What Céline Sciamma is interested in is "moments." There are many moments that linger in the mind long after the film has ended.
Here's an eye-opener...
As you may know, "The Descent" (which opened in US theaters this weekend) was released last year in Great Britain, where it is now available on Region 2 PAL DVD. The British release has one final scene that was snipped for American audiences, though I really don't know why. I think it adds another note of ambiguity and mystery that... Oh. All right, I think I understand now.
After the jump: Frame grabs and a YouTube clip from the limey version.
"The Descent": Last ten minutes or so of the British cut. SPOILERS!!!
The original ending:
The post-"Carrie" grabber/hallucination ending, which became a requirement in horror movies for years.
This is where the US cut ends -- with a (mirror-image) close-up of Sarah's eyes looking into the camera in terror.
Sarah is unconscious (asleep) on the floor of the cave.
Her body is twisted and distorted in an uncanny fashion.
She raises herself up, now moving like a "crawler."
Sarah peers into the abyss. The illumination comes from the unseen flame of a torch -- or of hell, or... "Mommy." She hears her daughter's whisper.
The recurring shot of Jessica and her birthday cake -- one last time.
She looks across the chasm (an echo of the close-up of her eyes just before she awakened).
The dead daughter. This is the last shot in the film. The camera begins a pan to the left...
A chasm of darkness separates mother and daughter. They are in the same shot, but they do not share space within the frame
A pause in the final movement, then...
Begin pull-out. The screeching, echoing sounds of the crawlers rise above the softly dying music.
Into the darkness... Too ambiguous for American audiences???
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