Monday, December 17, 2012

Predator 2: hunting humans, not pigeons

Title: Predator 2
Year:  1990
Director:   Stephen Hopkins
Running time: 108 min.
Country: United States.

Mike Harrigan is an LAPD Lieutenant who is in search of an alien which is slaughtering city inhabitants. Dorinda Seed is a female pigeon from L.A. She and her folks had a nice day and now are getting some rest on a roof (a place that they call home). In this sequence, Dorinda and Mike's lives are going to cross dramatically.

Mike is chasing the predator on a roof. He is very nervous, because this creature is a monster which slaughtered several colleagues of his. A common man would escape running away, but Mike wants to fix this mess.

On the other side of the corner, we find Dorinda and her friends, that are scared and fly away (scaring Mike too).

This is a nice picture of the pigeon, captured with its legs and tail feathers fully extended. This situation is also dramatic for Dorinda. It is not nice for a pigeon to fly in the darkness and it is ever worse, if it is flying in the middle of a violent duel.

This is not a pigeon, but the predator firing at Mike:

We can observe than when Mike returns fire, there are other pigeons flying in the background.

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Predator 2. Starring moment: 1:19:39.
  • Pigeon activity: They are pigeons sleeping on a roof which are scared by a night duel between an L.A. policeman and an angry alien.
  • Symbolism: It is interesting to see how pigeons are used to scare the movie protagonist and increase the film's tension levels. This is a typical ploy used in many action movies.
  • Relevance: Low. Pigeons interfere with a human-alien duel, but they don't change the storyline.
  • Training level: High. It is not easy for a pigeon to fly with poor light conditions. Here, they exhibit a very good performance. 
Special thanks to Jen for suggesting this film.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Burning man: pigeons forming a backdrop to a drama

Title: Burning man
Year:  2011
Director:   Jonathan Teplitzky
Running time: 110 min.
Country: Australia

There are sad movies and cruel sad movies. One example of latter is Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby. I think that it is nice film, but I didn't like it at all. When I left the cinema after watching it, I felt something like I had been suffering emotional torture with a plot which was specially designed to sadden the spectator. Is such a cruel story really necessary? Such is life, Eastwood would probably say, but this is not the point. The point is the aim of this film style: they write a deliberately cruel story in order to shock the spectator and increase the film's popularity.

Burning man belongs to this category. It depicts the sad life of Tom (Matthew Goode), a skillful chef who is specially enthusiastic about cooking sea food. His wife dies of cancer and left him alone with his son. This film consists of continuous flashbacks and flashforwards where his happy life with his wife (before the sickness) is interlaced with very sad scenes depicting her agony and his desperation. I think that this film shows too much drama. Anyway, it includes some interesting pigeon appearances: in a picnic organized by a group of families, Tom becomes hysterical and starts to destroy the picnic before the amazed stares of the onlookers.

In the middle of this devastation we can see several scared pigeons. Here there is a bird witnessing the picnic destruction.

And in the following images we can see several pigeons flying around the scene:

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Burning man. Starring moment:  0:54:29
  • Pigeon activity: They are common pigeons scared by a hysterical father who is flattening a picnic.
  • Symbolism: None, they are common pigeons.
  • Relevance: Low. Pigeons are used for increasing the level of drama. 
  • Training level: High. Very well trained animals that perform a perfect side flight in the scene.