Cinema is about communicating space. Film can communicate three dimentional space in a way none of the other art forms can.
This is done primarily with the techniques of editing and camera movement. It is an absolutely essential aspect of the art form.
Steven Soderbergh does a pretty good job of this in the battle scenes in ‘Che’. He doesn’t really engage with the language of cinema to any extensive degree in the two films. But at one point we see the guerrilla soldiers walking down a river shot from an overhead angle -it is a rare and refreshing visual touch that adds some texture to the film.
But still – space is represented quite consistently in the film’s battle scenes, especially the final scene where the Bolivian soldiers close in on Che and his men hiding in a a hillside behind some rocks. As the the soldiers (who are far superior in numbers) approach, the claustrophobia mounts. The way this is done is through use of foreground and background in the frame, as well as consistency in the communication of the spacial relations in the editing. That means that there is a relationship between the shots, that they relate to each other and work together to communicate space, and don’t contradict each other visually.
I will write more tomorrow.