Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Clint Eastwood's Mystic River (2003), based upon Dennis Lehane's excellent novel. Cinematography by Tom Stern. A pallette of cool colors, mostly greens and blues, backgrounds almost always washed or blown out (as above). A grainy texture to the close-up shots that I assocate with some of Stephen Waddell's better photographs; the sense of the picture as alive, swarming with motion. A "molecular energy" that acknowledges the image surface's mediating presence, its non-transparency, what Fried might call its "facingness." Two shots in particular: Sean Penn speaking, backlit by an open window, while a breeze stirs white curtains behind him with red printed roses down their edges, and Penn dictating his daughter's obituary as he stands above her in the funeral home's basement, his face and upper torso (barely) in focus; everything else skewed into bright smears and sprays of light, like Ben Reeves' golfing Smoker (thumbnail on p.2 of the link).

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