The Fifth Element is probably one of, if not, my favorite movie. To me The Fifth Element is one of those movies that if let’s say I was stranded on a deserted island, and I could bring one movie with me to watch for the rest of my life, I would chose to bring this one. There are many fantastically crafted scenes in The Fifth Element, scenes of comedy and action, science fiction and fantasy, even nods to adventure and history, but no scene sets the stage like the first twelve minutes or so of the movie basically lay down the entire backbone of what you can expect the setting and story of the movie to be like. The movie opens with a shot of what appears as the viewer flying through an asteroid belt, then the name of the movie is revealed, cutting to the viewer hovering in space with a blue and white planet being visible above. The camera pans and rotates and an alien spaceship slowly inches itself onto the scene. We as the viewer are immediately aware that the movie that we are about to watch is based in science fiction. But looking closer, the ship that enters the frame, looks run down, ancient, almost biological, and it’s making its way towards what appears to be earth.
An asteroid flickers through the black night sky backdrop, shimmering with stars, and the camera pans down towards the planet. Split seconds later we discover that the planet is, in fact, earth, and that we are in Egypt in the year 1914. Immediately we have a juxtaposition of the old and new, the ancient mystical element and the futuristic science fiction that we were presented with moments ago. The scene continues to show a small child, no more than 10, riding in on a donkey towards what appears to be some sort of mountain cave. This is an example of enamation speech and diegetic sound. As the child approaches they begin to understand that it is in fact an archeological site being uncovered, something like a temple or shrine. He is greeted by other children shouting out to him. The shouting is in, what I assume is Egyptian, however it does not matter, the mannerisms of the children give us the context of what is happening, they appear to be shouting for the kid to give them something, they are waiting and you, the viewer, begin to understand that the kid riding the donkey is some sort of currier. The kid dismounts, runs up the slanted stairs of the temple, he is beset by the other children and they manage to take from him something like a gourd, or old hide skin drinking sack.
The kid runs into the cave like temple structure, passes between some columns of ancient Egyptian design, and peeks around a corner to find a man who is examining the wall, with another man sitting in a chair, writing something. The boy uses textural speech by calling out to Aziz who is another kid who uses a large golden or brass platter to hold himself up as he appears to be asleep, counterbalancing his weight with that of the large platter. The scene shifts to the man studying the wall, and he shout to Aziz to produce light, the kid is startled awake, and we see that the platter is using the reflection of the sun to produce light on the wall. The man sitting in the chair marks another line for what appears to be a how many times Aziz get yelled at to produce light counter, in a non-scaling way. The scene continues with the man examining the wall and explaining what he believes it means. We now see that he is examining symbols and hieroglyphs on the wall, he is telling Billy, whom we now assume is his assistant to make sure and draw and record their find. Billy, appearing boarded, dismisses the man and continues to draw a sailboat instead. The scene continues with an ominous hooded figure approaching behind the kid carrying the hide drinking sack, he grabs him by the shoulder startling the child. The ominous hooded man exclaims that the kid has brought the water, praises him, and sends him off on his way with god’s blessings. The kid...
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