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Image of the day

Daniel Kasman
From La Belle noiseuse (1991); featuring Emmanuelle Béart; directed by Jacques Rivette; cinematography by William Lubtchansky:
La Belle noiseuse
What is it about Rivette and doors? Come to think about it, what is it about Rivette and female characters? They possess a singularity, an interiority that gives them an aura at once of casualness and a kind of grandeur, goddess like. Here is a typical Rivette shot of a heroine and a doorway, seemingly matter of fact, low-key, almost utilitarian. But in the slight down turn of Béart’s head, her firm, vertical stance, the zoomed lens and only slightly oblique angle that flattens her body in the composition, in those things there is something magical, speaking of possibilities and anticipation. The mansions in Rivette’s film always have something magical about them, haunted maybe, but otherwise fantastic, and it is a shot like this that lays the groundwork, subtly, most subtly, for the unexpected wonders within.


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