is getting beaten and whipped by the guards. Everyone is watching and observing Jesus’ pain, when out of the shadows Satan drifts among the people and almost seems to take pride in what is happening.  Satan is very mysterious in this film, and kind of comes and goes as she pleases.   She watches over the shoulder of the High Priest as if she is backing his actions and standing with him in approval. It is also notices that nobody sees or acknowledges Satan in the film, but she is merely shown to remind the viewer where the root of evil stems from.

Picture 9.png

(Time Stamp: 52:34)

The theme I think the director was trying to portray when it came to evil, is that evil will always be present in every situation, and sometimes it will be deceptively beautiful to the viewer. This is why I think the director made Satan an attractive woman because evil isn’t so obviously evil all the time, it is much harder to decipher under certain scenarios. There will always be some allure towards evil as it drifts in and out of life, but the director does a good job of showing and depicting to the viewer how evil took over Judas and how Satan lurks in wait of a weaker soul to take advantage of. Evil deeds are often disguised to the eye as good deeds,  but it is up to the person committing the deed to know the difference.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

;The use of extreme facial closeups to convey inner emotion in the Passion of Joan of Arc.

The director of The Passion of Joan of Arc uses extreme closeups of characters in the film to truly convey their inner emotion throughout the film. Initially the viewer can be skeptical of this technique and it does seem very hard to convey correctly, but the actress that portrays Joan of Arc in the film does a wonderful job of capturing all necessary emotion through her face. It is seen that in the image below, Joan of Arc is at the beginning of her questioning and is beginning to see how her treatment will continue while in the hands of the English. Her face in the light, shows her youth and innocence that comes with her age. The light also reflects in Joan’s eyes very well, and shows her tears that she holds back while being interrogated.

(Time Stamp:6:32)

It was very interesting to watch this film, because modern films are more reliant on alternate techniques in which to portray the emotion of a scene, as this film took a very simple and straight forward approach. Seeing as it is a silent film, Joan has to do an excellent job of capturing the moment, and this is very well balanced by the blank wall in the back, so that the viewer is forced to focus on the expression on Joan’s face and nothing else. In this scene the actress that plays Joan does an excellent job of showing fear, once again her eyes shine a reflection of the scene among her and he face trembles in fear as to what may happen to her.

(Time Stamp: 28:02)

I also noticed that in many of the scenes while the director is showing any group of people or a person other than Joan, he usually pans across a distance to capture the emotion of the whole group. When Joan is shot, she is usually focused upon and the camera is kept still. This might be so that the viewer has to completely focus on Joan’s emotion, but when surveying the crowd he wants to capture the emotion of the crowd. When the director does show the viewer the setting of the scene he shows certain objects of focus, upon a mostly blank canvas or background. It is a very interesting way in which to draw the view of the audience towards certain points. In this scene a cross is seen atop a church and the background is very blank. The focal point is obviously the cross, which is in question in this scene.

(Time Stamp: 1:22:23)

Finally I thought this scene captured the climax of the movie very well. In this scene Joan is being burned at the cross, and her face is in pure terror and shock. She cries and looks towards the sky as if still in question over gods existence and her divine intervention. Once again a very dreary and blank background drawn cloudy by smoke. The actress who plays Joan does a wonderful job throughout the movie of acting primarily through facial expression and the director does a great job of capturing it. The director draws a parallel between Joan and Jesus in this scene and throughout the movie, a noticeable difference is that Joan still seems in question of her faith.


(Time Stamp:5:32)


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized