Many children’s stories feature windows, whether it’s children gazing from windows, opponents framed by windows, yellow squares of light offering the solace of civilisation. Windows are important to plot but are also symbolic.
THE WINDOW REFLECTION
Below is a screen capture from The Homesman. This is a trick often used by film directors as a way of showing an actor’s face and what the character is looking at simultaneously.
CHARACTER GAZES FROM WINDOW
Continue reading “The Symbolism Of Windows”
Isn’t it true that a pleasant house makes winter more poetic, and doesn’t winter add to the poetry of a house? The white cottage sat at the end of a little valley, shut in by rather high mountains; and it seemed to be swathed in shrubs.
— Baudelaire, French poet
This cosiness is exploited in full in the horror genre for all ages. Take Misery, in which Stephen King goes out of his way to create a cosy, loving shelter after a brutal car accident, before inverting the cosiness to invoke terror.
In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard makes some related points:
- The reason we feel warm is precisely because it’s cold outside.
- Dreamers tend to love winter. More time to dream.
- Edgar Allan Poe had a thing about big, heavy curtains. When the curtains are dark, the snow outside seems even whiter. It’s all about juxtaposition and contrast.
- ‘Everything comes alive when contradictions accumulate’.
- When snow covers everything outside, the outside world is pretty much obliterated. There is no longer any struggle between the house and the environment. The whole universe has a single, unifying colour. ‘The winter cosmos is a simplified cosmos.’
- ‘Winter is by far the oldest of the seasons. … On snowy days, the house too is old.’
In Blackdog we also have a cosy house (on the inside) but it is snowing outside. In this house, ‘everything may be differentiated and multiplied’ (Bachelard).
In the film adaptation of 101 Dalmatians, snow makes a chase scene more treacherous, not least because of the ability to track paw prints. But when the camera pans to this cosy village, the audience is reminded that although a treacherous journey taking place, there is comfort to be found at the edges.