In the soft focus of his gaze, Costner shows us a man seeing his own life superimposed onto itself, the uncanny vertiginous struggle to reconcile your existence as someone’s child with your existence as someone’s parent, the effort to locate your own life through triangulation between lives spent and lives just beginning to unfold.
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.
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.
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.
Here, on the beach, Ada and Flora don't appear to be waiting so much as creating something new. Looking at this frame now, as a global pandemic distorts the hours that fill our days, I see a kind of hope and perseverance in how the characters interact with time.
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.
There are a number of striking, iconic frames in Joe Wright’s 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice—but I want to talk about that shot of Darcy’s hand.