From COLOR OF POMEGRANATES to bullet-cam in THE MATRIX with the tracking shot past Don Fabrizio’s dust-covered family in IL GATTOPARDO somewhere in between, what are good examples of directors using tableaux (with either a stationary or mobile camera documenting it) in movies? I want to show some examples to a class.
The most obvious and maybe best is Ruiz’s The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting.
Good to know…never seen it. Though that does bring to mind his use of them or at least something similar in TIME REGAINED.
The films of Hou Hsiao-Hsein- FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI (1998) is a wonderful contemporary example of the use of Tablueau. Several films by Fellini- most impressively FELLINI SATYRICON (1969). Many films by Peter Greenaway- DROWNING BY NUMBERS (1988), THE COOK, THE THIEF, HER WIFE AND HIS LOVER. Visconti’s A DEATH IN VENICE (1971) is a great example of contemporary use of the Tableau.
duras’ india song
Do these count?
Ruiz’s L’Hypothese du Tableau Vole is entirely about tableau vivants.
ANTICHRIST and LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD have some pretty interesting ones
My Own Private Idaho : sex scenes shot like still frames, even though they weren’t.
Lunacy : insane director of the insane asylum makes an insane tableau vivant of insane people.
I was going to mention Viridiana but Frank beat me to it!
This is all fantastic. Thanks for the helpful recommendations, and keep them coming.
Ruiz loves his tableaux vivants. The most famous example is Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1979), but also check out Genealogies of a Crime (1997) where they’re used as a psychoanalytical method!
And from Cofralandes, Chilean Rhapsody (2002):
“Barry Lyndon” was lit to look like 18th century paintings. Many people claim it was shot with natural light, but there are a few scenes where you can tell Kubrick used electric lights diffused, such as an early scene with Redmond and Nora playing cards.
In “Ran,” Kurosawa used his own paintings as storyboards.
F.W. Murnau’s “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” was inspired by early 20th century Dutch pastoral works.
I think it would be cool to see how painterly one could make standard-definition DV look.
BARRY LYNDON reminds me of Ridley Scott’s slow zoom out from the perfectly still couple, Keith Carradine and Cristina Raines striking a seated tableau in their living room…until they are broken out of it by the kick of their gestating baby. Great moment and great use of frozen time to express the emotional state of a couple eagerly awaiting a monumental transition with bated breath.