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12 Subtle Details Directors Carefully Hid in Their Films

Almost every film has interesting ideas that might be hard to notice when watching it for the first time. Sometimes, it can be some unexpected symbol the director left. Or a moment that tells more about the story.


The Matrix — the Ying-Yang Symbol

In The Matrix, the way Neo and Morpheus attack each other with the same move, their clothes, and head/hair form the Ying-Yang symbol. In Chinese philosophy, this represents the concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary.

Pirates of the Caribbean — the compass

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, when Commodore Norrington holds Jack’s compass, it points toward Jack and not Elizabeth, subtlety implying that he values his duty over romance. The compass always points at what the person holding it wants the most.

Casino Royale — the actress

In Casino Royale (2006), one of the poker players is played by actress Tsai Chin. She once played a minor Bond girl in You Only Live Twice (1967).

The Truman Show — the cameras

In The Truman Showcameras show up in very obvious places, yet Truman (Jim Carrey) doesn’t notice them. Examples include a camera on Truman’s wedding ring and on Truman’s neighbor’s trash can, which the neighbor hides while Truman is distracted by the neighbor’s dog.

The Shape of Water — the shoes

In The Shape of Water, a few minutes into the movie we can see Elisa admiring a pair of red shoes. Later, in the scene right after embracing her relationship with the Amphibian Man, you can see her wearing those red shoes. This is probably a sign of her gaining confidence and feeling empowered.

Pirates of the Caribbean — Jack Sparrow’s father’s ring

In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Captain Teague, portrayed by Keith Richards, is wearing a silver skull ring. This wasn’t a prop made for the movie, it’s a real ring that belongs to Keith Richards. He received it for his birthday in 1978 and has worn it ever since.

The Santa Clause — the elves

In The Santa Clause, when Charlie is at school you can see an elf behind him in class, meaning they were keeping tabs on him and his dad.

Maleficent — the magic

Maleficent’s magic changes color. When she is good, her magic is gold and when she is evil, her magic is green.

The Chronicles of Narnia — the fur of the White Witch

In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the White Witch has Aslan shaved before she kills him. She is then seen wearing his fur into battle.

Parasite — Mr. Park’s company

In Parasite, Mr. Park’s company is called “Another Brick.” This is a reference to Pink Floyd. They were Bong Joon Ho’s (the director of the film) favorite band in college.

Alice in Wonderland — The Mad Hatter’s phrase

The Mad Hatter’s phrases are not as mad as they might seem. The phrase “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” “I think he is referencing Edgar Allan Poe,” Depp said, referring to the haunted author of The Raven, which was published in 1845.By the way, it was Depp’s idea to add the orange spots on the face of his character. In the 18th and 19th centuries, mercury was used in the manufacture of felt, and hatters often fell victim to mercury poisoning, which left an orange tint on the skin.

Bonus: 10 Things I Hate About You — the poem scene

At the end of 10 Things I Hate About You, Julia Stiles started crying when she was reading a poem. Actually, this wasn’t in the script. In one of her interviews, the actress revealed why she was so emotional during this scene, “But [when it came to filming] I never expected that I was going to start crying. I don’t know why I did, whether it connected to something going on at the time, or if I was just overwhelmed by the whole experience of making my first big movie.”

When watching a movie, have you ever noticed any details that helped you understand the director’s ideas better? Tell us in the comment section below!

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