Saturday, July 31, 2010

Images That Thrill

Ever thoughtful critic Joel “MovieMan0283” Bocko recently celebrated the end of his second full year of blogging at The Dancing Image by cosponsoring a meme with Stephen of Checking On My Sausages. The directive is to come up with a collection of similarly themed images that celebrate the “thrill of cinema.” I’m a big fan of screen-capture posts, and even though they seem easy (compared to writing), perhaps I should be doing more of them. (Cinema is a visual medium, after all!) In recent weeks, unrelated to this meme, I’ve tremendously enjoyed Joel’s gallery tracking the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker (oh, if only those Star Wars prequels didn’t have dialogue!) and Sheila O’Malley’s terrific ode to doorway shots in The Searchers.

So, here’s my contribution to the meme. See if you can spot the (somewhat loose) theme. I’ll eventually list it at the end.

By the way, the rules of the meme demand that I tag five people. Consider this an open tag. If you haven't taken part, do so. Just be sure to read Joel's post and give appropriate links to his site and Stephen's.

Note: One could argue that the image at the top of this post is exactly the opposite of this gallery's theme.


Joel Bocko said...

Thanks, Jason. As for the theme, they're all reaction shots, but does it go deeper than that? Are they all reaction shots of dread? Heck, I'd even like to guess that they are all in response to seeing or hearing someone who (spoiler alert! spoiler alert!) is supposed to be dead, but then the top picture wouldn't contradict the rest. (Also, I can't make that apply to any films other than The Third Man & Vertigo - maybe people who will be dead by the end of the movie? that would work for all the images hear that I recognize - though again Vertigo would not be in contadiction...)

Tony Dayoub said...

Is each photo subject reacting to their respective film's major revelation?

Richard Bellamy said...

Excellent images - from some of my favorite movies. Each marks a dawning realization. Have always loved those moments from The Third Man and Days of Heaven. The first image fits quite well because Scottie is realizing that Judy looks amazingly like Madeleine.

Sheila O'Malley said...

Ooh, I love it. Thanks for linking to my piece - and for this post. I love image posts too.

Moments of revelation? Dawning horror and awe?

Jason Bellamy said...

Well, all of you are at least in the ballpark. Hokahey says it best. They're all moments of discovery and/or awakening. That's why the Vertigo image could be argued not to fit, because you could say that in that moment Scottie is more delusional than ever.

The others (spoiler warning if someone hasn't seen these films) ...

* Holly discovers Harry is alive in The Third Man

* Harry has the coin drop about what the overheard conversation is really about a moment before he overhears violence in The Conversation.

* The farmer realizes Bill and Abby are not brother and sister in Days of Heaven.

* The warden realizes how Andy has disappeared in Shawshank Redemption.

* Beatrix realizes she's still a mommy in Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

* Tomas (and avatar for Tommy) awakens to the potential of an afterlife in The Fountain, which is what Tommy's wife wanted him to discover, in The Fountain. ("Behold!")

* Daniel realizes that the man who says he's his brother isn't in There Will Be Blood.

Jason Bellamy said...

Actually, now that I think about it, Sheila says it better than I even had it in my head: "Moments of revelation." Yep.

Sheila O'Malley said...

That icy green background in Vertigo - it makes it look like Stewart is transparent, that green coming through his light eyes. Creepy devastating scene.

Sam Juliano said...

Movie heaven there with THE THIRD MAN and VERTIGO, but wonderful presentation in general of this most worthy and wildly popular project initiated by that man himself! Joel!

Stephen said...

A dawning realisation, when the characters feel most vulnerable.

Maybe in Vertigo that is a moment when we feel most vulnerable / troubled. He's no nearer awakening.

A very interesting theme, Jason.

Here is my themed contribution (a response to MovieMan's response to me):