In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_y7l9rwoqor7inlzqf2xlkv5yx1a

Galia

Originally published on April 7, 1967.Georges Lautner's "Galia" opens and closes with arty shots of the ocean, mother of us all, but in between it's…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

The Cinephiliac Moment

faye.jpg

"It's... It's a f- flaw... in the iris."

At his excellent movie blog, girish (aka Girish Shambu) savors those all-important "cinephiliac moments":

...these are small, marginal moments that detonate an unforgettable little frisson in the viewer. The important thing to remember is that these are not moments carefully designed to exert great dramatic effect—not that there’s anything wrong with those—but instead they are fleeting "privileged" moments writ small that we find ourselves strongly attracted to, perhaps even disproportionately so given their scale and possible (lack of) intention.

I daresay an appreciation (enthusiasm? passion?) for such ineffably or uncannily wonderful moments -- the kinds of serendipitous just right touches (gestures, expressions, line readings, camera movements, framings) that Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy used to celebrate in "Moments Out of Time" at the end of each year in Movietone News and Film Comment -- is what characterizes a real movie lover. It's the so-called "little" things that mean everything; they transform the mundane into the extraordinary.

[Go here to see some of girish's examples, and those of his readers; and while you're there, check out his exquisite and deeply personal (can there be any other kind?) appreciation of Robert Bresson.]

One moment that came immediately to mind for me is from Roman Polanski's "Chinatown," after a quick getaway from the Mar Vista Retirement Home (involving gunfire at a fleeing white convertible Packard) that prefigures the ending of the movie. "Chinatown" is a film about eyes, about partial vision (and doors and windows through which one can never quite see the whole picture). In the passenger side of the car's windshield (the screen-left "eye") has been cracked by a gunshot. Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson), bearing his own wound on his nose, looks over at the driver, Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway). The top is down, and she delicately brushes hair out of left her eye -- the one that has a "f- flaw... in the iris.... It's a sort of birthmark." This eye imagery will culminate, horribly, in the final moments of the film. It's a small, evanescent moment, and I have no idea if it was intended or if it just happened, but I always get that frisson when I see it.

Popular Blog Posts

“The Breakfast Club”, 30 Years Later: A Conversation Across Generations

A film teacher looks back on "The Breakfast Club," partly through the eyes of her students.

The Melodrama Of Woody Allen’s Critical Reputation

The conversation about Woody Allen's personal and professional lives intertwining continues, but to what end?

Memories of Roger: My Photo Journal from the Last Two Years

A gallery of photos, videos and links illustrating Chaz's journey relating to Roger's legacy in the two years since h...

Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all

As we mourn Abrams’ macho Star Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit that most Star Trek-ian of accomplishme...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus