Inspiration for Contract
The Seventh Seal/ Lucky Number Slevin/ Two Weeks Notice/ X-Men- Searching For Booby Fischer
Notable Feature: Playing Chess
There are many films out there that feature 2 of the central characters playing a game of Chess. Chess is the perfect game for 2 characters on opposing sides to play, as it is a game of strategy, tactics and skill. It involves undermining your opponent and a certain amount of second-guessing their next move to put you in front.
I think that Chess was a brilliant game for the 2 main characters, Alan Waters and Mr. Coral, to play at intermittent points in our Major Project Film, contract. The game of Chess, in my eyes, perfectly depicts both the external struggle Alan is facing against Mr. Coral and the Contract, but also the internal struggle that Alan is facing with what he knows is right, what is easiest, and what is best for his family. Alan is a character under pressure to perform, which is exactly the position he finds himself in during the beginning of the film where he is losing to Mr. Coral.
Other notable films that include Chess playing to out wit your opponent are The Seventh Seal (1957), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Two Weeks Notice (2002), X-Men (2000) and Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993).
Directed by Ingar Bergman, The
Seventh Seal tells the story of
a Knight during the Black Death who is visited by Death himself and told his time is up. The Knight, however, can pit his wits against Death in a challenging Chess game, where he can win his life back if he wins the game. The brave Knight asks the Grim Reaper many questions during the game and during the film, mostly revolving around the themes of existence, of God and religion, and of life and death. The film can be classed an as Existentialist Film for these questions.
Directed by Paul McGuigan, Lucky Number Slevin is a case of mistaken identity taken to the extremes. The city’s two crime bosses, The Rabbi and The Boss, are at war with each other over events that happened in the past. Slevin gets caught up in it all and ends up in a very powerful position, slyly pitting the two crime bosses against each other. Chess is a heavily featured game in the film. Even when 2 characters aren’t playing, the board can be seen in the background of a lot of wide shots, with pieces strewn across the board; somebody is in the middle of a game, but we don’t know who and we don’t know who is winning.