Friday, October 26, 2012

Safe house: pigeons in action films

Title: Safe House
Year:  2012
Director:  Daniel Espinosa
Running time: 115 min.
Country:  United States




This film has plenty of action scenes where violence is exchanged between spies, turned spies, semi-professional killers, innocent civilians and four scary pigeons. Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is a turned agent who is chased by a well organized band of villains. During his escape, Tobin experiences an disasterous driving experience which ends up in a car accident. At the time of the car crash we can see in the distance a pigeon flying away from the scene. The nodding head is Mr Frost's. It is not worth mentioning the copilot nor the blood on the windshield.



After many chases, deaths and destruction, the second pigeon appearance occurs in a Parisian street. Again, as part of the city's atmosphere (two bicycles, an old-fashioned motorbike... where is the guy with the accordion?) we can observe a flock of pigeons flying away. This creates a very cool and peaceful feeling, which is a big contrast compared with the rest of the movie.









Details of the pigeon starring 

  • Source: Safe House. Starring moment: 0:10:30 and 1:48:43
  • Pigeon activity: Several street pigeons that fly away from the scene.
  • Symbolism: In both cases, pigeons are used for providing extra realism. In the first case, the bird flies away due to a car accident. I wonder why the pigeon waits so long (until the car stops) to fly away from the scene. The second ones are mere film extras.
  • Relevance: Low. Pigeons are not involved in the film plot.
  • Training level: Very good. In both cases the pigeon exhibit a good level of training. The perfect dispersion (in three different directions) set against the Parisian scene shows the superb training of these animals. 

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