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. 

The quest is now closed. There was no winner for this quest. The post about the film can be see here

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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Back to the blog

After this long break I have resumed the blog activities. 2013 was a challenging year for me: the first squab in the family arrived and we moved to a new nest. Both things demanded plenty of time. On top of that my job was pretty intensive too. All these factors left me without any time to dedicate to this blog. Now I have more spare time and my plan is to continue working on the blog. Maybe with less intensity than I would have liked, but  contributing as often as I can.

Fortunately, during this long period I added to my film list many pigeon appearances, so I have plenty of material to publish. I also would like to thank all the contributions that I have received from people that also spotted pigeons in films. My plan is to deliver more pigeon appearances. I hope you will enjoy them.