Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Case Study No. 0830: Staff of Unnamed Library (Se7en)

Seven Library Scene(English)
Seven Library Scene(English).
Tags: morgan freeman brad pitt seven kevin spacey 1995 english version
Added: 1 year ago
From: SciFiFanatic101
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[scene opens inside of a public library after hours, as a middle-aged male security guard unlocks the door and lets Detective William Somerset inside]
SOMERSET: Thanks, George.
GEORGE: Hey, how ya doin'?
SOMERSET: Okay ... Just a few things to look up.
GEORGE: Okay ... sit where you'd like.
[laughter is heard from off-camera, so Somerset looks up and waves]
SOMERSET: How's everybody?
[cut to a shot of the library's second floor, where a couple of other security guards can be seen looking over the railing (one of them waves back to Somerset)]
SECURITY GUARD 2: Hey, Smilely!
[George begins climbing the stairs to join his colleagues]
SECURITY GUARD 3: Come on George, the coffee's gettin' cold!
[he turns and addresses Somerset]
GEORGE: Duty calls ...
[cut back to Somerset walking amongst the tables (each with a green desk lamp), as he waves back to George]
GEORGE: [to himself] Let's see ...
[he puts his briefcase down on one of the tables, then cut back to George as he joins the other two security guards (and a male janitor) sitting around a table where they're playing poker]
[cut back to Somerset, as he takes out his hat and yells up to them]
SOMERSET: Gentlemen, gentlemen! I'll never understand ... All these books. A world of knowledge at your fingertips, and what do you do? You play poker all night.
[cut back to the second floor]
GEORGE: Hey, we got culture!
SECURITY GUARD 2: Yeah, we got culture comin' outta our ass!
[they all laugh]
[George walks over to a nearby stereo]
GEORGE: How's this for culture?
[he turns it on, and classical music (Bach's "Suite Number 3 in D Major") begins to play over the library's PA system, then cut back to Somerset as he heads for the stack to do his research]
[cut back to George, as he sits down to join his friends in less "cultural" endeavors (playing poker, smoking cigars, drinking beer, etc.)]
[cut back to Somerset in the stacks, as he pulls out a copy of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" while the music continues to play]
[cut to Detective David Mills sitting in his apartment (as the music continues to play over the scene) and looking at crime scene photos featuring the handiwork of their latest serial killer]
[cut back to Somerset as he puts on his glasses to look at a copy of Dante's "Divine Comedy"]
[cut back to Mills looking over the grisly photographs, then back to Somerset as he sits down at his desk with a stack of old books]
[cut to a closeup of Mills' eye as he looks over the police report ("Victim Forced to Mutilate Himself"), then back to Somerset as he writes in his notepad while looking at the gruesome illustrations in the books]
[cut to a closeup of Somerset's notepad ("Mills: You may want to check the following books RE: 7 Deadly Sins: Dante's Purgatory, The Canterbury Tales, The Parsons Tale, Dictionary of Catholicism")]
[he underlines "Dictionary of Catholicism", then cut back to an overhead shot of Mills as he stretches and tries to clear his head]
[cut to various shots of Somerset flipping through the pages of the "Divine Comedy" ("cut off from just below the eyebrows ... "; "To tear his flesh ... "; "seven children slain ... ") while making photocopies]
[cut back to Mills watching a basketball game on television (as his wife Tracy stares at him with a look of concern from the next room), then back to the library as George gets up from the table and yells down to Somerset]
GEORGE: Y'know, Smilely ...
[he looks up from his book]
GEORGE: You're really gonna miss us!
SOMERSET: I just might ...
[cut to Somerset making several photocopies from Dante's Inferno (as the music continues to play), then cut to Somerset dropping off those copies in an envelope on Mills' desk at the police station]




Fincher, David (Director). Se7en. United States: New Line Cinema, 1995.

Starring: Morgan Freeman (Det. Lt. William Somerset); Brad Pitt (Det. David Mills)

This award-winning urban crime film plays on multiple levels and might even hold up with time. Despite the conventional mismatched detectives (one young, white, hotheaded, the other seasoned, black, and thorough), the film's illogical climax, and the concocted storyline (a serial killer slaughtering extreme examples of the seven deadly sins), Se7en offers depth of character and unexpected humor. The setting is meant to be anonymous but there's little doubt that we're seeing the seamy side of New York City. The library, however, is exquisite, a haven where Det. Lt. William Somerset (Freeman) researches literary classics that hold clues to the murderer's motivations. Somerset visits after closing hours, interrupting the guards' boisterous poker game, and their rapport is friendly and good natured. Green bankers lamps perforate the darkness, lending an air of mystery and history. One guard turns on a recording of Bach that follows Somerset through the shadowed stacks as he scans titles and touches books with tender respect. Now contrast this scene where the library warmly enfolds the seeker of knowledge to a later stark and ugly city scene when certain library patron records, flagged by the FBI for check-outs of selected titles such as Mein Kamp, provide the detectives with the name of the killer. He had checked out police procedurals and true crime books, among them Of Human Bondage ("Not what you're thinking," the old detective assures the young one). One of the funniest lines in a film where humor is used to keep the audience from slitting its own wrists has Det. Mills (Brad Pitt) read among the killer's checked-out titles: "The Markee de Shar-day." When, urged by Somerset, the young detective attempts to read Dante's Divine Comedy and one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, he erupts with invectives too filthy to repeat here. Fortunately a cop friend saves him with a handful of Cliff's Notes. No librarians appear in this film, but that's just as well considering the carnage. Notable quote: "Just because the fucker has a library card doesn't make him Yoda."



As Sommerset begins to unravel the significance behind these crimes, music also is used to reinforce the way in which these crimes are crafted as art. At the library, he knows the guards, suggesting that he is a frequent visitor, yet his discussion with them reveals a widening gap between high and low culture, the educated and uneducated: "Gentlemen, gentlemen, I'll never understand. All these books. A world of knowledge at your fingertips. What do you do? You play poker all night." They respond: "Hey, we got culture. We got culture coming out our asses. How's this for culture?" One of the guards then plays a tape of the Air from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068 (1731). As the music fills the library, Sommerset peruses "The Parson's Tale" of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and Dante's Divine Comedy, compiling a list of resources for Detective Mills to consider in regard to this case. The music is clearly a fitting accompaniment for the library and the intellectual work that engages Sommerset, but it also suggests that intimate knowledge of high art and culture is essential for solving these crimes. In fact, Sommerset initially finds John Doe after researching library records and becoming tipped off by the fact that he has recently checked out a work by Thomas Aquinas on the seven deadly sins, Summa Theologica. This moment also involves music, though in a more humorous way. As Mills reads through the list, he bungles several names and pronounces the Marquis de Sade like the pop singer "Sade." It is Mills's lack of education as a working-class cop, someone who needs Cliff Notes to understand literature, that places him at a disadvantage when dealing with John Doe.

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