Friday, 13 January 2012
Framing in Argento -- fragment of a Deleuzean reading
Like Leone, Argento used 2.35:1 widescreen Techniscope until commercial considerations of television and video sales encouraged use of the 1.85 ratio on Inferno and Tenebre. While Argento's compositions perhaps do not draw attention to the shape of the 2.35:1 frame as often as Leone does, the effect on those occasions where he does so is thereby arguably heightened. In Leone's films the use of the all areas of the frame, the out of field/frame and quasi-split screen effects generally does not serve any obvious purpose beyond making the conventions of classical cinema evident. In contrast the likes of the widescreen composition in Deep Red when Marc, on the far left, and Carlo, on the far right, shout to one another across a space dominated by the central statuary, also have a pedagogical role. For in conjunction with Carlo's remarks on the distinction between what Marc thought he saw and what he actually saw this image draws attention to Marc's reading of the image of Carlo's mother in the bottom left of the frame as a face in the painting she was reflected into. This image also establishes a crystal-image circuit between the actual - Carlo's mother - and the virtual - Carlo's mother as mirrored into the painting that confuses Marc.