The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood

6.12 River of No Return

Several scholars, such as V.F. Perkins and Charles Barr, have analyzed this scene with care. When Harry rescues Kay from a raft, she drops a bundle, which floats away. Later, the camera pans to follow the characters, and the bundle appears again, drifting far into the background of the shot. On the one hand, the moment carries symbolic meaning: the loss of the bag represents the loss of Kay’s former life. On the other hand, the framing allows the spectator to discover the symbolic meaning in the event itself.

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