Sunday, March 17, 2019

The way back: doves in a buddhist temple

Title: The Way Back
Year:  2010
Director:    Peter Weir
Running time: 130 min.
Country: United States

Several prisoners in a Russian gulag manage to escape a make a trip of thousands of kilometers to their way to freedom. I enjoyed watching this adventure film with great shots and some intrepid doves. When the group of survivors reach an abandoned buddhist temple they decide to investigate the ruins.  

And this is when two doves and a pigeon suddenly appear from the ruins and fly away, startles, from the new visitors.

The dove silhouettes can be noticed at the bottom of the image.  

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: The way back. Starring moment: 1:14:20
  • Pigeon activity: A small group of birds flying away when the protagonists arrive at the scene. 
  • Symbolism:  Although there are some references to doves in buddhism, the use of doves and pigeons in this films seems to be more coincidental relating to wild animals that occupied an abandoned building. 
  • Relevance: None. The birds do not interact with the protagonists of the films thus they do not influence the film plot. 
  • Training level: Medium. It seems that they are trained animals released in the film scene. They perform well flying almost vertically in a narrow building.  

The winner of the fifth edition of Pigeon Quest

At PMDb we congratulate Chrissy as the winner of the fifth edition of Pigeon Quest. Congratulations on your fine pigeon-spotting performance. You can download a high-resolution image of your certificate here.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

PMDb film and TV series visual index

Here is an link to at-a-glance visual list of the covers of films and TV series that have been posted so far. The list is ordered chronologically. Each image contains a link to the related post.

I have a much longer list (with tens of films) that have been reported but not reviewed yet - thank you very much to all the pigeon spotters and film contributors who have shared information with me. My plan is to gradually enrich the PMDb with these feathered findings.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Game of thrones: Arya Stark, the pigeon slayer

Title: Game of Thrones
Year: 2011 
Director: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Timothy Van Patten, Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Alan Taylor
Running time: 55 min.
Country: United States

It is almost impossible to do not feel pity for Arya. She lost half of her family, she was forced to run away, living a life of poverty and, on top of that, she is surviving in an extremely violent environment. Any social worker from the Office of Child and Family Services would place her in a special protection program.

However, she also has a dark side, a cruel mind that not only thinks about revenge, but about pigeon carnage. Her violent actions were performed not in one, but several scenes during this tv series. In this entry we can see one of them, where this young girl is having fun beheading an innocent pigeon. The scene is shown below. No additional comments are necessary.

The poor pigeon is not aware of the great jeopardy that is coming.

Arya slaying an innocent pigeon.

The most tragic part of this story is Arya's face after this unfortunate training practice: she shows nothing, not shame, not  happiness, just a cold, inexpressive stare towards the dead bird. A pure gem for psychotherapists.  Arya, pigeons will never forget this offense.

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Game of Thrones. Starring moment: 0:44:05
  • Pigeon activity: It is a common pigeon belonging to the Game of Thrones' universe that has a fatal encounter with a bored killing machine eager to slash living forms with her sword. 
  • Symbolism: Performing this action against a pigeon (one of the most harmless creatures on Earth - ignoring the dropping-related side effects or the intense cooing during the mating season-) is a clear example of how deranged the poor girl is. Definitely, not a good choice for babysitting.
  • Relevance: For the poor pigeon character, high, because it is the end of the story for the animal. Looking at the bird's head size, it seems like a female pigeon. I hope that it is not the breeding season and there are no squabs waiting for her. 
  • Training level: Low. The pigeon shows steely calm facing its final like the musicians of the Titanic. The difference is that here the iceberg has a sword. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Samba: unconfirmed pigeons in Paris.

Title: Samba
Year:  2014
Director:  Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Running time: 115 min.
Country: France

This film depicts the tough life of an illegal immigrant (Samba) in Paris, how he is forced to accept all kinds of jobs to survive in the city and how he falls in love with Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Although we empathize with Samba, the reality is that we are only focused on pigeon appearances in the film, so we will skip describing his adventures. There are two scenes related to pigeons. The first one occurs when the police scramble onto some scaffolding to catch the immigrants, Samba and his friends escape running on the roofs of buildings. When Samba is leaving a roof hatch we can hear pigeons cooing and see a feather next to the window (red arrow in the screen shot). Of course, this does not count, it is a near miss.

A small feather (pointed at by the red arrow) next to Samba, the film's protagonist.

The second scene is more explicit: Samba is talking with his uncle, who is in depressed because he has lost his job.

In this picture we can see Samba's uncle's sadness.
Samba is trying to encourage him to start a new project and is getting dressed for a date with his girlfriend. In the background we can observe a tv playing a documentary and some birds (unconfirmed pigeons) flying way. We would have to find out the documentary's name to clearly discern where they are pigeons or other birds.

Samba is getting dressed. We can observe the tv on the right side of the screenshot. 

Here we can see the tv with more detail. Some unconfirmed pigeons appear. 

Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Samba. Starring moment: 1:21:10 and 1:40:26
  • Pigeon activity: A flock of unconfirmed pigeons fly away, probably scared by the camera. 
  • Symbolism: None, they represent wild animals.
  • Relevance: Low, they are part of a tv documentary that Samba's sad uncle is watching. It is not clear whether this documentary helps him to feel better. 
  • Training level: None. They are wild animals. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Fifth edition of Pigeon Quest

Welcome to the Fifth Edition of Pigeon Quest. Here, instead of finding the pigeon in the film, you have to find the film with the pigeon.

Just write in the comments the film name with a recognized user name. An anonymous comment will produce an anonymous winner. The first one in succeeding will win and receive an honorary certificate. 

The winner of this quest can be seen here.
The film review can be found here

You can see other editions of this Quest here.

In this sequence we can observe two people entering an abandoned building.....

When they are observing the ruins, two doves and a pigeon start flying, surprised by the intruders....