Left to Right Heroic Actions and Evil actions

In class today Ceejay mentioned composition in shots by describing the com-positioning of screen movement. Of course many of us are already aware of the traditional Right is Adventure, Left is Home motif, but supposedly in the majority of mediums it is also noticed that all the good characters moving from Left of frame to the Right, nearly ever side scroller in video games follows this rule and is probably relatable to our standard reading method of Left to Right.

Evil actions however involve the characters moving or looking from Right to Left, this makes it appear awkward and jarring to our normal perspective and narrative. This isn't set in stone as there are innumerable scenes in film where it breaks this rule, but at the same time if you've looked at any standard action or adventure film, you'd notice that all the action appears to happen from Left to Right of frame. Notable examples off the top of my head, Con Air, The Princess Bride and The Matrix.

The film Snowpiecer uses a similar evolution on this old fashioned technique but this time uses it as a motif of the character evolution itself. The film is set on a continuously traveling train, and our protagonist is constantly traveling from the end carriage Left, to the Engine of the train on the Right. As he fights his way through however, the train becomes a metaphor for his mindset we notice that all that in front of him are things that are trying to deprive him of his humanity (Guns and Warriors) and all those behind him are things that represent his humanity (Friends, Children, Community). At the very end of the film, he is given a decision, Save a child from a cubicle prison, or take control of the train and become it's ruler.


For my independent practice, I want to play on this idea of Left and Right, this time referring to the concept of Left meaning Reality and Right being Dreams. Whenever the character is looking to the right he is wanting something more than his reality, but when he looks left he is starting to accept and understand his current situation.

I will work on this idea over the next few months and play around with it.