The Motion Picture

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Motion Picture:  a series of still or moving images.

Film, movie, motion picture, feature film, cinematic adventure – call it what you will, but it is all the same: a series of still or moving images. Movies used to be silent, you know. That’s right – no dialogue. Just actors, well, acting. Too often we forget to actually look at the movie – it’s all about the story and how does it make me feel. Let’s forget about the story, just for a moment. Look at the camera angle, listen to the music, see the lighting – the shadows, the highlights, look at the expression on the actors’ faces. How does that make you feel? I want to focus on a handful of movies not because their stories are heartwarming or inspiring, but because their cinematography is. Looking at the art of a movie with a theme rather than a plot, just streams of beautiful images – the motion picture:

1. New York, I Love You

This movie follows the love in New York, hence the title. Starring every celebrity and their famous neighbor, you can consider this a series of moving tableaus (is that an oxymoron?) showing every kind of love you can find in the city. Simply adorable and fun – you won’t find much character development here, but who cares, right?

2. The Tree of Life

I wanted so much more out of this movie. But we are not here to discuss that. We are here to melt over the heart-stopping pictures paired with the kind of music that makes you forget how to breathe. A gorgeous depiction of who knows what, I adored how this was filmed. The lighting, the music, the poetic narrative – just perfect to look at. The plot, the meaning, the length – not ideal.

3. A Single Man

This movie contains the most plotline. However, the picture trumps the story. My favorite part is the lighting and coloring. Under the direction of Tom Ford, I would expect nothing except a fashionable piece of art describing losing a loved one. It’s like looking at a series of paintings. Absolutely stunning, but the symbolism is a bit too much for me to enjoy the story.


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