Sunday, November 24, 2013

Watched Lift to the Scaffold again after many years & notice this time around the role of cars : Tavernier's convertible, the German tourist's sports model & the Renault Dauphine Jeanne Moreau drives.

The closing scene remains as stunning as ever, the gradual development of the crucial photograph (& its subsequent disappearance through overexposure).*

Last week it occurred to me how photographs are changing. The ubiquitous teenage BFF snap with an iPhone or Touch (bunny ears, V sign, funny face which are now standard for the genre - hold up the iPhone, put our heads together, make a face, snap! Giggle.)

More significant (disturbing?) is this way of looking into the camera which already anticipates the result - a kind of boomerang effect. Gone is the uncertainty of lens/film/exposure/developer and the delay (trip to the Chemist, SAE to the lab, etc). Or that late Victorian kind of pose where one sat for posterity). Now the moment returns immediately, the pose is always-already taken. In a sense, each snap fulfils a pre-established image & is forgotten as quickly. Send/ delete/ ...

Whereas, watching Moreau, the close ups, the sheer astonishment occasioned by this face - how little of it would survive today's pixilated encoding.


* a pedantic objection (or fascinating alternative reading) to the final scene: who is the 'third' who took the compromising pictures of Tavernier & his mistress? Someone else was in on the secret - the tiny camera was surely not able to manage time delay shooting?

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