Cinema is an Art form inherently based around the visual image. To celebrate this notion, every week, there will be 5 stills uploaded onto this blog due to their power to resonate emotionally. Whether they are beautiful, technically perfected, memorable, geniusly disgusting, or meet their intentions – they will be put on here.
1. The Turin Horse (2011)
This shot encapsulates the existential crisis the characters face in this apocalyptic drama. The endless barren fields of despair which seem to go on for eternity, but end up nowhere. The harsh winds almost knocking Ohlsdorfer over. The misanthropic use of high-contrast monochrome. The image provokes so much meaning and emotion but is also memorable due to its simplicity.
2) Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)
This image sums up the greatest anti-one-night-stand-franchise ever made. At once sex and death are combined in this shot: a man with a godly physique having sex with a sensual curvaceous female – whilst in the backdrop, a work of art which inside is hiding lord of the cenobites: Pinhead. We are aware that the female will die after having sex with JP Munroe. We are also aware that Pinhead is watching them have sex throughout, making the scene sexy yet unsettling – due to this, I am heavily reminded of when Jeffrey hides in the closet in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. Also, technically it’s a great shot too – notice the shard-like lighting covering JP adding to the sexual allure of the scene – but also the fact that similar lighting is covering the statue. Again – sex and death are combined. This cheapo exploitation trash flick – at points – has an artistic sensibility.
3) Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
Although done for practical reasons as obviously Banksy wishes his identity to remain anonymous, there’s more to this shot than that. Think about it. This is as close as we’ll ever get to meeting one of the most mysterious characters in pop-culture.
4) Stalker (1979)
This shot is at the end of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker. The shot holds a mysterious magic. Although it is a shot of a rough, run-down, barren, ugly setting – Tarkovsky seems to draw out the beauty of the location. The camera has been placed metres away from our central characters and the lighting now makes them into eluvious – almost ghostly – silhouettes.
The lighting above them allows us to see the tiny dust particles, and it makes the walls become an aquatic green colour. The tiles on the floor are clearly infected and unclean, but the water and its reflections and refractions of light make it seem quite beautiful. The shot also serves an intellectual as well as an emotional purpose for the audience: because the camera has been taken a few metres back, everything the character’s say is now being made more objective, we are made to think, contemplate and question what the characters are saying.
5) Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)
Any shot with an appallingly shoddy prosthetic frog carrying a chainsaw ‘threateningly’ is a good shot in my books.