... Spontaneous Combustion (1990) ...
In preparation for more Spontaneous Combustion to come.
* * *
A recurring image in the film: a pocket watch in close-up being opened, by a father and by his son, decades later.
A camera that determines the article (the watch) as the essence of the personage, placed
alongside other such denominators of "the father": working hands, the wedding ring, an over-sized
uniform, the practiced motion itself of the draping of the watch.
(A shot that shows the item as the person, Hooper's sublimely lovely, lovingly sublime cinematic "idea" here is his bringing flourish to the "inanimate moment," where an item becomes an extension of a person by extending the camera's reach from flourishing the body - the camera's usual purpose - to flourishing the mindless item.)
As one, through literary or cinematic trope, usually anthropomorphizes something inanimate, here we see made inanimate what is usually anthropomorphized:
The "inanimatization" of the camera: as the pocket watch glides with his hand, drops, then dips, then levels,
the motion of the camera mimics, does exactly the same.