“Alley of Nightmares” | Anatomy of a scene


Hello, I am Guillermo del Toro. I’m the director of Nightmare Alley. [APPLAUSE] The scene we watch is the first time we see the spectacle of mentalism and clairvoyance put on by Stanton Carlisle, the central character in the film, played by Bradley Cooper. This is the first time he’s seen in his new character with a tuxedo and an eye bandage, which is a recurring symbol in the film. And he’s going to meet the main female antagonist, Lilith Ritter, played by Cate Blanchett. And we have Stanton doing the show, which is a word code divination show with Rooney Mara, who plays Molly. I use the projectors and the cabaret to backlight them. When I introduce Lilith, the camera spots her, and we see her backlit by this projector. These spotlights are therefore often used just to emphasize a moment between them. The location is shaped like a circle as the circles start chasing Stanton the first time he sees the geek show, a horrific spectacle at a carnival. And he’s a character who eats chickens and snakes, and he does it in a circular pit. And, from that point on, Stanton is surrounded by circles in the movie. “Concentrate. Do any other details come to you?” There is an inscription. Letters. Am I right? ” “You are.” [APPLAUSE] And it’s an environment in which he’s outdated, but he doesn’t know it yet. “Yes, please give me the item.” “No, thank you. I’ll hold it.” Very well. “” Master Stanton, what is the item this lady has? “” Well, it seems like a golden night. A purse. Golden. [APPLAUSE] “Shut up, my child. Let me ask the questions. What’s inside the bag? “Madam, what does that mean?” “You say you are genuine, and I say you use verbal cues to communicate between the two of you.” Stanton is not without talent, and this scene becomes a duel between him and the way she sees him and tries to prove that he is superior to everyone, including herself. When we started directing the first scenes between Bradley and Cate, I tried not to equidistant them. I wanted Bradley to move. Here and when he visits her in her office, they are basically two tigers circling around. So I asked Bradley to do a full circuit on that circle and come and see her and take a few steps down. “A small pistol.” [AUDIENCE GASPS] “Nickel plated. Ivory handle. Can I? “And it’s both a match and a seduction. It’s really a ritual and a duel that I’m trying to put together, both of them. [APPLAUSE]


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