Sunday, February 10, 2013

Top Eleven: Images From If We Don't, Remember Me

So I'm on tumblr, though now I have to figure out what exactly I -do- with the silly thing.  So far I've been able to latch onto other accounts that have some fascinating images (I've discussed Oh, Videogames twice before, but I have since discovered another group on tumblr that has captured my imagination.

I present 11 of my favorite "living movie stills" from If We Don't, Remember Me.

Now, each one of these images meets one of the following criteria for me:

1) It captures a scene or mood of a movie perfectly, letting you know what's happening despite just being a recursive loop of a few seconds of film.

2) It captures a character perfectly, either in a moment of madness or reflection, of stress or of calm, it bares the essence of the character to the audience.

3) The picture designer captures a perfect moment in time.  There are several images where you see someone holding almost perfectly still, then maybe they just shift their eyes slightly, or their shoulders shift as they breathe.  In these images it feels like I've opened a tiny window into someone else's life, and they're either just looking back or I'm waiting for them to notice I'm there.

4) It freaked me the hell out when the movement happened.

We'll start with one from True Grit, and I really do think this "scene" is captured perfectly.  It really shows well that it's just two people against the world, and there isn't a single thing in that world that would indicate that their journey (or whatever they were doing) would be easy.  The forest is barren, the grass is dead, and the snow whips around them, just starting to build up to something worse.

For people who haven't seen the movie Fargo, I won't spoil who that is, but it also captures a scene of a movie extremely well.  Clearly, something bad has happened, this is not a film you watch for anything lighthearted.  The world is cold, uncaring, and now tinged with a bit more red.  And that machine will keep on running as long as you leave this window open.

This is an example of case #3, a stolen moment from the 1963 movie Charade.  I'll admit I haven't seen this movie, but in that brief moment where the picture blinks, it feels like I'm somehow looking into someone else's life, or that someone is trying their best to be a statue, but the fact that their body requires blinking pulls you out of it and reminds you that it's a person.  It's subtle, but it's an effect I like.

If anybody would be so insane that they'd be able to start moving around in a still picture of himself and his "mates," it would be Alex from A Clockwork Orange.  He moves as if he's just mocking you with the fact that he can and refuses to remain still to meet your "photo standards."

This is the first of two moments from the movie The Shining, and it freaked me the hell out when I first saw it.  The slow head turn makes me think I might actually be looking into that room, which means they can see me.  And the implications of that are terrifying.

I love the movie Metropolis, and this image captures perfectly just how "out there" the film was, even by today's standards (remember, this was done in 1927).  Again, it feels like I opened up a window into whatever world that film exists in, and I'm seeing something that's actually happening.  It's fascinating, and slightly creepy.

The second of my The Shining images, I think this one works on multiple levels.  It's like someone told Jack Nicholson, "okay, just stare back at the camera while people look at this image...oh, and don't go insane."  And then he does, just to mess with us.

 There is no creepier smile than Norman Bates in Psycho (the smile Alex has in A Clockwork Orange is based on it), and to have Norman suddenly glance up and smile that way, again, leaves you wondering, "If I can see him...and he looks at me like that....can he see me, too?"

 I have also not seen the movie Audition, but that bag freaked me the hell out when it first moved.

A great shot from The Truman Show, I think this one image really does spotlight how Truman's entire world shapes itself around him, be it stories, history, or even the weather.  It's just great and carries that sense of despair he has at being eternally rained on forever.

I just like light bikes, and thought this was well built.  Kudos, Tron.  Kudos.

I highly recommend everybody who likes film take a look at the site, as there are many brilliant images I left out.  Everything from American Psycho to Pulp Fiction is there, though I'd like to see a few from, say, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  I think focusing on the still moments would work great in a movie that insane.

They can skip any stills of Home Alone 3, though.  Nobody deserves to be stuck in one of those scenes for eternity.

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