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An Epic Oscars Argument For The English Patient

Having agreed to stay on with the incapacitated Almásy, Hana’s “English” patient, she looks up at the monastery where she will be located shortly, still grieving the loss of her friend.
Hana looks on up at her residence for the near future, we are introduced to the monastery buried in the trees of Florence.
Hana arriving. Actually, various locations of interiors were used in the shooting of the monastery sequences., cutting to the natural exteriors.
In a rare moment of calm, Hana chops her hair and glances the view.
Bed-ridden Almásy being fed by Hana – “a very plum, plum.”
His backstory begin, from his book, which he is jotting in s we join the desert.
Introducing the explorer in Almásy, as well as remind us of the stunning vistas.
The arrival of Katherine. And the immediate denial of attraction – you’ll notice he is more afraid of meeting her gaze than she is of his.
The framing in the monastery often clearly defines multiple points of view – that certain characters are not necessarily aware who is close-by.
But also signifying what can be overheard from all parties, only this time Hana is over-hearing rather than (appropriately) spying as Caravaggio was.
The integral dance scene when Katherine mocks Almásy for following her when they met at the market – “Escort me by all means, but following me is predatory, isn’t it?” – and the realization is written all over her face. And his, as he stares her down. The moment, the connection, and it is she who temporarily, unsuccessfully avoids his gaze.
And when Katherine’s husband Geoffrey leaves, the cinematography has Almásy turn to look at her in the distance…
And then the perfect reverse shot emphasizing the mutual taboo of opportunity.
Hanna discovers an escape from the grim with an old piano.
One of many examples of the layered backgrounds and production design in the frame.
As the group go exploring, Almásy asked Katherine to give him her hand. In assistance as she climb rocks, but we know it means much more than that.
Our view is Almásy’s view on the birth of one of his drawings of the rock lines similar to the shape of a woman’s body (he describes) – also the turn and glance, a common occurrence in The English Patient.
The cave discovery, from outside in a shot of the sloping entrance which holds significance later.
Almásy going into the cave…
…and the discovery of the wall paintings – the cave of swimmers – first seen in the opening titles.
Close-up images of the “swimmers” being painted, this time in red.
And it is Katherine painting them. They will later be offered as a gift to Almásy to put in his book.
The car accident which proved to be one of the toughest days of the shoot.
Isolating herself with the lack of use she can be as a woman, Katherine says she will stay behind, disguising, and at the same time flaunting, the control she has among the men.
In one of many acts of protection, Almásy informs Katherine of the oncoming sandstorm.
-The two of them take refuge from the storm in the truck – the scene was actually filmed in a garage.
Exterior shot of the storm settling, sand grains sliding down a mount.
Marooned from the world for the meantime, Katherine and Almásy get somewhat cosy.
And with a stroke of the hair, the first direct tactile contact is made.
Following the clearing of the sandstorm, John Seale’s photography reintroduces the scene as the frame peers over a mount of sand in the desert to the half covered truck.
The realization of being potentially unseen and stranded in the desert – the theme of isolation and being trapped is almost a sub-plot of its own.
From a buried truck, Katherine and Almásy help the others out. So not to have to actually bury actors in a truck under sand, the production team used a stage to recreate this part of the scene outside of the wide shots.



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