Saturday, May 6, 2017

Lego Batman The Movie - DC Superheroes United: lego pigeons!!

Title: Lego Batman: The Movie - DC Superheroes United
Year:  2013
Director:   Jon Burton
Running time: 71 min.
Country: USA

I was very pleased when I discovered that the iconic megalopolis of Gotham City has pigeons living in it. I think that this is a good example of how we (humans) extrapolate our living environment to imaginary scenarios. One exception that makes me deeply sad is Star Wars, where I couldn't find a single pigeon appearance in the whole saga. It seems that the pigeons had been unable to reach the Star Wars galaxy, that is too far away. I think that we will address this topic in another post.

Regarding this film, the context of the scene is the following one: Batman and Superman are fighting against a robot piloted by the Joker and Lex Luthor. In the middle of the combat, the robot falls in a park in the centre of Gotham city. What kind of innocent creatures were in the midst of the combat, roaming around the park? I think that it is not necessary to answer this question....

In the screenshot above we can see Mr. Bruce Wayne... sorry! Batman, looking how the evil robot falls down. He is surrounded by pigeons.

When the robot tragically collapses, both  the pigeons and Batman escape scared. It is interesting to highlight that Batman does not pay attention to the pigeons. Of course, he is in the middle of a fierce combat. But, on top of that, it is well known that pigeons and bats are like water and oil.... they can be in the same place, but they don't mix. 

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Lego Batman The Movie - DC Superheroes United. Starring moment: 0:59:00
  • Pigeon activity: They represent typical pigeon life in urban environments. 
  • Symbolism: I think that pigeons are used to provide more realism to the scene. That is, the use of pigeons makes Gotham City to seem like any other large city found in the real world. 
  • Relevance: None. Unfortunately, pigeons are unable to help Batman in his tireless fight against the Joker. 
  • Training level: Not applicable. They are computer-generated images.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A tribute to The Rock

When I saw a Dwayne Johnson film (sorry, no pigeons in it), I could not resist creating a tribute to this massive and tough actor. This is a tribute to The Rock ...

Monday, April 10, 2017

The duchess: a quite decent pigeon

Title: The Duchess
Year:  2008
Director:   Saul Dibb
Running time: 110 min.
Country: United Kingdom

Today we have a special pigeon appearance. Contradicting the post's title, it is not a pigeon well respected by the avian nor human community. It is not flying, nor roaming around. The pigeon is served in a dish for a sad Duchess that is maritally frustrated and on top of that, has no appetite at all. The scene could not be more dramatic. The poor animal is served but the lady (Keira Knightley) has no interest in it, and she looks totally absent minded.

In front of her, her husband the Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes) and his mistress are sat and enjoying the meal while the Duchess' lover is shouting at the front door demanding to talk with his lover. It is understandable that in such a bizarre situation, one wouldn't be interested in any kind of meal.

After banishing her lover, the Duchess goes back to dinner and sits again. The Duke looks up, chewing and says: What’s the matter, don’t like the pigeon? I find it really quite decent.

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: The Duchess. Starring moment: 1:25:52
  • Pigeon activity: None. It is a cooked pigeon served on a plate. 
  • Symbolism: There is no special symbolism. I would assume the pigeon represents typical English 18th century high society cuisine.
  • Relevance: Low, there is no impact on the film's plot line.
  • Training level: Unfortunately, not applicable. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Fourth Edition of Pigeon Quest

Welcome to the Fourth Edition of Pigeon Quest. Here, instead of finding the pigeon in the film, you have to find the film with the pigeon.

Just write in the comments the film name with a recognized user name. An anonymous comment will produce an anonymous winner. The first one in succeeding will win and receive an honorary certificate. 

You can see other editions of this Quest here.

Here there is a sequence of the film. We can see an eye-to-eye stareoff. Very intriguing and a little perturbing... it doesn't bode well.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sea of love: Al Pacino's feathered surprise

Title: Sea of love
Year:  1989
Director:   Harold Becker
Running time: 110 min.
Country: United States

I have watched many Al Pacino films. In some of them he is a brave drug dealer with almost no scruples, or evil itself, or, like in this film, a brave policeman in search of a serial killer. In almost all his characters he plays as a tough man, very prone to using violence and also very hard to shock or unflutter. However, in this film,  Detective Frank Keller (Pacino) finds a very disgusting surprise when he is pursuing a murderer.

In the pigeon starring scene, Frank is a bit drunk heading back home  (following the stereotype of many detectives, he enjoys drinking and smoking) when he senses something suspicious in the apartment block corridor. He seems to think that the serial killer may be hiding outside the window. When he looks, he is violently scared by a group of pigeons that probably were sleeping near the window and are suddenly disturbed by this drunk and violent man. It is interesting to see Pacino scared by these peaceful animals. Because of his role in this film, he was nominated for the best performance by an actor in the Golden Globes. 

The picture below is a nice portrait of a pigeon besides a famous actor. Isn't it? Perhaps this pained expression is what got him nominated?

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Sea of love. Starring moment:  1:19:29
  • Pigeon activity: A group of pigeons scared in the middle of the night by a guy with a gun.
  • Symbolism: None. Pigeons are mere urban creatures trying to sleep. 
  • Relevance: None. They are used as way for creating tension in the scene. 
  • Training level: Medium. Pigeons are trained animals that are freed at the exact time that Al Pacino is looking out of the window. Such a complex scene, requires coordination between the actor, the film-making crew, the pigeon manager and the pigeons themselves. Remarkable. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Training Day: what do you see when you are high?

Title: Training Day
Year:  2001
Director:   Antoine Fuqua
Running time: 122 min.
Country: United States

Taking into account the nature of this blog, the answer to the question in this post's title may be pretty obvious. Let's contextualise the scene of this film. Jake (Ethan Hawke) is a rookie cop that has a new workmate: the veteran Alonzo (Denzel Washington). In this film Denzel Washington does one of my favourite performances. He is cool...

... but at the same time, there something twisted about him. But anyway. He is one of the best cops. What can be wrong here?

The first weird thing comes with a sudden argument between them. The poor Jake is tricked by Alonzo into smoking something that actually is a strong drug, and soon he enters into a narcotised state with nothing better to do than look out of the window.

So, the question is: what does Jake see when he's under the drug's effects? Streets, trees, and a large pigeon flock (quite relaxing view, by the way) doing their very own flying training day. The birds are displayed with a strong green filter to represent the drug's effects.... a bad omen for the future of the movie plot. Anyway, there are no more pigeon's in this film, thus the rest of it is not relevant for us.

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Training day. Starring moment:  17:50
  • Pigeon activity: A typical flock of pigeons flying around.
  • Symbolism: Merely circumstantial. Pigeons are just something to look at when you don't have better things to do.
  • Relevance: Low. There is a minimal impact on the film plot.
  • Training level: None. Probably they are wild animals recorded by the film crew or stock  footage.