“Absolute Bearing”

The pastness of all films is implicit in in the retrospection of their frames, a property of the medium demonstrated by polished “Hollywood” features and by our out-of-focus, badly lighted, uncentered home movies. The embarrassed and graceless movements of dead relatives and friends overwhelm us with a poignancy that most still photographs of the same faces and bodies do not produce.

The cinematic frame, by dint of its serial projections, has a precarious grasp on the presence and activities of life. Whether in the artfully composed 35 millimeter close-up of a movie star or in the super-8 grimacing countenances of once young parents, the frame makes us pay dearly in affect for beholding its vacillating modes of present and past.

Affron, Charles. Cinema and Sentiment. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1982. 47. Print.


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