Monday, November 21, 2005

The Gazing Game, Part 3

Do you see what I see? Right here:

Solaris (1972)

The famous inky depths of outer space should reward the viewer with a solid emptiness that is so slow to change that one must hurtle through it to remember difference; but on Solaris one can simply stare at the curve of a hallway and everything moves, but at the periphery, and with a subtle hand at the elbow to drive one into the past, where a constant shifting seems necessary to keep the memories one step ahead of the anticipation of the next moment, which does not come, leaving only Solaris wherever one looks.

The Machinist (2004)

The face in the mirror advances like Romero's dead--but not with solipsistic cool; instead, the more the face approaches itself, the more its skeleton-stench fades in order to flesh out the necessary truth, until the self is nothing, the truth everything, and the forehead cracks the mirror.

Shadowlands (1993)

His bright and level eyes are fixed on God, but he does this without blinking, which is why they fill with blinding tears, and his gaze becomes a straining bursting mask of insistence and importuning, completely useless until he blinks and relieves the unnecessary effort, so that he can see again--if not so clearly, at least for longer stretches, and with joy.

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