The Use of ‘DOORS’ in Films

This video came together very quickly, which was unusual but it was fun searching and thinking of my favourite examples. The video idea was triggered by 2 short moments in Foxcatcher, which I absolutely loved! The video then goes on to give over 50 examples of Doors in film, heres a list in order of appearance (Full Transcript at the end of the list):

Foxcatcher

Monsters Inc

Panic Room

The Big Lewbowski

The Shining

2001: A space Odyssey

The Goonies

Léon

Bad Boys 2

The Matrix

As Good as it gets

Despicable Me 2

Gone with the wind

Predator

Dumb and Dumber too

Blue Valentine

Pineapple Express

Family guy

Prisoners

True Detective: Season 1 Episode 4

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Tom and Jerry EP 37 – Professor Tom (1948)

Backdraft

Ace Ventura

Love Actually

A Bronx Tale

Team America

Pulp Fiction

Don’t Look now

No Country for Old men

Rush Hour

Close encounter of the Third Kind

The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1

Punch-Drunk Love

Mr Nice Guy

The Cable Guy

Ghostbusters

Courage the cowardly dog (Cartoon Network)

The Wizard of Oz

Monsters Inc.

Being John Malkovich

The Wrestler

Gladiator

The Matrix Revolutions

The Truman Show

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Searchers

The Godfather

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Tom & Jerry

Tron

The Place Beyond the Pines

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Scarface

Ed Wood

Transcript: 

Welcome to MUST SEE FILMS, my names Darren and this channel is helping you see films differently.

 

One consistant thing across Moneyball, Capote and Foxcatcher is the trance like feeling the films put you under as we explore these fasinating characters.

 

Bennett Millers does an incredible job of pacing and making his films flow, taking you deeper into these stories.

 

But while watching Foxcatcher there was two small moments that stood out and caught my eye, And it was the director choice of setting, that helped reveal the emotional state of the character and highten the conflict. the element that made these scene really work was the use of the ‘doorway’ as the setting.

 

The Doorways serve as the physical representation of an emotional barrier. Half of this door remains closed, showcasing the way Mark is feeling towards his brother at this moment. And being surrounded by the house of John du pont, its as if du Pont is standing between the brothers, as mark tries to stay out of his brother shadow.

 

This is cleverly reversed later in this next scene. This time Dave is now the one standing between du pont and his brother, stopping him physically from getting through the door, despite his effort, but also protecting his brother emotionally as we see genioun caring for Mark Ruffalos character.

 

The long window in the door does a lot for the scene, not only is their conflict between Jon and Dave but Jon and Mark have a non-verbal tension going on, seperated by distance but still exchanging in glances and revealling there emotional state towards each other.

 

A door is a great way to show the relationships of characters and who they decide to KEEP OUT. (monsters inc doors)

 

Signs

Panic room(sometimes succesfully and sometimes not)

The big lebowski

The Shining( whether being chased)

2001 (or thrown out)

 

The doorway is also a great way of displaying who has the power in th scene as giving permission for someone to enter into your world is a choice.

 

Goonies

Leon(some enter through sympahty)

Bad Boys 2 (some are screened before gaining accces)

Jerry McGuire

 

Either way it’s a great place for conflict because its serves as the edge of two peoples world.

 

The matrix (some accept the transition)

(some are send away) As good as it gets

(other times gaining entery is about being creative) Despiable me 2

 

(but sometimes doorsways can showcase seperation) Gone with the wind

 

(But what it you really really want in) Predator

 

(politeness is a good first step) Dumb and dumber too

 

(but persistnece is key) Blue valentine ( the outside of a door can also be a place of weakness for characters)

 

(Or in place of comedy) Pineapple express + Family guy

 

(investigation) Prisoners

 

(Escape) True Detective

 

(other times doors serve as a necessary barrier and help reveal characters problem solving skills) Pirates (some effective)

 

(and some not so much)tom and Jerry

 

(other times problem become to big to handle) Backdraft

 

(but doors can also be vital to the narrative and help solve problem rather than create them) Ace Ventura

 

(However not all doorways are about conflcit, some bring people togather) Love Actually

 

(or a testing ground for gauging perosnlity) Bronx

 

(Or the answer to a question) Team America.

 

(alternatively creating questions for the audience can be a great way of engaging people in the story. Closed door are a of controlling the amount of information an auidence has at specific times) Pulp Fiction

 

Don’t look now Audio and image

 

(keeping the auidence unaware of the other side of the door can create and build suspense) No country for old men

 

(or sometimes used to misdirect the character and have the audience in on the joke) Rush hour + Home alone

 

(Subtler examples can be created around a doorway to tease an audience with information) Close encounters.  + The Dark Knight Returns part 2

 

(but sometimes just finding the right door can be mission in itself) PDL

 

(or avioding whats coming from them) Mr Nice Guy

 

(but by there very nature, doors are about connecting two places)

 

(some seem logical) Cable guy

 

(Others may lean towards fantasy) Cartoon network, Ghostbusters,

 

(some to far off worlds) wizard of Oz

 

(Bedrooms)monsters inc

 

(and other inside peoples heads) Being John Malcovick

 

(my favourite examples link what going on in the characters mind but show things mostly in reality) The Wrestler

 

(giving th audience a sense of the character inner thoughs) Gladiator

 

(as some doors have been on the characters mind the whole narrtive) The matrix

 

(others serve as an ending point of a characters journey) The Truman show

 

(useful as exits and also to showcase a character introcution) Risky buisnness

 

(Or perhaps a final send off) The searchers

 

(Used as a moment of truimph or exclution) The godfather

 

But whatever the doors size, (Tron) (star wars) the conflcit between sides, (PBTP), method of entry (LOTRs) (Scarface)

 

Doors are a diverse cinematic technqiue employed by the best of filmmakers (Ed Wood)