5th September 2017

Scene Analysis 3.9 Assessment

Friday, 18 August

Scene analysis: General Aung San is assassinated

What is happening in this scene?

Rangoon 1947, assassination of general Aung San and 6 other cabinet members in the parliament building discussing Burmas future democracy

What do you see? (visual techniques)

Close up of him walking down a well lit hallway – unlike ni win

Greets his associates nicely “Good morning” takes his hat of – shows his respect for others

Close up of guard smoking – looking around suspiciously, follows him as he starts to walk

Mid shot – Tie red scarves around their necks, symbolising communism (blood of people)

Close up of general, stares at him then closes eyes, slow motion as he approaches general aung sang. Shows his defiance as he stands his ground, also he doesn’t resist or ever respond with violence, he is eerily calm

Overhead shot looking down at scene of the dead politicians, the white background allows the blood to stand out, lights are still swaying from the gunshot

Close up on aung sang and the soldiers faces as they face each other

Over the shoulder shot as walks into room

Toasting to democracy but never gets to drink the drink like he never got to instate democracy

Ancient spears of Burma at the table, aung san is bringing the past into the new independance

Other men yell and back away yet he remains still and calmly turns around

Parallels in the assassins and generals entrances however greeted very differently

One assasinator is wearing a beret showing that they managed to infiltrate different ranks (Look at different rank clothing)

Three shot close up of assassins walking down the hallway showing relationship between the three soldiers 2 wearing cowboy styled hats the other a beret

British flag with peacock on it – their national bird, two combining together

Peacock on wall – Burma’s national bird

Costume – assassins wearing red scarves and military green, men shot wearing simple light coloured clothing

Over the shoulder shot of 3 guys shooting, making us see the intensity, become part of scene, the viewer is included. Assassins in shadow victims in light

Low angle point of view from the general as assassin stands over him – look of hatred on face

Shoots him repeatedly

Close up of generals feet with blood spattered on him, bullets on ground, assassins feet between his

White table cloths

Close up as they burst into room

Mid shot as he points his gun at general

Close up of their guns firing

Mid shots of men being shot, defenseless and unarmed

Same shot as when they burst into the room but all dead

Mid shot of man reloading gun

White cloths now splattered with blood

General has one shoe on

Chairs turned over – over head shot

Close up of young aung san suu kyi sleeping peacefully

One of the members was his brother

Incense burning – buddhist


What do you hear? (verbal techniques)

Shakers, a lot of percussion

ominous music starts to play, getting louder as they get closer the the general

Whiplash sound

Music stops and slows down as they burst into the room

Calming music – pan flute as he stands up before the gun

Music completely stops as they start to shoot

Pan flute plays again as the scene ends and as he tells his wife


Consider how any of the details you have listed reflect Luc Besson’s auteur style. List the connections.

Shows integrity in a corrupt world

Actions are seen as extreme

Authorities are often young mindless and overconfident believing that they are doing good and playing the part of the protectors of society

Is a direct contrast to the dysfunctional authorities in their environment


Scene 2

1) Where is this scene set?

Rangoon rally, Burma capital


2) What is happening in this scene?

They are preparing for a Rally in Rangoon after visiting the smaller villages, soldiers who work for General Ne win barge in, rip down their flag and threaten to shoot Aung san suu kyi


3) Who is involved?

Aung san suu kyi, her supporters, soldiers


4) What significant film techniques do you see?


I.e. Camera shots/angles, lighting, costume, colour, set-design, props, special effects etc.

Low shot of “National League for Democracy” banner.

Close up of man putting up painting of Aung san suu kyi smiling waving and giving a speech

Mid shot of man setting up microphone for her, not on a stage so she can speak down to them but in a regular street (A person for the people)

Soldier in military green pulls up with a red scarf around his upper arm

Everyone other than soldiers wearing white or lighter colours

Buildings around them run down

People backing away from the military, one man has his hands up, soldiers surround them.

Mid shot of soldier shouting with red band round his arm

Banner for democracy ripped down by the communist soldiers

Soldier grabbing and dragging the people

Close up of soldier wearing reflective glasses which show images of people being taken away

Aung san suu kyi walking along shaking hands and greeting people, followed by a line of her fellow party members

Light shining on her and the people following her

Point of view shot from soldier of Aung san suu kyi walking forwards still greeting people

Mid shot of soldiers getting ready in line to shoot, all but leader have their eyes downcast avoiding eye contact

Multiple soldiers lined up ready to shoot this one woman

Man points out soldiers to her, she remains calm and keeps walking forwards

Soldiers who are instructed to shoot look uncomfortable and unwilling to do it

Wide angle of line of many soldiers all pointing their guns in a row at her ready to shoot

Close up of her telling them to continue in a calm and orderly fashion

Flowers around her neck and in her hair

Light shining on her and men behind her

Surrounded by men

Appears confident

View from behind of her walking towards soldiers

Flowers in her hair, light shining on her

Soldiers yelling at her to turn back however she continues forwards towards the gun

Close up of her smiling calmly walking forwards

“Stop right there or we’ll shoot you” soldier yells looking angry

Mid shot of her calmly walking forwards through the lines of soldiers guns that were meant to shoot her

Close up of her standing towards the guns

Leader pulls out his gun and people behind him aim theirs

Man turns around so as not to see her get shot

Man counts down to shooting, gun shaking

Close up of her closing her eyes then flash back to her father doing the exact same thing years before

Man leaps up and tells them not to shoot

Close up af relief evident on her face

Men rush up and surround her bringing her back to the rally

After this scene the people retell this story

When she’s walking towards him she’s lit up angelically

5) What significant film techniques do you hear?

I.e. Dialogue, sound (diegetic and nondiegetic), music, sound effects etc.

Drum beats as putting up poster

Ominous music playing as the soldier pull up – drums building tension – low synthesised note up until pan flutes

High pitched sound in background

Them shouting orders aggressively 

“no public meetings allowed go home”

As she appears a higher orchestral music sounds almost heavenly

“We will continue in a calm and orderly fashion. Stay here first”

Gun clicks as they line up and he shouts to aim

Drums play as she walks forward – suspense deep bass sound

Pan flutes play as she walks through guns towards him and as she closes her eyes preparing to be shot. Synthesiser behind the flute. (Look at pan flute in Burmese culture) 

Bird sounds

His shouting and all other sound tunes out, you can see him shouting but can’t hear it

Then hear him counting down from 3

Silence then she closes her eyes and a drum sounds

Silence as she prepares to be shot and then a suction sound and another soldier shouts “Stop let them go we’re pulling out ”

Wind can be heard again and sounds start to come back as they all leave and she is obviously relieved. His gun clicks back.

He gave her a count down unlike her father, signs of changing.

6) Are there aspects of this scene that relate to Luc Besson’s auteur style (attached)? Make the connections in your own words.


Tuesday, 22 August

Scene analysis: Aung san suu kyi is confronted at rally


What is happening in this scene?

She just came back from going round the small villages campaigning for their vote, now getting ready for a rally in Rangoon


What do you see? (visual techniques)


What do you hear? (verbal techniques)


Consider how any of the details you have listed reflect Luc Besson’s auteur style. List the connections.


Be specific, assume they haven’t seen it, give them who what how when where why, name the objects and room colour lighting camera angles, minimum 3 pages.

General Aung San

Aung san suu kyi

daw suu – madam suu

General Ne win

Rangoon – capital in 1947


Military dictatorship

Council chamber while the executive council was in session

6 cabinet members and the generals brother

General U saw (previous military leader) organised assassination

Military rebels fighting to keep military power

3.9 Assessment

The first scene of the film the Lady, directed by Luc Besson is set in 1947 Burma, it’s the assassination of General Aung San and 6 other cabinet members, including the generals brother in the parliament building where they were discussing Burmas future and democracy. On 1947 April 9th, Burma was holding its first general election since it had separated from India, these general elections were an agreement between the British prime minister and general Aung San which would make Burma independent within a year. However only 3 months after these elections in which Aung San won 173 seats, he was assassinated on July 19th by 3 men under the orders of the Prime Minister U Saw; U Saw was tried and hanged for his crimes on May 8th 1948. Aung San is the father of Aung San Suu Kyi, the current leader of the National League of democracy and the woman that this film is about. Luc Bessons auteur style is one where he focuses a lot on the visuals of the film and uses them well to help tell the story. This style that he uses is called the cinema du look and focuses on allowing what we see to help tell the story, he does this using colour, costume, lighting, camera shots and more techniques which help create his style.

The scene begins with an overhead shot of Aung San driving into the heavily guarded parliament building, outside of which there’s a large state seal of Burma on the wall at the entrance, there’s also the Burmese flag during British rule hanging in the background, this overhead shot establishes the scene. The Burmese flag at this time was blue with a union jack in the corner and a peacock which shows the two countries working together for Burmas future. Aung San had just came back from Britain, agreeing upon Burmas independence and how they should proceed into the future. This flag in the background shows what Aung San was working towards and what he died for. This flag is also seen in mid shots in the room where they’re shot on either side of the door behind Aung San when he enters and the assassins as they enter and shoot him. On the wall in the background is a metal peacock decoration, peacocks are Burmas national bird and are often used as a sign of resistance and pride. This peacock decoration and the state seal of Burma shows that Aung San is working for his country and the people in it and ultimately giving his life for it. The place that he’s in having so many symbols of Burma show his connection and relation to the country. Ancient Burmese spears are in the centre of the room and seen in multiple shots, these are symbolic of Aung San bringing the old Burma with him into this new independence. Incense is burning in the room showing their buddhist religion and them including it in their plans for the future. In a mid shot showing everyone, the men are seen toasting with red cups to their countries future, yet they never get to drink it, like they never get to instate the democracy. Luc Besson uses these props to show certain things about Aung San, his country, his relationship with it and how he plans to run it. Luc Besson’s style is seen showing how important freedom is, that men like these have died for the freedom that we have it’s important not to take it for granted. The love that Aung San had for his country and what he was willing to give for its freedom is shown in this scene.

Because Luc Besson’s style is the cinema du look in which a lot of attention is paid to the visuals, including colour which is used in this film to mean different things. The guard posts that are shown in an overhead shot outside the parliament building have a red star above them. The star was used as a sign of resistance during the war, showing Burma rising as independent, and the red in Burmese culture represents courage, unity and perseverance, it’s also the colour of the national league for democracy flag. Red is used in many asian countries flags because of what it represents. The colour red however is also used later in this scene in a mid shot of the three assassins when they’re walking down the hallway towards Aung San and they put on their red scarves. This prop of the red scarf is symbolic of communism within the Burmese government and these men wearing the scarves are about to shoot an innocent man for their political beliefs showing the extent to how violent their communist system is. The colour of red in communism is used to represent the blood of the people for the people that gave themselves to the cause. The men wearing the red scarves also wear different hats, two are wearing slouch hats and the other is wearing a beret. This shows that they have managed to infiltrate different ranks within the government. The red blood splatters the room, contrasting against the light colour of the walls, table cloth and their clothes. This really shows the ‘blood of the people’ literally, and how far these people are willing to go for their cause. This helps show Luc Bessons auteur style by portraying these people wearing the red as cruel and ready to do anything for their cause despite any consequences they would have to face. The auteurs style is also seen when Aung San is portrayed as opposite to the assassins which can be seen by parallel shots in this scene such as their entrances into the room; both Aung San and the men burst through the doors similarly but the way they greet the people inside is different. Aung San tells them “Good morning” and takes off his hat as a sign of respect, when the other three men enter they’re shouting aggressively and pointing weapons. Another way the differences are shown is when they’re walking down the hallway, a bright almost angelic light shined upon Aung San as he makes his way to the room, yet when the three assassins are walking the corridor is dimly lit. These parallel shots between the characters are used by Luc Besson to help show contrast between the protagonist Aung San and antagonists the assassins.

The second scene is set in a rally in Rangoon, Burma for the National League for Democracy party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, Aung Sans daughter and current state councillor of Myanmar. She had just came back from visiting all the small villages in Burma and was setting up for a rally. This was after General Ne Win had announced his resignation and elections, Aung San Suu Kyi had returned from Oxford, England where she had been living with her husband and two children to see her sick mother but ended up running to lead with a democratic party. While rallying soldiers try to shut it down and threaten to shoot Aung San suu Kyi.

In this scene an important feature is the music that’s playing, it starts of with drums beating almost forebodingly setting up the scene for what is about to come. The soldiers then arrive pulling up in their cars, a low ominous music plays, while they are hassling the people at the rally soldiers shouting aggressively and non distinctly can be heard over the low music playing showing how threatening they are to her and her party. During all this occasionally there’s a high pitched eerie sound. When Aung San Suu Kyi appears on screen we hear a higher toned orchestral music which sounds almost heavenly, portraying her almost like a saviour and showing us her goodness. The soldiers start threatening to shoot her yet she continues forwards to them, while this is happening the music is a deep bass suspenseful sound while a drum beats creating tension. As she’s walking towards him and getting closer pan flutes start to play and all other sounds tune out you can see him shouting but can’t hear it, there’s a close up shot as she closes her eyes and a flash back to her father doing the exact same thing before he was assassinated, pan flutes also played then. Pan Flutes are a traditional Burmese instrument and show their connection to their country that they are preparing to dies for. Sounds start to tune back in and we can hear the soldier counting down from three. Everything becomes silent as she closes her eyes to die and a single drum beat sounds signifying the end, yet before she can be shot another soldier shouts “Stop let them go we’re pulling out “. Sound like wind and chatter start to come back quickly like a sigh of relief, ending the suspense. his gun clicks back and she’s safe. This scene is a parallel to her own fathers death yet a difference was that the soldier counted down, gave her a chance. This kind of act from him shows how the country is already slightly changing.

Because visuals are important for Luc Bessons auteur style cinema du look, there’s a lot of details paid to the costumes. In this scene Aung San suu Kyi and her people are wearing lighter coloured clothing than the soldiers who are all wearing military green, this shows Luc Besson’s auteur style by showing contrast between the good and the bad or the light and the dark. She is also wearing flowers around her neck and in her hair, in Burmese culture flowers can be used to represent many different things, the yellow and white flowers around her neck could be padauk and thazin, which are the national flowers of Burma. These show her relationship and connection with her country that she’s trying to save. The soldiers in this scene are wearing a red band around their upper arm and the same red scarves as the men who assassinated her father, these represent the communist government they serve, the men wearing these are being aggressive and pushing people about. The red is very prominent in the mid shot of all the soldiers lined up to shoot her as it is the only other colour amongst all the military green, it once again shows Luc Besson’s auteur style of the people in authority being merciless and brutal. These men all lined up wearing red are preparing to shoot an innocent woman.




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