Category: Photoessays

  • Hiroshima, mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)

    Hiroshima, mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)

    See previous post on Deleuze and the crystal image as it applies to this film. The ashes in the first shot of the film shifts to sweat via dissolve. The memory and the present are not conflated but intimately related, blurred into one another. Similar to the museum scene shortly thereafter. Identities in the present…

  • All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)

    All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)

    Highly intertextual, referencing All About Eve, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Almodóvar’s own work, not to mention the form of the soap opera. Early shot in the kitchen highly reminiscent of Jeanne Dielman. The grainy photos on the facade of the theater anticipates the photographs in Almodóvar’s later Broken Embraces. When Esteban gets hit by the car, slow-motion…

  • Pola X (Leo Carax, 1999)

    Pola X (Leo Carax, 1999)

    “Time is out of joint,” the opening states, while bombing graveyards in black and white. After this abstract, violent prologue, a remarkable crane/dolly shot takes us from outside a chateau to the upstairs window, cracked, voyeuristically giving us a peek at a sleeping character we will subsequently think is minor. “Amour” is kissing someone whose…

  • 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai, 2004)

    2046 (Wong Kar-Wai, 2004)

    Memory – theme song of Perfidia. WKW’s obsession with eating (too much). One night stands – nothing lasts forever. See slow-motion and freeze frames in the restaurant. This is less of an extended music video – arias, classical music. Choppy camera (effect of slow-motion?) in Singapore – Perfidia again.

  • Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)

    Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)

    This one is textbook, one that teaches itself. We get the opening image of an extreme-closeup of an eye, a nod to Vertov, then followed up very shortly by a POV from, yes, a man with a movie camera complete with the target aimed at his gazed-upon prey. (A good critical exercise would be examining…

  • Eternity and a Day (Theo Angelopolous, 1998)

    Eternity and a Day (Theo Angelopolous, 1998)

    The opening long, slow zoom onto the exterior of a house, tilted toward an upper floor, tellingly suggests what at least will be the style of the film to come, if not also the pacing. The movement of the camera in this film is consistently slow, but in that slowness hangs a kind of suspense,…

  • Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955)

    Killer’s Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955)

  • Germany, Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1948)

    Germany, Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1948)

    The child scrounger is about as “neorealism” as it gets, pointing toward his counterpart in Buñuel’s Los Olvidados from a couple years later. And it’s not neorealism without a heavy dose of melodrama, which corresponds to the presence and centrality of the child, too. Powerful juxtaposing of the nightclub and the selfish sister with the outside…

  • Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

    Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

    The nearly incessant radio static provides a sonic point of reference for the ongoing, inane search that is (or appears to be) the film’s narrative. As if to warn Western audiences as to its lack of Western ambition, we don’t get the typical shot-reverse-shot that classical Hollywood audiences expect to get. Instead, the camera lingers on…

  • The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991)

    The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991)

    Called by Joe Kickasola, “Kieslowski’s great formal experiment,” this one features consistent shots of abstraction both at the levels of both form and content. The tilted and upside-down shots formally renew the spectator’s perspective, along with rich and ever-shifting color schemes. Parallel shots (from Weronika, then later from Veronique) of older women walking with difficulty…

  • Accattone (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961)

    Accattone (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961)

  • Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)

    Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)