Tuesday, January 1, 2013

(THAS: Scene from Salem's Lot #3)

This is mostly a preface for the post to follow (in the next day or two) which pictorializes the scene following this one.

This is not an essential scene, but this moment between Susan and Eva Miller (Marie Windsor) carries a notable sense of Hooper's studied observance of movement and blocking as deeply relational to his rigorously structural frames and towards a meaningful, expressive aesthetics.

"He may have gone into town." 
"You look pale.  You alright?"

A tripartite of movement and a tripartite of frames. One... (towards)
Two... (around)
 "Just tired."
Three... (away)
... placing Susan in a final position, in foreground: Susan, audience surrogate, our emotional POV, witness of a strangely revealing, unnaturally protracted death throe.
 "I dreamed all night.  All night."

"Weasel...  Young...  Just like old times...  
Kissing me on the neck..."

A slight camera move* as Susan steps forward towards the chair:
* The sort of classically dramatistic and gestural, awkward but deeply aesthetical, dry and formalist, but deeply expressive, camera movement that is totally representative of Hooper's general, classical artistic inclination.

"Maybe you better go lie down." 

And a final gesture of the active, expressive camera as she gets up and faces Susan, who one can posit represents for Eva a figure of youth and aliveness, and with all the advice of "Go and lie down."  Go and ready yourself - lay in position and wait - for the dismal creep of death.
"Yes, I will."
One final blocking shift positions Susan in foreground again.
And Susan, now locked for a brand new reverse shot, a new subjugation to the weighing eye of Eva, receives one final glance from her.

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