“‘And why was I drawn to these shots? […] I didn’t only think the shots were unusual, or striking, I thought they were gently mysterious, and that they were significant. They asked questions of me. As the film continued, the memory of the shots kept returning. My intuition was that because the shots were like that they might give me a key to the whole film, and open it up in new and rewarding ways.'”

Andrew Klevan, in conversation with Stanley Cavell. Quoted in Christian Keathley, “Otto Preminger and the Surface of Cinema,” in World Picture 2, Autumn 2008, pp.1-14.


I’m drawn more to images, to aspects of the mise-en-scène, sometimes distracted by an actor’s features and expressions, than to story or plot. This blog began as an outlet for writing about the significance of clothes/costume in movies. It’s Harvey Keitel adjusting his collared shirt (with the sleeves hemmed by his mother) in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, or Lauren Bacall in gold lamé, resting her elbows on a checkered-covered table in The Big Sleep.

Recently, I’ve had interesting conversations with friends who are also film lovers about the intensity of response to certain movies, and I thought I’d share some of them here (however tentative or preliminary). The Madeleine Project, dedicated to the female protagonist fuelling James Stewart’s obsessions in Hitchcock’s Vertigo, has widened its scope to the more generally eye-catching, nagging moments that linger after we’ve left the cinema (or closed our laptops).


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