angles matter so much

anonymous asked:

Established Supercat. Kara makes a mistake.

Thanks to @coop-writes for first reads and making me actually sit down and write this thing!

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“I saw what happened today, Kara.” She shivered as Cat’s voice wrapped around her, dark and soothing all at the same time. On someone else or in a different situation that might have been a contradiction, but with Cat it only held promise. Cat knew she needed this, needed someone to keep her in line when she couldn’t do it on her own.

She wanted to surge forward, cross to where Cat was watching her from the other side of the room and fall to her knees before the other woman. To wrap her arms around Cat’s waist and bury her head in her stomach to beg for forgiveness, but the cuffs securing her wrists to the headboard held her in place—unbreakable due to the glowing green collar around her neck. Even so she pulled against them, a small whine escaping the back of her throat as they held her down, and instantly Cat was at her side.

“Shh…” a warm hand caressed her cheek offering a moment’s comfort. “I’m here, I’m right here.”

Kara nuzzled into the touch, letting her arms relax now that Cat was so close, the urge to fight against the restraints no longer quite so consuming. She wanted to believe that her reaction was just because of this woman, that her submission was only for Cat, but they both knew that until this was over there was something else that was the true force behind her response. Cat’s presence right now meant that that something else was coming, and it was that, more than the touch itself that let her give in.

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Camera Angles: Princesses and their Knights

I recently read a comment in a forum that talked about how during Finn’s confession scene Rey was placed in a higher position than him, making her appear taller than him– this in turn helps steer our minds away from the scene being mutually romantic in nature. Instead of it being a romantic scene, it is now Finn at Rey’s “mercy” while he tells her how important she is to him.

I had to think about this concept for a little while. Do camera angles really matter so much? Do they really affect how we see a relationship between a male and a female character? As I began doing a quick run through of relationships from various media (including Star Wars itself) I came to realize just how intentional these camera angles are and how they reflect the dynamic between the male and female.

This meta isn’t pro-reylo, pro-finnrey, or anti anything. I am simply making observations on how certain scenes are shot and how ingrained imagery in our heads (i.e. a princess and a loyal knight kneeling before her) are used to help give the audience a specific type of message.

I’m going to start off by saying that a big reason this subconscious imagery (i.e. male lowering himself in front of female to show his loyalty– kneeling to ask for a hand in marriage is a big one too) exists in our minds is not only because of medieval knighting ceremonies as pictured above, but because of what we inherently believe about maleness vs. femaleness. Men are generally depicted (both in modern media and ancient texts) as taller, stronger, dominant, prideful, and acting on their own desires. Females on the other hand are generally depicted as smaller, dainty, submissive/following someone else’s orders, and humble.

The act of a male lowering himself in front of a female is such a powerful image to us on both a conscious and subconscious level because of everything we’ve been taught about maleness and femaleness. The bigger, stronger, and more dominant figure willingly lowering themselves in front of the smaller, daintier figure tells us that the male is willing to lay down all those ingrained gender traits he has been given in favour of showing his loyalty to the female.

The dynamics of the Princess and her Loyal Knight typically goes as follows:

  • The Knight is willing to lay down his life for the Princess
  • The Knight has very strong feelings of loyalty towards the Princess. This can be because of romantic reasons i.e. him being captivated by her beauty
  • The Knight holds up the Princess in very high regard, in some cases even creating an image in his head of an idol or goddess. She is special to him, making him experience feelings he never had before his life of loyalty to her.
  • The Princess cares for the Knight and/or knows she can rely on him.
  • If the Knight is in love with the Princess, it is generally one-sided. This could easily change as their story progresses though.

Here are just a couple of relationships I gathered in a few minutes with the typical Princess and Knight dynamics. I’m sure there are hundreds of more examples across different kinds of media.

Daenerys & Sir Jorah

The relationship is complicated, however Jorah’s loyalty and love for Dany is very genuine. This scene above is him pleading to her to give him another chance. He is at the mercy of her decision.

Daenerys & Daario

This scene is actually the Knight swearing his loyalty to the Princess, so it’s a good reference. Daario professes that he is captivated by Dany’s beauty and that he swears his life to her. He kneels before her, and the scene is presented with the same camera angles we’re talking about.

Leia & Luke

Before the two of them were written as siblings. The two share a meaningful glance during Han and Luke’s ceremony. Princess Leia is on higher ground and looks over to Luke who gives her a smile, his expression making Leia smile as well. Han is on the same level as Luke, but Leia doesn’t hold Han’s gaze, and when he winks at her she ignores it.

Actually, because we have two “Knights” in this scene, we are able to compare Leia’s reaction to them depending on their behaviour towards her. Luke, the typical Knight looks up to her with respect. Leia appreciates his loyalty and behaviour, giving him a smile. Han on the other hand, winks at her and continues to express typical ‘maleness’ and Leia isn’t as pleased. Han is in the position where a Knight would typically treat the Princess with high respect (e.g. Luke), but he doesn’t. I suppose this says a lot about Loyal Knight vs. Overt Maleness considering what happens in the following films, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Now here is the Finn and Rey scene in question:

Scene composition look familiar?

What I found so weird after rewatching the scene is that Finn an Rey WALK OVER to an area where she is on higher ground than him. They didn’t just confront each other in this position– they SET UP this imagery. It was completely intentional– the characters actually walk over to some stairs (I’m assuming– we can’t see the floor in these scenes) and Rey is placed in a position where she looks down at Finn.

And Finn isn’t just metaphorically laying down his ‘maleness’ by being on lower ground here. He is literally putting himself in a position of Rey’s mercy while he tells her the truth about who he is and how she looked at him like no one else had. I think it’s so wonderful of Finn to express his emotions in such a way, by the way. You don’t really see many male characters being able to do this.

This scene is a bit different from others though, because instead of swearing his loyalty to the Princess when she asks him to stay… he leaves. Understandably too. He didn’t have a choice when he was thrown into the entire mess, so it only makes sense for him to want to run away from the First Order AKA the people who took away his entire life.

So essentially Finn turns down the position of Knight, but ultimately returns to it when the Princess (Rey) in kidnapped by the Dragon (Kylo Ren) and taken back to his fortress. The narrative then continues with the Knight saving (or assisting in saving) the Princess, the Knight fighting the Dragon, and then we get a nice twist of the Princess being the one to defeat the Dragon.

Finn is the Knight and Rey is the Princess. Even if these roles will be subverted a lot in the future, and I have no doubt that they will, these are the roles they have in terms of age-old fairytales/storytelling.

Just one last thing: Let’s look at some explicitly (mutual) romantic-intended scenes in Star Wars

Also see: 95% of all HanLeia and Anidala scenes, and 99% of romantic movie scenes in general

I could expand on this meta and talk about how heterosexual romances (especially as depicted in media) have a lot to do with how maleness and femaleness is displayed/performed, but I think this post has gotten long enough. Hope you guys found it interesting.

I leave you with this gif from The Notebook

Originally posted by negliocchituoiilmioviso