Derek Jarman’s Blue is a film that pushes the limits of cinematic expression, an unwavering blue screen accompanied by a layered soundscape of voices, music, and lyrically written dialogue.
The Sacrifice is not as widely celebrated as Tarkovsky's previous masterpieces, but it’s the most germane to our current global disarray.
A throwaway joke in a 105-minute film watched nearly four years ago in a city I’ve only been to twice stands firm like a monolith in the wavy goop of my brain. It is nothing; it is everything.
In this single shot, The Hunt for Red October presents its stakes: the struggle between an individual and the vast and powerful forces that threaten to swallow him.
When I watch Harry and Sally stroll through Central Park, I think to myself, If I could just find a way to crawl inside this movie, inside this version of New York, I could be okay.
Watching Still Life with this new perspective, I forced myself to look at every long take, to think about the passing of each period of time within and outside of the film.
You’ve seen the image online or you’ve seen it in your dreams. The gaping mouth, the white of the eyes. The finger pointing straight into the lens. The terrible moment of mirror revelation: I know what you are.
I remember The Grand Budapest Hotel, and I remember those swirling lights and the clutched breath and the deep longing. I think about this frame of Agatha, frozen in time, holding her lover’s gaze—holding our gaze—as the darkness briefly clouds her face.
I like noticing new things in Mermaids—about Charlotte, about Joe, about Charlotte and Joe—with each pass of the film, realizing that there’s no real villain in their story, and that neither can claim to be the hero.
That ineffable quality that made Alain Delon a star, before all of the ugliness crept in, is suspended in this frame forever, in our memory always and indelibly empty, hollow, and blank.
It's a fleeting moment in Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a shot of a small canvas bathed in shadow which horizontal brushstrokes have primed a deep brown. The image of Marianne’s hands at work, Héloïse and Sophie slowly appearing on her canvas, is a rejection of solitude and an embrace of the vulnerability that true sorority requires.
To be bold, to dare to be stupid: this single frame in The Great Dictator is the most essential frame occurring in Charles Chaplin’s filmography. It is the most elegant and achy navigation out of comedy, straight through tragedy, and into something like the human struggle ever captured by camera.