Updated: Nov 21, 2019
To explain why I think the exposition (the first 10-12 minutes) is all about the Warrior-->Fool archetype, I will now show you how all of the characters in the beginning of several classic movies are actually coming out of their personal "war" and not so much out of the ordinary world. They all have their weaknesses, wounds and problems, which their ego can’t solve.
I will analyze all of the expositions, scene by scene, by writing down what information is being provided. Next time we will explore Inciting Incident, the Creator archetype on the wheel.
The Piano Teacher (2001), Michael Haneke
This title is exactly Erika’s problem, she is not a pianist – she is just a piano teacher.
Erika is a 40-year-old woman and she still lives with her mother.
Erika has a possessive mother – she is in a pathological relationship with her.
They get into a fight over a dress she bought herself.
She is insulted by her mother.
She is emotionally blackmailed by her mother.
Her mother has control over her.
They even sleep together in the same bed.
Erika is frustrated – she was not good enough to become a pianist – instead, she is a piano teacher with an attitude.
Fish Tank (2009), Andrea Arnold
Mia lives in a rough neighborhood where socially disadvantaged families also live.
Mia has a problem with her friend, she is not answering her calls.
She loves to dance, but she has to break into empty apartments so she can have her space.
Her best friend is now hanging out with other girls. Mia kicks one of the girls to show her dominance and her jealousy.
Mia sees a horse in captivity, she wants to free it, but boys attack her.
When coming home, Mia argues with her mom, “You are my problem”.
Mia lives without a father.
Sunset Boulevard (1950), Billy Wilder
“I always wanted a pool” (Joe’s moral weakness)
His stories don’t sell.
Joe asks himself: “Am I good enough?”
Soon he won’t have a car.
Agents, producers – no one wants to give him a job.
He decides to leave Hollywood.
Silence Of The Lambs (1991), Jonathan Demme
The main character, Clarice, is extremely ambitious, which is just a cover for her feeling inadequate.
First problem: Small town (provincial) girl
Second: Being a woman in a man’s world
Taxi Driver (1976), Martin Scorsese
Travis observes a world that he is not part of.
He takes a job as a taxi driver because he has insomnia.
He was in the marines.
He doesn’t have life, he didn’t finish school.
He is alone- the streets are full of scum.
Travis drives a couple who are “moral cripples.”
The world is dirty.
He wants to make contact with the counter girl in a porn cinema, but she looks at him as he is a piece of trash.
Vertigo (1958), Alfred Hitchcock
Scotty is an ex-police officer who suffers from vertigo.
He had a bad experience in the past, a police officer died because of him/his fear.
Midge is his best friend, she is in love with him, but he has never really taken her seriously.
His life is boring, but still, he doesn’t want to be with Midge.
Erin Brockovich (2000), Steven Soderbergh
Erin doesn’t have a job.
She has kids.
She is divorced.
She got a fine.
She breaks her nail.
She gets into a car accident.
She has to wear a neck collar now.
Her babysitter deserts her.
Force Majeure (2014), Ruben Östlund
Taking (fake happy) photos of the modern family who came to a ski resort (mother, father, and two kids).
Their son in the toilet (this film is about growing up as a man).
Reception desk: Ebba (and she is also the protagonist in this film) speaks to a woman who is obviously much more relaxed than she is. Ebba’s problem is that her husband, Tomas, work a lot. They came here so that he can focus on his family. They are also never without their kids.
Skiing – everything seems perfect.
She is choosing photos. They look happy but she knows everything is not okay.
The boy is nervous around Tomas; Ebba is a bit helpless, she feels alone.
The happy family sleeps when Tomas’ phone rings. When Ebba gets up, he lies about the phone call, texting. She catches him in a lie.
They brush their teeth (instead of doing something else).
Write in the comments what's your favorite film exposition?