July 31, 2011

Vanishing Point is visually exhilarating.

Setting aside "Tree of Life" for a moment, the most visually exciting movie I've seen in a long time is "Vanishing Point," which is showing as part of a road movies series at the awesome Belcourt Theater.

From the very opening of the film, which provides relatively long takes of roadblock bulldozers inching into place on the highway in a small town, I knew we were in for something special. And that's not why we went to see a presumably fun action movie from 1971.

But the visuals kept on giving, whether showing distant cop cars wavering in the desert heat or a tracking shot -- tightly cropped -- on the face of a blonde riding a motorcycle across a field. There are also abstracted images of the lines on the pavement, color field-like images of flickering landscapes and shot after shot of Kowalski's rear view mirror; each mirror glance shows what pursues him, framed by the landscape ahead.

Perhaps these sound typical for a road movie, but I feel "Vanishing Point" has a different pace, whether lingering on an image a bit longer than expect or allowing a bit of camera shake (not in the modern, trendy way) to add some energy.

So check it out.

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Blogger Chase said...

Bob and I watched the end of this movie one night before SNL came on. I'll have it out.

July 31, 2011 at 9:25 PM 

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