20 April 2005

Offscreen space

I'm a big fan of clever use of offscreen space. Tell me that Pulp Fiction was a piece of hackwork and I'll remind you that it's practically a movie about offscreen space: the briefcase, obviously, plus stuff like Vincent crashing his car and Butch choosing his weapon. Doubt that Spielberg knows what he's doing, and I'll remind you of a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in which Indy's cunning eye notices a wire running in through the top of doorframe ... but the scene is framed such that we can only see it when he points it out. Mmmm. Offscreen space.

So here's a nice little observation from Roger Ebert in his review of Ring Two.

In the scene where she's going down into the basement, we keep repeating, "it's only a basement," but I was surprised that the ancient cinematic techniques still worked for me. In all such scenes it is essential for the camera to back into the basement while focused on the heroine, so that we cannot see what she sees, and therefore, through curious movie logic, neither can she.
I'll be dipped --- I just never noticed this before.


Mike Sugarbaker said...

That's, uh... that's some review of Ring Two that um... Ebert did.

Jonathan Korman said...

Well, that was a poke in the eye with a sharp stick! Link corrected!