Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One of the Most Perfectly Constructed Scenes in Cinema?

Dedicated to fellow cinema delegates and valued contributors to THAS in the land of Spain. 

"One of the most perfectly constructed scenes in cinema?" is the rhetorical question-cum-title.  Essentially I make you watch (almost) the length of a scene from The Dark, then take some preliminary steps of video-essay ingress toward considering the scene (before leaving the rest to you; as it now perfunctorily exists, the coda was born partly of laziness, yes.)

But Apollonian restraint is perhaps best responded to with Apollonian restraint.  A brief introduction of momentary ingress is probably more appropriate than a total and undignified probe of the entire scene... one cannot hold one's hand through a scene of such an intangible dignity, of such mise-en-scène (aesthetic) ethics bred through extreme clarity (the prerogative of Apollonian values, that is, in the vaunted sense summoned up by those precious German Enlightenment Weimarians - before Nietzsche came and Angsted it all up).  It would not be becoming of it to pore over its sweet and satiric (proven here, as was in Cervantes, not mutually exclusive) tonal creation: it is a scene that creates perfection of human order, a trio of nitwits corralled into an encounter that must make cinematic sense for its points to come through, points of depicting a farce of personalities, the preordination of the results of such an interaction, and the topic of death, in direct friction with these characters' bullheaded personalities.  Let's put it plainly: it's a scene of "moral will" (thank you Tolstoy, describing Baumgarten), a scene tasking itself to impart Knowledge (of human beings) through perfect form, a scene not about the words being spoken or the emotional humans being mocked, but about a pure, immaterial knowledge brought about by a camera of such sweet empiricism that Plato would perhaps blush (faced with the commercial-beauty oxymoron of cinema - ideals found in the unideal), or perhaps be responsible for if tasked to write 70s monster schlock up to a Form of Art.  And so, a steadfast order of wide shots, over-the-shoulders, perpendicularities, and evolving shots, informed by a rationality beyond mere words (instead put to pietistic cinematography), punctuated by a moment of moving camera so pristine one cannot help but be hinted at the divinity of human interaction and human fallibility (one woman's sureness, a man's affronted incredulity), is put to play.


Anonymous said...

An amazing scene, no doubt about that. Reminds me to that beautiful scene in "Lifeforce" with Caine-Falada-Bukowski, another "triangle" filmed in voluptuous scope. And the final coda is exciting, a promising start to that video-essay!


JR said...

"Reminds me to that beautiful scene in "Lifeforce" with Caine-Falada-Bukowski, another "triangle" filmed in voluptuous scope."


Thanks for another link!