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Pictures of Doors on the Stairway

Discussion in 'Season 7' started by Priceless, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Stoney

    Stoney Spiked!

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    I think Spike sees Buffy as both slayer and woman. I agree he wants to be seen as an equal and it is the challenge and the meaning of being in the fight which drew him to slayers. He has always called Buffy both 'slayer' and 'Buffy' interchangeably as far as I remember and I think it just acknowledges that she is both to him.

    I don't like to think of Buffy as being Spike's mission because it kind of lacks a sense of self. I do think it is fair to say there has been an aspect of this in their relationship because of the focus that he has always given to loving and being loved in return, but he has also been steadily growing beyond it too since becoming souled. In AtS 5 he started to explore how to be a hero and makes his own way in that role. It isn't that he wants to lead, he is happy to follow for sure, but it was a matter of working towards a greater confidence in who he could be now and gaining a new acceptance for himself of who he had become as well as who he had been. He was still holding himself apart though when he returned to Buffy et al and it was his time in his S9 mini that really pushed him forwards when he both realised that he wanted to stop wandering, that he wanted to 'belong', and also that it wasn't fair/healthy to put the weight of your happiness on one person. So the bug ship was symbolically destroyed/brought down to Earth by the end of the mini. When he returned to SF and the group of people that matter most to him, prompted by the danger Dawn was in, it was with an altered outlook.

    I agree that he integrated and felt worth and connection in the group as family member then. Enough so that the worry of how starting a romantic relationship could rock the boat concerned him enough to not just jump in straight away when Buffy showed an interest. There is no doubt that Spike's emotional connections are still a major motivation behind his choices, but I think he is looking at a broader picture now and he is also more at ease and confident in his place in the fight too. It matters to him to be a part of things and help on an every day level, not just looking for big sacrificial gestures. He doesn't need to be independent or lead to feel purpose but I don't think he would want to be out of the fight now for himself, it matters to him personally to do these things. I think he has a lot more in his life now above attaining the romantic relationship he's always wanted. Yes Spike loves Buffy and is devoted to her, and whilst he still has insecurities about his worth in comparison, his determination to stop pedestaling her and them openly being in a loving relationship has brought them onto a more equal footing now. So by having a better sense of self and a better balance of things in his life that he wants to be a part of it has actually brought him closer to the relationship he's always wanted with a specific person too.

    This is where you tell me I've misunderstood what you meant after I've blathered at length as always. :D
     
    Priceless: Keep blathering, I like it! :-)
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  2. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Hey guys - this is a question about pictures of doors.

    There is a story of Sharon Stone meeting Joe Eszterhas after reading his script of "Basic Instinct". Her character was Catherine Tramell and she had done some research and found that a tramell was a funeral shroud in Scottish mythology. As it turns out, Joe was a baseball fan and liked naming his characters after baseball players and Alan Tramell of the Tigers was one of his favourites.

    Sometime a picture is just a picture.
     
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  3. Stoney

    Stoney Spiked!

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    But that isn't an example of a picture just being a picture. Tramell was one of his favourites. If it had been a meaningless choice there would have been no reason for it at all. It would have been selected by sticking a pin in a list of names (and even then which list was chosen could tell you something about the selector). Or by taking tiles out of a scrabble bag, or some other random selection. And the name had to work fine for the character he was naming. If his favourite player had been called Burt Blobby then he wouldn't have used the name.

    Whilst I do take your point that there doesn't have to be a deeply connected intention behind a choice, it is just simply true that a choice was made. And not only was something chosen but it was selected over any other possible choices. There are people who make careers out of set design and I think it is very safe to assume that some degree of thought was given to Joyce's home decoration. When it comes to something that is a visual inclusion it is going to have to 'fit' at the absolute least. Both the style of decoration around it as well as the person who is supposed to have chosen it. Even if the most junior member of staff had been sent out to select the pictures they would have paused and considered the choice. As much for how their choice might reflect on them at the very least, even if they didn't consider any thematic/symbolic links. They weren't going to come back with one photo of the clown from Steven King's 'It', one photo of a fish and a framed cartoon of a teddy in a hot air balloon. And if they had, the set designer who sent them out would not have used them. If you go into anyone's home their choices of what to decorate their house with can tell you things about them, so at a minimum they would make sure the pictures didn't say something they didn't want to be saying. As it is, this is a story of growing up, changing, facing challenges. So any potential message of ways/opportunities being open or closed was going to work well and work well over the seasons. To some degree all these things get consideration.
     
  4. Dora

    Dora Potential

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    Spike kills slayers, he doesn't respect them he glorifies in the prestige of having killed two and tries hard to make Buffy his third, her mum saved Buffy when Spike cheated and pulled the 2x4 out of the wall , Spike was obsessed with the Slayer , when the Chip stopped him being able to try to kill the slayer than that Obsession turn to lust he did not love Buffy his obsession was with the Slayer , only later in Six and seven did he really treat her as a person.The whole Spuffy thing in seven after CWDP was a carry on with MN obsession with JM, anything to push Spike to the fore , what else, this is the reason seven was such a poor season, Spike had no story, what did he do , they had him get captured again like season 5 so Buffy went and rescued him again the core four was destroyed to promote Spike , Giles in six and seven must of had his brain removed to act as he did . Buffy Metal illness and self harming in Six all better she climbed back out of the earth , Buffy getting over Attempted Rape All better Spike has got a soul .....Oh well that's me taken off this thread
    As for the pictures I can't say I have noticed them
     
  5. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    There has been a lot of discussion about Spike in this thread that doesn't seem to connect with pictures of doors. These pictures have no doubt been there from before the show started (although I have not gone back to confirm it), so considerations of how it symbolized anything from later (such as Spike or Buffy's maturity) do not seem to hold water. Symbolically, pictures of doors that are closed would have a meaning of there being a world outside that you have shut yourself away from. Pictures of doors that are open welcome you to go out into the world and experience what is there. As @Stoney has said, the pictures were selected for a reason and the reason is likely this type of symbolism.

    Symbolism is one of the most commonly used artifacts in literature but you have to be careful to not interpret it as gospel. Is the colour of your skin the colour of your soul? That is symbolism but it is not in any way correct.
     
  6. Last Watcher

    Last Watcher Tweed Icon

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    Sineya
    I have absolutely no idea when those particular pictures first appeared on the stairs.......but if they've been there since season 1 wasn't a real house used as the set for 'Buffy's house' until they decided to build a permanent set at the studio......So those pictures could have been copies of ones from the original house that someone just bought because they liked them....?
     
  7. RomanticSoul

    RomanticSoul I AM GROOT

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    Haven't those pictures always been there? Because the house is an actual location in the early Seasons and S7. So those are from the actual family that lives there. And in show they would be there because Joyce put them there. So what's the point of all this in relation to the character Buffy when it clearly has nothing to do with her?
     
  8. TriBel

    TriBel Potential

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    There's nothing in film that doesn't "mean" something. It's a set - everything has been chosen - everything signifies. It may be the case that what is being signified is something very general (an ambience), in other cases it's specific and the camera work or lighting will indicate this. In this case it was a wide angle shot (I think) and you were meant to see the pictures. On other occasions they're out of focus and you ignore them. They were significant in this case because of the theme of the episode. Depth of field, camera angle, high/low key lighting, type of shot, type of edit, music, sound - all mean something.
     
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  9. Hunga Munga

    Hunga Munga Potential

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    Any 'filmic' analysis is a bit tricky with BTVS . We have a situation here where the production team was making two products , a 4:3 ratio cut for one market and a widescreen presentation off the same film for another . We 'know' the 4:3 is the 'true' version ...but directors still had to dress the whole frame virtually all the time .

    So reading much into the 'mise-en-scene' is maybe not as fruitful with the later seasons.

    Usually when BTVS employs visual symbolism they smack you in the face with it . They do like doors a fair bit .The 'threshold' of the door is a major plot device . Many scenes in the season 4 college dorms start with the door : Buffy coming through the front door is also a recurrent motif in season 5 in the leadup to the Body .
     
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  10. flow

    flow Male Vampires are stupid. Throw rocks at them

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    Can you tell (I cannot),if the doors are closed or open ?

    Flow
     
  11. TriBel

    TriBel Potential

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    I tend to watch it on my lap-top and it's not immediately obvious but I think the first picture is a door opening onto a door opening onto a door - an infinite regression - mise-en-abyme sort of thing. I'm sure I read this in an essay but I can't remember where. If you follow Will upstairs there's a shot of her standing in front of three doors. I was reading another essay today (I don't know why I've bothered taking leave - I've done more research at home than I ever do at work!) that talks about stairs. Not just the "up/down" dichotomy but the fact that they usually lead to corridors you can't see and where you can meet the unexpected. Thought that was quite apt for "First Date" - Buffy coming out of the bathroom and bumping into Spike. The essay was on the philosophy of architecture and far more interesting than it sounds (actually it was about corners, edges, frames and folds so probably not interesting at all - it's me who's odd!):).
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 2, 2017 ---
    I agree it can be very "subtle" but the mise-en-scene in some scenes is far more important than the dialogue. There's also some significant editing - match cuts and dissolves. I think the overarching "horror" of this season is the uncanny - this seems to be playing out (as one would expect) as a defamiliarisation of the house/home. In this episode, when they dropped Dawn on the sofa it was very reminiscent of Joyce in The Body (which I may have said earlier - it's an age thing!). :(
     
  12. TriBel

    TriBel Potential

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    @Priceless - Daft doors. I've just watched Get it Done - which is a lie. I've just watched one of my ill-used clips of GiD - the one where they argue. It's shot reverse shot and when it's on him you can see the bottom picture. Problem is - when it cuts back to him you don't - and then you do etc. It could just be that the camera's slightly off mark - the shots are angled slightly (I think) to give true PoV but it gives a weird feel to the scene. It's the picture with a door opening up onto a door etc. I suppose it could be suggesting vacillation - will he, won't he do it - but it's subtle - even for me. It would play into @Stoney 's idea that he's reluctant to go but does it for the mission. Also, I'm sure I noticed them in another episode and I think they were in a different order. Alternatively, I'm losing my mind. I've just switched Solaris off - I swear to God it's bending time and space around me. Damned thing would make more sense without the subtitles!
     
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  13. Priceless

    Priceless I am now

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    Just watched it and it is oddly filmed. We see the door on Spikes lines
    'out, since I'm neither a girl or waiting, all this speechifying doesnt apply to me does it'
    'well as a matter of fact I haven't been quite relishing the kill the way I used to'
    'oh you don't know how close you are to bringing him out'

    The door is misisng on lines
    'if you've got something to say'
    'holding back? you're blind, been here, right in it, fighting, scrapping'
    ' I did this for you, the soul, the changes, it's what you wanted'

    I guess you could say that the lines with the door in shot are Spike talking about himself, while the lines with the door missing are Spike talking about Buffy - 'you've got something to say' 'you're blind' 'it's what you wanted'

    I think I've convinced myself that the picture and the camera angles are deliberate, but can I convince anyone else :D
     
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