Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 Reflections

Originally written in mid-April, but I withheld posting it. Relevant portions of this text were re-purposed from my review of The Girlfriend Experience for The Auteurs' Notebook.

Movies are always reflecting, though never exclusively. The image has so many contradictory qualities that sometimes it seems like movies exist to answer some mysterious riddle (“What’s transparent, opaque and reflective at the same time?”). So here are three images of reflections, all taken from the same film -- a short Agnès Varda made in 1958 called Du Côté de la Côte -- and each one presents a different sort of reflection. Three distinct types.

The water reflects the city around it, but not perfectly. The reflection is an impression. I think this is how Bresson thought. The director's mind should be like the water, motivating the camera with whatever happened to be the distorted reflection.

A crisp image of one thing reflects the crisp and clear image of another. That's the basis of the literary strain of realism right there. You represent one thing completely enough, and it brings out a clear picture of the things around it.

The palm, an aspect that isn't normally visible when you're looking at this pond, reflects through a gap in the lillies. The unconcious moment, that bit of the world that comes through because no one (no actor, no director) is capable of guarding every front at once.

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