look, listen, analyze: (léon) the professional 

I chose the scene “One Minute Past” from Léon: The Professional (aka The Professional, aka Léon), a 1994 English-language French film written and directed by Luc Besson.


In the hallway, the men are centered to the left in the shots. There is also a top-down shot contiguous to a stretching movement. There are cuts to other settings, including Léon looking into the hallway from the left. The man seems to be singing and dancing while walking in the apartment. After entering the door, which is on the left, the angles switch so that he is on the right and the victims are on the left. After storming through the kitchen and finally reaching his main target, he is on the left again. The target’s face is very close up with the watch still in the frame.


Light suspenseful music plays, followed by popping sounds and creepy laughing. Someone starts to talk, referencing Beethoven, and insects, after which a cricket sound plays. The music continues to grow louder further building suspense following gunshots and screams. There are some crashes, and then the music dies down. The remainder is dialogue.


The creaking sounds are the man’s neck cracking, and what he says is almost narrating the events. The audio is consistent between setting cuts, in addition to appropriate sound effects. He refers to his attack as ‘playing’ Beethoven. The beaded curtains act as barrier between the man and his target. He taps his watch and mentions that it is one minute past the time they agreed on, which is ironic considering the attack clearly took at least over a minute.

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