This is a scene from the movie "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" which I believe to be one of the most breathtaking films I've ever seen. It's theme of romance and hidden desires shown throughout the film between the characters Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien will tug at your heart. The shot I want to focus on is at the point in the story where Li Mu Bai, has just reclaimed the Green Destiny sword and has taken it to a deserted courtyard at night where he practices a martial arts routine called Wudan. Focused on wielding the sword so gently and so powerfully, he does not notice that Shu Lien, his hidden love watches him in the shadows from a distance. The shot is a medium close up. The diagetic sound in this shot is of Li Mu Bai's sword, the Green Destiny. When he runs his finger across the blade, the blade makes a crystal like tone. And when he flicks the edge of the sword, it makes a shivering chime sound. I know now that these were Foley sounds made by a foley artist. The camera movement pans from left to right giving the sword a life of it's own while helping us emotionally connect with the Green Destiny as we slowly take in its magnificence. The shot was done in deep focus because the sword is in the foreground while Li Mu Bai is behind it absorbing focus as well. The lighting key used was a combination of high and low key. The background behind Li Mu Bai is almost pitch black while the moon was the organic source of light that is motivated to capture and highlight the sword.
Moving on to an extreme long, or establishing shot. In this shot, we can only hear the scuffle of Li Mu Bai's feet while the music continues playing. The camera angle is high, as if it was taken from one of the rooftops. As an audience member, I felt that I was looking down into the courtyard and spying on his routine. I think a wide angle lens was used to capture this shot. Also, the feeling of colors used in it were blue, reflecting on the moonlight shining into the courtyard; the white of Li Mu Bai's robe; and the black of the shadows.
Then there's my most favorite shot in this clip. A medium close up of Shu Lien standing in the foreground, and an extreme long shot of Li Mu Bai moving blurred in the background. The music is so emotional during this point. A cello is playing, reveling to the audience their hidden desires for one another. Shrouded in shadow, looking upon Li Mu Bai from a distance, her back turned to us, we are hidden from her feelings. I'm convinced that the picture being divided into two depths of fields like this worked so well in conveying the themes I mentioned earlier. Shu Lien(foreground), absorbs the focus, while the shot moves into a blur where Li Mu Bai stands(background). Well, I could go on and on about this shot and what an editing masterpiece it is. Instead I'll let you see it for yourself. Go watch the whole film!