Reflection Posts

From Time Travel in Paris to Zombies in Busan

La Jetée is told through photographs splits the difference between movie and written story. We are given visuals to enhance the experience, but the physical action going on in the plot is played out in our heads. Terry Gilliam took my attention by making me look at what he included in his photos. For the most part, the background of the photos is uniform and thus my attention was forced onto the subject. Gilliam also uses different angles and also the amount of photographs to draw out a scene (such as when the main character and the woman are in the museum–the longer the scene plays out, the deeper of a bond is felt between the pair). The use of images rather than video also allows for Gilliam to play with time more, both in the movie-progression sense and the in-movie temporal sense.

The lighting was altered for the time period that the main character was in. In the (his) present, people are clearly seen, but backgrounds may be a bit blurred or even too dark to see. In the past, everything is well lit and easily seen. Lastly, in the future, the background is completely dark and the people themselves are nearly half obscured. This correllates with traditional understand of these time periods: we know the most about the past, the present mostly but it can be a bit confusing, and the future is mostly unknown.

I’m probably breaking the rules here but I have three GIFs. I just loved Train to Busan so much that making only three is limiting myself.

This set-up for the next scene prepared me for the awesome zombie-fighting. Yong-guk, Sang-hwa, and Seok-woo have geared up and are fully motivated to get through five train cars of zombies to get to their loved ones. I loved this scene’s look, as they go in and out of train tunnels, but the only thing I couldn’t capture in the GIF was the music, which worked perfectly with the scene. The loop in this GIF wasn’t seamless, so I gradually decreased the brightness on the last few frames to make the transition/replay smoother. Also, because I loved this scene so much, I made another GIF of it.


This GIF follows the forward motion of the train and the survivors’ push to move onward. Namely, this shows Sang-hwa being a zombie-kicking badass(using only his hands!). In he beginning of the movie, Sang-hwa primarily exhibited some less badass more asshole traits about him. But, as the story progressed, he didn’t become a whole new man, but I saw him grow as necessary and I learned so much more about him that gave me a holistic and more appreciative view of him. After seeing this new psychological side of Sang-hwa, this fight scene is the physical manifestation of his progress.


This scene showed to seconds where Seok-woo realizes Su-an is in immediate and life-threatening danger. The film goes into slow motion, making the suspense rise tremendously. Seok-woo’s facial expressions show just how much he cares for his daughter, despite being outed by her as selfish not a minute beforehand. There is desperation and then the beginning of disbelief and registration of loss.

I also love the view Su-an holding her backpack and standing still, framed by the guard rails, with people and zombies running behind her (and of course the zombies running FOR her). It evokes the same protective worry Seok-woo is feeling in me, and I thought I would keep that going and leave a constant state of suspense by ending the GIF where I did.

It took me a while to figure out how to slow down the GIFs since when they were saved they played faster than the original video. This is important because timing matters just as much as scene and character expressions in the playing out of narrative. Everywhere I looked up how to change the speed on GIMP online told me I had to edit each individual frame, but with my last two GIFs having around 300 frames I needed a quicker way to alter speed. I eventually found two different methods, one during import and one export, that both worked nicely.

This movie was amazing in everything from plot to cinematography to character development. I haven’t been so invested while watching a movie in a long time (my roommate was confused on why I kept gasping, jumping, and sometimes angry-whispering at the screen). Many of the characters were very well-rounded in that they had both good and bad characteristics particular to them. I have already started recommending the movie to people and I plan on watching it again sometime.

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