Edit : Comme toujours, la version française de cet article se trouve sous « lire la suite » 😉
A Lucas North study part 1
It took me much longer than expected to complete the study of Lucas North. Easter, my 12 hour journey to visit my family and my mother’s lack of internet connection have probably something to do with it 🙂
Lucas is where we left him off, contemplating his imminent death. During the writing of this post, Servetus’ article came to my mind several times. This scene is a perfect example of the importance of the jaw in acting. Once again, the use of a wide angle shot highlights Lucas’ plight. This man, alone in the middle of that empty ramshackled cell. I feel that all that space, all empty, is about to crush, grind him. Instead of giving a sense of space, this reinforces the smallness of the room.
Study of barefoot Richard Armitage
I wish to comment on his outfit. I will not dwell on his chest, bare for the sake of Richard’s female fans, let’s be realistic :). As I noted before, he’s barefoot. It’s common to many religions to remove one’s shoes before entering a sacred place. Being barefoot is highly charged with symbolism. This expresses in fact the full nudity of the human being, in its dependence to its creator. Thus, exposing Lucas’ foot gives a form of vulnerability and humility, this is the ultimate physical and mental bareness. More than being naked, being barefoot is a form of nudity even more intimate and absolute.
Lucas North, contemplating his doom
The camera zooms on Lucas. His body language remains the same : arched back , shoulders down, relaxed and drooping jaw, mouth slightly opened, breathing deeply and rapidly. He hesitates again, I’m sure in his mind, he still doesn’t know if he will be able to take the plunge. But suddenly, he makes his choice. The timing is extremely fleeting and I had to try several times to successfully capture it. Just before the shot changes and we see Lucas pass the sheet around his neck, the camera zooms in on him slightly. Do you see this tiny but crucial difference in his expression? His mouth is closed, his jaw tightened. His decision is made precisely at this moment. He’s going to do it. He really will. Even now, I have a hard time looking at this picture without shuddering. Everything can be read over his face.
Let’s play a game of spot the differences 🙂
It’s starting to get really difficult now. But I said I would end this article today and I will 🙂
Lucas North hand porn 🙂
So, after past-Lucas passed the sheet around his neck, we’re back to present-Lucas. He covers his lower face twice -we’re getting more and more familiar with this gesture now-. He expresses his distress and discomfort, I would almost say his inability to manage this situation. Covering his mouth is a very closed gesture, physically expressing his malaise without voicing it. He goes round in circles, like a caged lion, his breathing still noisy. Once again, his mental suffering is reflected physically. He’s so troubled that he can’t stay still, he needs to move, walk, trying literally to escape his memories.
And then Lucas stops, as if he’s conjured enough courage to face his demons. He raises his head, staring at the ceiling, and exhaling deeply. It refocuses and calms him, he closes his mouth, contracting his jaw, as if he said « it will hurt but I can do it, I can do it. » Here’s another parallel with his decision-making discussed above. Once his mind set, he’s almost calm, resigned, the calm before the storm.
Back to past-Lucas. He’s about to lose balance. His face contracted, closed and fully open at the same time, letting his despair show. The entire area around his eye is tensed, and so does his forehead, showing that vein that we see so often. Again, the change of expression is very transient, but a still frame captures exactly when Oleg enters the room and locks him in his arms. Lucas’ face suddenly relaxes, his jaw slackens, leaving his mouth open wide ,and he closes his eyes, the whole upper part of his face relaxed. He’s relieved. He’s relieved that someone came in and saved him. You don’t even need to know what’s happening, you can mute the sound, just look at Lucas and it says it all.
Let’s finish quickly with the last two shots of the scene. Oleg is what he is, but in his way of helping Lucas to sit, and touching him, he shows concern for him. There’s something very intimate in the way he touches him, head against head, one hand on his neck, the other on his ribs then on his thigh. It’s a very intimate contact, especially for men. Which shows how much they’ve developed a special relationship.
Lucas North and his clenched fists
Back to present-Lucas for the last time. Everything is in the detail. Head tilted back, he sniffs because he’s close to tears. But he’s a man, he can’t be fragile. He takes to himself, clenching his fists.
This completes myLucas North study, for now at least. Now I have a normal life to resume, away from Russian prisons 😉
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