Monday, May 17, 2010
The defining moment of cinephilia is uncanny juxtaposition: the recognition of an element in one film from one's memory of a radically different one. Watch three or so movies in a row, and they will appear to form a pattern, even if that pattern consists of little more than the way establishing shots are framed, or the same make and model of car appearing again and again, or the way one actor resembles another. At its core, cinephilia is the divining of obvious logic from the contradictions of cinema as a whole. It is in cinephilic observation (versus critical observation) that mise-en-abyme manifests itself, because these recursions and similarities do not serve obvious critical functions, though they are often a window into an idea from which a critical meaning can be extracted.