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Archive for July 10th, 2016

IFM - Alien closeup

by Lee Price

Email Sent: Mon, Jun 27, 2016 8:57 am

Hi Sam,

Hmmm… I’m seriously considering going down one of cinema’s greatest rabbit holes. Has anyone claimed Invaders from Mars yet? …

Lee

I’ve been down my share of rabbit holes. There were the hours spent listening to “I Am the Walrus” and “Revolution #9” forwards, backwards, and sideways. And my obsessive dive into the allegations of electronic rigging in the 2004 Bush-Kerry election. And a critical deep dive into the expressionist film The Golem (1921), writing 21 pretty decent essays on the movie but at one point finding a distorted cross in a freeze frame of one shot and building a deeply questionable theory upon it.

You stare at something too long, you can go a little crazy—perhaps start to see patterns forming that aren’t really there. On happy rare occasions, the rabbit hole leads somewhere worthwhile but other times you just get lost underground.

The deeper you dive, the more opportunity there is to lose your bearings. On the second, third, and fourth viewing of a movie, you’re still fresh, discovering new meanings. But by the time you’re on the 51st viewing, or conducting the frame-by-frame analysis, or—in a spectacularly creative approach—simultaneously projecting the movie forward and backward to see if there’s meaning in how the shots superimpose on each other… well, at that point, it might be better to leave the dark room and play in the park with the mimes for a while. In Room 237, a documentary on rabbit-hole explorations of The Shining (1980), one of the interviewees actually did that forward-backward superimposition thing. He thinks he found buried meanings. But it’s more likely he was just lost in the maze. (more…)

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