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WATCH: This Video Essay Explores the Way We See Ourselves in Movies, from Charlie Chaplin to THE MATRIX

WATCH: This Video Essay Explores the Way We See Ourselves in Movies, from Chaplin to THE MATRIX

This gorgeously executed video essay takes us from The Great Train Robbery to Lost Highway to The Matrix to the original Dracula to Rear Window to explore what’s happening when we watch movies. The elegant point made here is two fold. One part is that when we watch a film, we are immediately brought back to what Jacques Lacan called the mirror stage, or the point at which an infant recognizs himself or herself in a mirror. The other part, and the more more ominous part, is that we look to movies to find idealized versions of ourselves–which is perhaps a childish impulse. That impulse, when reflected in a film, is chilling. Who could forget Bill Pullman’s phone conversation with Robert Blake in Lost Highway, as Blake was standing a couple of feet away from Pullman? Or Jimmy Stewart’s building revelations through his binoculars in Rear Window? This piece from Little Studio navigates, with delicacy and swiftness, some thorny concepts, threaded together with extensive film scholarship and great perceptiveness.

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