Welcome back friends, to the fourth collaboration between JRF and ATB. This week we are looking at a Marvel superhero. Spider-Man. We have chosen to look at 'Spider-Man Homecoming' – and the ferry fight scene.
Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love a good superhero film? ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ falls directly into that bracket. The youthful take on the wall crawler’s introduction to the MCU is colourful, bright and action-packed. It is also seriously down to earth. Let’s take a closer look today at what is beautiful about this film, in particular the famous scene of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker holding together a boat. A big boat...
I loved this film and I loved this scene. We see a lot of great detail in this shot and from a cinematography perspective captures an incredible piece of a story. I cannot help but be reminded of the incredible work of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Vitruvian Man. It’s the way that Spiderman is positioned. Now before anyone says, “it’s nothing like it”. Guys, I know it’s not the work of Da Vinci, but I just think the way in which he is outstretched resembles it, even if ever so slightly.
To really capture the scene and the story, the placement of Spiderman is central. For the individual purpose, it does work – if the compositional rule of the rule of third is applied, for aesthetically pleasing reasons, we would have seen Spider-Man placed in the left- or right-hand side. Equally, the rule of thirds is best applied to minimal subjects. Here we can see a lot going on – it’s a busy scene.
The first thing that stands out to me is the colours chosen. A yellow boat. A red and blue suit. Everything compliments perfectly. What we see here is the producers using the power of the silver screen to really focus on Spider-Man. This is perhaps the biggest save of his superhero career as there are potentially hundreds of lives on board, proving the strength that Spider-Man displays. Not only this but the development of his maturity and mental strength, too. In this part of the film, he is tasked with saving a ship that has been split in half, and the direct cut down the middle symbolises the split between Peter and Spider-Man. He has to find the perfect balance and this scene really captures the pressure for a young adult (at a push) to be dealing with all alone.
Colour plays a significant component within any image, whether it be in cinematography where the colour will be captured through a series of shots or photography. I spoke about the consideration of light in a previous blog, but equally, the consideration of colour is important too. Spider-Man sports an iconic suit of red and blue – what I love about this image from a colour perspective is the introduction of yellow/orange for the ferry. A pallet of soft colours. These warm and primary colours take centre stage on what we as viewers should be looking at. Think of the scene, what is happening in it?
The introduction of grey from the smoke and the injection of darker orange along the side of the ferry break from the soft colours and highlight a more dangerous concoction of colours.
The vast amounts of rising smoke behind Peter show just exactly the relationship he has with himself. He’s volatile, youthful and reckless. Unfortunately, this is all part of his learning curve and the whole film shows how he is demonstrating maturity. We all love Spider-Man and what he stands for, what he represents and, really, his entire story. I personally feel more connected to Tom Holland’s iteration as opposed to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, although I love all of them. I must say, however, what I see in this frame is exactly what Spider-Man is about – fighting his own turmoil and conflict after everyone else’s. As much as everyone misses Tony Stark, he acts as a mentor for the MCU’s Peter Parker, taking him on a different route than we have previously seen, and there are some serious acts of tough love from him. Even not long after, he comes to help out, ultimately saving the day. What we see is Peter trying to do his best, but still, Tony recognises that he has so much more to experience before he is ready to be a proper superhero.
Yet, despite the fantastic colours and detail that is on show – I absolutely love that if you look carefully, you see the silhouette of Lady Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is an iconic attraction and it not only adds a striking element of detail – but it reaffirms where the film is set. For me, this is a great way of softly providing details or pieces of a puzzle without making it the main focus. The use of light in the centre allows for a frosty but identifiable view of Lady Liberty. Equally, it highlights Spiderman very well. If you can imagine that being much darker, the details of Spiderman may have been less visible – in my opinion, utilisation of the light here is clever and well placed.
Finishing up with the detail of the webbing. We can really see the advancements in technology here. The webbing looks all too realistic. It’s kind of like you can see the fibres of the web – I again, think this adds to the still. Overall, this is a great still and you can really see why it is a popular scene in the film – it offers so much and there is still a lot of detail that can be analysed and interpreted.
I think, overall, this film really portrays a more realistic display of Spider-Man and Peter Parker. The stunning visuals displayed throughout make it far more enjoyable than the darker and grittier versions we have previously seen.