We are back with the second instalment of our ‘Black Panther’ collaboration. If you haven’t had the chance to read the first one, I highly recommend that you do, we looked at the iconic still of Nakia, Okoye and the T’challa stood at a balcony in a casino and today, we are looking at another fantastic still from the film.
Indeed, this still is fantastic and was perhaps one of the standout scenes from the film in general. I loved this entire part of ‘Black Panther’, and it really captures the high intensity of the film and sets the pace for what is to come.
One of the major things about this still is the dark nature of it. We see very little on the surface of it, but it is incredibly intriguing to analyse…
Whilst the scene is relatively dark, there is lots of detail that can still be analysed. Firstly, the suit. The details on this suit are amazing, even with limited light, you can in parts still see the detail of the suit. I love that. With reference to lighting, it is great that we can still see the silhouette of the suit. I know what you’re thinking, but what I mean is, that even with limited light the fine details of the suit can be seen – this is a big positive.
We notice how dark the scene is, but we need to look at the bigger picture. ‘Black Panther’ is a film that is about the rise of power and the recognition of it, too. The whole ideology of the film reflects on historical events and how they have influenced today. Wakanda is a nation that has sheltered itself from the world due to its riches, but there is a huge aspect of the film linking to the country’s and continent’s history. This scene is foreshadowing how not only Black Panther is coming out of the shadows, but as the country’s king, T’challa is driving Wakanda into a new era. We see him in a dark picture being illuminated by incredible camera work, but it is symbolic for what is to come for himself and Wakanda. The new suit is representative of him and seeing it in action for the first time in the film, this marks the beginning of something new for not only him, but for his country’s people.
The lightening on the bridge and the fact that this is blur is a great indication that a fast action scene is happening. Obviously, if you have watched the film, you will know this and even if you haven’t – you can see that it is fast-paced. Yet, from the perspective of the shot – the lights somewhat blur – and it’s another fantastic feature within the still. You don’t have to see the film to know that the lights are illuminating a bridge. Whilst it is wonderful in any art form to make the viewer question what they see, imagine the power and the influence that your work has when the viewer doesn’t need clarity on what they perceive to be, but what they already know it to be.
The last thing that I am going to make comment on is the position. I spoke about it on the last entry for ‘Black Panther’, and I will speak of it again. Position accounts for a great point of consideration within any image, and the film is not different. Now, whilst the last entry saw a reference to the powerful stance that can be interpreted from positioning the camera below the subject. Yet, for this, positioning the subject left allows for a great deal of detail to be captured. Imagine, if ‘Black Panther’ would have been placed centre, we wouldn’t see half as much of the detail that we do. It follows photography principles and for the purpose of this film. It works wonders.
Continuing from this thought, the position of the character is imperative to understand this still. We wouldn’t have this film had it not been for the geniuses who wrote the comics way back when. And we see this image with Black Panther on the left of our view, the exact same way people read in the Western world and societies. The scene shows him on the left as if his story is only just beginning, and by the end of the film, there is probably a binary image to contrast with this with T’challa being positioned to the right of the screen.
All in all, ‘Black Panther’ is one of the most visually appealing films of all time, rich with colour, society and so much more. We are fortunate enough to say we have lived when this has been released and that we can analyse stills from it. Doing so really is a pleasure and we can’t wait for next week to present the final chapter in this trilogy.