Does Leland Palmer qualify in this shot, Joks?
Hi Randy- Love the topic! and you found some great pics!
The 4 most interesting “mirror” scenes for me (of course, Raging Bull/Taxi Driver are the exception to the Cliche)
1. Zoolander- Zoolander looks down into his reflection in the puddle and asks… “Who Am I?” and the puddle responds…“I don’t know.”
2. Lord of the Rings- though there is one where gollum talks to himself in his own reflection- I really like the scene when Gollum talks to himself and the camera actually just crosses the axis of action. It’s a brilliant use of the “don’t cross the line” and it makes for, I think, a pretty good conversation with oneself. I’m a big Andy Serkis Fan.
3. Youth Without Youth- some really cool mirror and self to self talks with Tim Roth.
4. Shizopolis- just saw this the other night. Soderbergh stares at himself in the mirror and makes funny faces. pretty funny.
Thanks for the post- very thought provoking for me.
I am always confronting myself…. When I look at scenery, I am really looking at myself looking. Just show the character thinking. That’s enough. I don’t need objects or people for auto-analysis. It’s a process that I am always in. People don’t need mirrors to see themselves….they don’t need others either.
Bottom pic: best scene with best dialogue from TAXI DRIVER (1976). <3
A mirror shot that subverts the stated expectations courtesy of Raimi’s The Evil Dead
That’s EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN (1987), not the original.
Still a funny scene. :)
Ah yes, my memory fails me. Though I own both films in the “Book of the Dead” editions, it has been many years…
Thanks for the clarification!
I’ll post two examples of obligatory over-the-shoulder-shots that have the potential to reveal more than just the usual mirror scene by replacing the mirror element with portraits/ -selfportraits. In doing so the viewer is allowed to participate even more directly with either the inner world, the mindframe of the protagonist in case of the self-portrait or the specific approach a different character developped throughout the movie towards the protagonist. In both cases I think the use of paintings extents the means of the photography to comment on the inner lives of characters in a very distinctive way.
example for selfportrait taken from: Aki Kaurismäki: La Vie De Bohème (Fi, Fr, 1992),
example for portrait taken from: Leos Carax: Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf (Fr, 1991),
P.S.: And i’m sorry for i can’t figure out how to post pictures in a proper way right now.
Mirror alternatives in Varda’s La Pointe Courte 1956
Place http…jpg between ! !
Ultimately, mirror shots, like anything, are going to be used well or not so well. To me, the mirror shot never ceases to seem rather eerie, that’s probably part of the reason why I enjoy them as much as I do.
No really solving the problem or anything, but here’s some stuff…
Under the Volcano
In the Basement of the Goodwill
In musty light, in the thin brown air
of damp carpet, doll heads and rust,
beneath long rows of sharp footfalls
like nails in a lid, an old man stands
trying on glasses, lifting each pair
from the box like a glittering fish
and holding it up to the light
of a dirty bulb. Near him, a heap
of enameled pans as white as skulls
looms in the catacomb shadows,
and old toilets with dry red throats
cough up bouquets of curtain rods.
You’ve seen him somewhere before.
He’s wearing the green leisure suit
you threw out with the garbage,
and the Christmas tie you hated,
and the ventilated wingtip shoes
you found in your father’s closet
and wore as a joke. And the glasses
which finally fit him, through which
he looks to see you looking back—
two mirrors which flash and glance—
are those through which one day
you too will look down over the years,
when you have grown old and thin
and no longer particular,
and the things you once thought
you were rid of forever
have taken you back in their arms.
Jonathan Rosenbaum explores Dreyer’s use of mirrors in Gertrude:
“Strange woman,” says Erland in his flat, shortly before they kiss. “Who are you?” “I’m many things. Dew which falls from the leaves. White clouds that pass aimlessly. I’m the moon. I’m the sky.” Like the verses, these mirrors function as inner voices more than ornaments — images of the self as a self- enclosed universe
Double post—so here’s more.
My father owns both “Books of the Dead” DVDs as well. :)
Beautiful poem by Kooser…
Still need to watch Houston’s UNDER THE VOLCANO (1984).