The first is the way that when Barabbas first sees Jesus his head is almost 'eclipsing' the sun. This not only prefigures the celestial oddities that will occur during Jesus' crucifixion, but it also gives Jesus a halo of sorts.
Then there's the way the film pairs its eponymous anti-hero, first with Pilate and then with Jesus. The relationship between Barabbas and Jesus, particularly the concept of Jesus dying in Barabbas' place is on of the film's major themes. It's emphasised in two different visual ways in the first 12 minutes. Initially the film intercuts between Barabbas' pardon and Jesus being scourged and taken to be crucified. But then, as Barabbas returns to his friends, they act out a mock coronation (top picture). This obviously corresponds to the shots of Jesus being mocked with the crown of thorns such as these:But the film also pairs Barabbas off with Pilate: The shot of Pilate washing his hands (below)of the charge against Jesus is immediately followed by one of Barabbas washing his own hands (further below). Barabbas may be about to be substituted for Jesus, but he has as much in common with Pilate, the common soldier who takes other people's death's trivially, than he does with Jesus.
As an aside, the opening shot of this film (below) is a great one, positioning the viewer as if they are in the crowd (which is routing for Barabbas), thus enabling us to associate with Barabbas, and reminding us that we too are complicit in his death.
Labels: Jesus Cameos