Plants have always been a usual part of human life, so it is not surprising that floral symbolism is strong in pop culture. Sometimes plants can carry symbolic meaning, or they just appear solely for aesthetic purposes. In this article, we selected some interesting cases of usage of plants in movies and music videos.
American Beauty (1999) directed by Sam Mendes
This movie got 5 Oscars and was a pretty big deal. And now it's still talked about. The first association with this movie is the roses. A famous scene with a bath full of flowers is from there. And it's not the single appearance of these flowers; they are present in almost every scene. Even the film's title 'American beauty' can refer to the rose cultivar called…. 'American beauty.' Rose itself symbolizes beauty and romantic love, but this flower is reinterpreted differently here. In this movie, roses are mostly cut, torn from their natural environment. So in this particular case, the rose represents something artificial, out of the place.
Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Rose is probably the first association that flashes up into your memory when you think about these Disney cartoons. Enchanted rose became a trademark of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
It's hard to forget these dramatic shots with the flower in the bell jar and its falling petals. It has even made a few cameos in 'Enchanted' (2007), the TV series 'Once upon a time,' and many others. In this way, this rose is a recognizable symbol with a life of its own in pop culture!
In 'Sleeping beauty,' the rose in Aurora's hands doesn't have such popularity, but, for sure, it means something. Since it's a tale about love, then it symbolizes… well, love.
Lana Del Rey and her flower crowns
Do you remember this period when it was popular to wear crowns made of flowers? Obviously, this trend hadn't occured without the impact of celebrities. Lana Del Rey was one of the trendsetters because flower crowns had been her signature look for a long time. You can even find many videos to help you make Lana Del Rey-inspired flower crowns! In the 'Born to die' music video, she's sitting on the throne, wearing a crown made from blue roses. She uses flowers as hair decoration, not only in the form of crowns. For example, in the 'Love' music video, daisies are placed all over her hair. It looks casual but sooo pretty - try it in your looks!
Midsommar (2019) directed by Ari Aster
And again, flower crowns. Probably, you have seen a bunch of memes with crying Florence Pugh adorned with flowers. In this movie, flowers are everywhere, and almost everyone wears a wreath! You can notice henbanes, anemones, sunflowers, daisies, calendulas, chrysanthemums, primroses, and other flowers. Midsommar itself is a Swedish holiday that celebrates the beginning of the summer, so, of course, there should be a lot of flowers. However, in the movie, festivity takes a dark turn. In this case, floral imagery is compelling because flowers symbolize life and, at the same time, wilting and death.
Everything Is Illuminated (2005) directed by Liev Schreiber
This film (based on the book with the same title) is a typical road movie. The main character Jonathan (played by Elijah Wood), decided to visit his grandfather's home village Trachimbrod (Ukraine), destroyed by Nazis. His journey aims to find the woman who saved the life of his grandfather. Sunflowers are an essential visual component of this movie. That gorgeous sunflowers field is a significant place because it's where Jonathan's journey ends, as it's a moment when Jonathan finds out the truth. In line with the title, everything becomes illuminated because sunflowers are facing the sun.
Sometimes usage of plants in media is very subtle, but at the same time, it can be very memorable. Floral imagery itself can be a very effective tool to craft the narrative. And if you are interested in the depiction of plants in movies, you can check our article about it!