The Domestic Trap

Maybe these two shots explain why Fred Zinnemann kept traveling the world, making big films that occupied months and months of his time… to Europe (DAY OF THE JACKAL), Africa (THE NUN’ S STORY), Australia (THE SUNDOWNERS)…

In THE SUNDOWNERS, Robert Mitchum’s fear of being tied down to one place is embodied in this shoebox of a shot.

But, interestingly, the guardedly optimistic ending of TERESA features a similar composition. I guess in part that sense of enclosure is what makes it only guardedly optimistic…


2 Responses to “The Domestic Trap”

  1. It is an interestingly composed shot also in the sense that it feels as if the camera would be placed outside of the fourth wall of the room if it were a conventional box shaped one. Perhaps that adds a certain theatrical quality to those images too?

  2. In Theresa it certainly gives us the feeling of withdrawing from the drama, as if the curtain might fall, which works as it’s the ending. It’s a kind of shot you don’t see much after the early 30s because I think they decided it looked too stagey. In The Sundowners I don’t think it functions that way, but the corners of the room really do align with the corners of the frame, creating an enclosed feeling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: