David Lean | Bridge on the River Kwai | 1957

Gun moves along like a camera on a dolly would. Digging graves scene looks like a garden. [Lean and gardening. This Happy Breed.] Flag / fan / hat with flap sequence.

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Soldier steps to attention into waterspout. Principle and the metal box Alec Guinness gets inside. The buzzard / the bird kite. Sessue Hayakawa pretends to work before Guinness enters. In the background, men dive and play in the water.
Alec Guinness Bridge on the River Kwai David Lean

In the foreground, in a floating wooden box, Guinness instructs the officers. In the botanical garden the commandos fight. A sign for “General Shears.” [Gardening/pruning, soldiers fit/unfit to serve.] Shot of wounded soldiers leaving camp, w/tree in the foreground, looks like it’s on fire because a fire is behind it. The British commander kills the young Japanese solider, takes a wound that hounds him. A time crunch is applied to their trek by a train scheduled to arrive at a certain time.

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Guinness is appreciating his bridge, framed by the wooded beams [box motif]. Odd shot of Guinness coughing while watching the men perform in drag, which we cut to after watching the commando group plant plastic explosives on the bridge [the cough reminds me of Auda Abu Tayi’s stretch in Lawrence of Arabia]. Juxtaposing swimming and rigging with clapping and cheering. We learn the wounded get to ride the train, making the threat of demolition a bigger shock. “You have survived.”

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Shot of a tree perfectly splitting the bridge, just as Guinness perfectly split the model bridge during his presentation. The river’s gone down. Guinness walking under the arm of the toll both w/Japanese flags attached. The way the Japanese woman looks at the British commander. POV/hand-held camera while Guinness and Hayakawa approach the man with the demolition plunger.

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Pan out on the destroyed bridge, with the golden light glinting on the waterfall exactly underneath where the destroyed part of the bridge used to be.


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