Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Image Gallery: Five Sensual Shots
Joel Bocko over at The Dancing Image has tagged me for a fun new meme: a themed image gallery assembled from cinematic screen captures. The idea originated with Stephen of Checking On My Sausages, who a while back put out a call for single images displaying the glory of cinema.
This small gallery is my response, assembled rather loosely around the theme of sensuality and sexuality: images that entice, provoke, and suggest. The images are very different in their context and their content, suggesting the sheer variety with which the cinema has approached this most human of subjects. An image from Godard comes from a scene in which the French master, always fascinated by the eternal battle between man and woman, satirically mocks the fetishization and commercialization of sexuality, a theme he'd explore even more savagely in his 1980 Sauve qui peut (la vie). It is a theme that of course also resonates with Buñuel, who approaches it in an entirely different way while explicitly framing such sexual excesses in response to clerical puritanism, as an audience of priests observe, with horror, a sadomasochistic encounter. Claire Denis and Maurice Pialat, meanwhile, are concerned with the violent aspects of sex, the former delving into bloody horror as sex becomes synonymous with death, the latter dealing with the psychological wounds lovers inflict on one another. (Which doesn't stop Pialat from pausing for a delightful, charming moment of sexual joy.) Finally, Apitchapong Weerasethakul captures a moment of casual intimacy amidst a low-key argument.
It should be noted, too, that I didn't intend for this to be the theme. I simply grabbed five films I like off my shelves, more or less at random, and discovered that the commonality between them was these kinds of images.
The films, in order, with links to my full reviews where applicable, are:
Police (Maurice Pialat)
The Phantom of Liberty (Luis Buñuel)
Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis)
Syndromes and a Century (Apitchapong Weerasethakul)
Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard)
I'm supposed to tag people for this, but I'd rather just leave it open. If you're reading this, go ahead and make your own image gallery. Just make sure to link back to Joel and Stephen's original posts.