This movie is extremely complex to a depth that I found hard to understand at times. However, I feel like one of the main reoccurring themes was that was depicted through photography was the duct work and how it was in almost every frame. This showed the significance for of the Central Service that seemingly controls and has a monopoly on the air conditioning system. It’s almost like it is government regulated and the “big brother theme” plays a heavy role when referring to Central Service. This is shown when Sam’s apartment has been broken into and his duct work has been ruined because he had an outside worker (Harry Tuttle) work on the system. Duct work seems to be a large part in everyone’s lives in the movie in one form or another (including a scene towards the end of the movie where Sam is making out with the girl at his mother’s house and duct work is surrounding the room).
Another reoccurring theme that is shown by photography throughout the movie is the idea of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. As the camera focuses on Sam’s mother, who is of a higher status, it equally focuses on the more urban and dystopic neighborhood where the girl in his dreams lives. This area is dark and dingy and is unsafe as was depicted in the frame where Sam comes back from Mrs. Buttle’s apartment (which was not fixed from when her husband was initially taken by the Information Retrieval Department) and his car is on fire and his tires have been stolen. I also found that this movie seemed to have a few Communist references like when Sam was in Mrs. Buttle’s neighborhood and little kids were holding each other up at gunpoint in font of a soviet-looking, propaganda poster promoting energy in a bright colors. (Although I could be completely over-thinking it!)
Finally, another theme that is stressed throughout the movie is the theme of torture for information. I found this dark comedy at it's peak when Sam goes to visit his friend Jack at information retrieval and he is full of blood. We were given insight as to why Jack was covered in blood the scene before it where we heard loud screaming coming from his office. As Sam goes to see Jack, the camera discretely shows Jack's daughter in the same room as him (seemingly un-phased), implying that she was there the whole time Jack was torturing the person for information. The idea that torture seemed to be a natural sight for the girl was implied by her care-free attitude when Sam entered.