"Nature as a symbolic witness of humans": a selection of work from the topic of May 2018. (Each month I am working on a project, researching and exploring various methods and techniques.)
In the film series Twin Peaks nature has an amazing role full of symbolisms, the most obvious being that of the twin mountain peaks witnessing the actions of humans and their doppelgängers.
In the Greek three-storyline film It’s a Long Road ("Ola Einai Dromos"), directed by Pantelis Voulgaris, the second story takes place in Evros, where the natural habitat of a goose species under extinction is found. A "guard" living there for many years has developed a unique relationship with the birds and their natural environment. The reeds form a perfect hideout and, at the same time, act as a powerful witness throughout the movie—especially in the final scene.
In the film The Truman Show (*mild spoiler*) the elements of nature are indicators of what is "not normal". The protagonist is amazed by the sea and the sun and he is even motivated to discover more. Nature is "used" to make things look natural and, at the same time, nature is an indicator (and betrayer) of the human interference. Nature is a great witness to the human actions and reactions.
In the film The Seventh Seal there is an iconic ongoing chess battle between death and the knight. In many scenes, nature acts as a witness and even affects the human drama. Here, the scene chosen is the one with the heavy sky full of clouds and the rocks of the seashore, composing a unique theatrical witness for a symbolic moment of the battle.
In the movie Сталкер Zone is a place close to the undiscovered sides of Nature. "As soon as humans appear, everything begins to change." Humans need to act with respect towards the Zone, because there is a certain balance to be maintained. In this scene, the Stalker is lying on the ground, surrounded by water, under the watch of the dog.
The tree has been widely used as a symbol of nature in painting, films, music, cinema, poetry and so many other forms of art. In the movie The Sacrifice, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, the tree is witnessing the human thoughts and dialogues, it symbolizes hope passing from generation to generation, it is a pillow for a nap, a subject of caress and a witness of a beautiful dedication story.
Tangerines: During the war in Georgia (Abkhazian region) a man has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. Tangerines, surrounded by a beautiful landscape, are a reason to stay, an excuse for people to come together, share the same table and the same worries.
Usually, we humans, we think of ourselves as units totally detached from nature, and we also tend to feel some sort of superiority. The movie On Body and Soul presents ideas on feelings, expressions and communication with poetic allegories, borrowing elements of nature. Against nature, we all share the same fragility.
In the movie Batman Begins, in what I perceive as an iconic scene, Bruce Wayne stands up against and almost within his biggest fear, the bats. Nature, in the form of a dark, humid cave full of bats, becomes the witness to a really symbolic moment for the hero, while embracing the man's bravery and courage.
In the series Twin Peaks there are some favorite symbolisms focusing on nature and its pureness. The log lady really stands out with the honesty, the inner feeling that nature has answers, which all seem like some sort of mental imbalance to others. She represents a connection to the supernatural.
There are descriptions and expressions in films, music and painting where nature has a leading role in reflecting the qualities of kindness, beauty, and uniqueness. In the film Pan's Labyrinth, the natural and the supernatural meet in a unique way. Elements like the trees are witnessing the unease, the human vanity, the deep hatred, whereas at the same time they might offer redemption for the ones seeking for it.