Sunday, 19 May 2013

An image, frozen in time (Out of the Past)

Films are moving images and often a single image needs the context of the images that come before and after to be meaningful. But sometimes they can stand alone. The image is sufficiently expressive and does not need to be further understood, or it is visually beautiful, and needs no explanations. Some makes you want to enlarge them and hang them up on the wall.

"An image, frozen in time" is where I take a particular still image, one that I happen to like, and write about it, in just a few words.

The first one is connected to last week's post about Jacques Tourneur as it is from his Out of the Past (1947). It was hard to chose a specific image from that incredibly rich and beautiful film so I might do more but this is for today.

The stars of the film are Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas, but the part played by Virginia Huston is equally memorable. She plays Ann, the girlfriend of Jeff (played by Mitchum) and in some ways she is the real victim in the film. She is kind and sweet where the others are cynical, scheming and cruel, yet she too will lose in the end, without having done anything wrong. The image is from a scene in a car when Jeff reveals his past, that he is not the man Ann thinks he is, and about his previous affair with Kathie (played by Greer). Her expression is so delicate, not angry or upset, she is just pained and sad, and it is enough to make you cry.

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