Thursday, July 23, 2009

THAS: The Art of the Exquisite Shot-Reverse Shot - Case #1


The Exquisite Shot-Reverse Shot

Case #1: Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

||||||||||||||||SHOT 1:
Thunder crashes, lightning sounds. Lisa catches to the looming presence of the nuclear power plant.

||||||||||||||||SHOT 2:
"Now back to a simpler time..." The Ink Spots' song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" plays on the radio:
I don't want to set the world on fire. /
I just want to start /
A flame in your heart.
||||||||||||||||SHOT 3:
Hooper's currency in nebulous emotion: an unease, staring out into technological uncertainty.

||||||||||||||||SHOT 4:
Listen carefully behind the song at one moment:
In my heart I have but one desire, /
And that one is you...
||||||||||||||||SHOT 5:
/ ... No other will do.

Faintly, you can hear the high-pitched siren sound of the happy bomb's plummet to earth being used as a lilting musical counterpoint to the song's melody.

The sing-song menace of this aural detail - a menace also strongly inhabited in the insinuative lyrics of the Inks Spots song - resonates within the film. Tobe Hooper's Spontaneous Combustion attempts a look at Nuclear Age history's boisterous, almost whimsical, certainly vicarious fascination with the dread power and dread death capable of atomic energy.

||||||||||||||||SHOT 6:
||||||||||||||||SHOT 7:
I've lost all ambition for worldly acclaim, /
I just want to be the one you love. /
And with your admission that you feel the same, /
I'll have reached the goal I'm dreaming of.
||||||||||||||||SHOT 8:

No comments: