How an Argument Resonates in ‘Anatomy of a Fall’

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A couple has an argument that escalates in this scene from “Anatomy of a Fall,” the drama from Justine Triet that won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2023, then went on to receive five Oscar nominations this year, including best picture.

In the film, the couple’s fight begins as audio that is presented in court where Sandra (Sandra Hüller) is on trial for the death of her husband, Samuel (Samuel Theis).

Then, Triet makes the choice to show visuals of the fight, rather than only providing us the sound. We move from the courtroom into this domestic scene in the kitchen. Narrating the sequence, she explained that “sound has the power to give the perfect illusion of the present,” so she wanted to add visuals to give a more complete picture of the fractures between these two people.

Triet decided to shoot the scene with two cameras, “not to lose any of their energy,” she said. And she wanted to the scene to take place during daylight, with the sun shining through a window.

“Often, very dramatic, intimate scenes are used to being filmed at night, as if intimacy were separate from the rest of life,” she said. “And here, I choose the opposite. And the contrast between light and violence is even stronger for me.”

Read the “Anatomy of a Fall” review.

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