Friday, October 28, 2005

The Gazing Game, Part 2

Once more I stop and stare. Like this:

Citizen Kane (1941)

He cannot believe what he sees: As he makes a gracious gesture of invitation to the wide world to love him--a kind of wave of the hand, almost like a magician--he is rebuffed, as though he had raised his hand to strike, not offer; and his outrage seethes and contests the verdict, certain someone has him all wrong, but there it is behind his eyes, the near-panic, while a simple but monumental thing, a child's moment, looms and burns.

Peeping Tom (1960)

You wonder what is that godawful thing you're looking at, that curving face, the whole thing like a blurry smile, concave--convex?--and leaning into you--and you realize it's you, your eyes wide, your mouth open, and without any breath left you know you should be screaming, because the sharp point has touched, and more than touched, and continues to approach.

Eyes without a Face (Les Yeux sans visage) (1960)

The car races, its headlights slicing the night like Dali's razor--or Bunuel's cloud--toward the girl in the mask, her eyes impassive as she watches the scalpel flash and the flesh fail beneath the weight of her father's desperate guilt, strong enough to fling him into the jaws of Cerberus.

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