'Moments That Made the Movies,' by David Thomson
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Citing the "Dancing in the Dark" sequence from "The Band Wagon" (1953), where initially wary hoofer Fred Astaire circles around warier ballerina Cyd Charisse before arriving at a detente, Thomson notes, "As an auteur, Fred had a very simple code: that dance could solve everything."
Thomson's seemingly offhand observation about a sequence in "A History of Violence" (2005) where Viggo Mortenson, as a diner owner with a past, goes back to settle accounts with his mobster brother, William Hurt, takes on Dostoyevskian resonance.
Does this conflict really correspond with life, or is fraternity a way of dramatizing the gulf between good and evil, comedy and drama, in all of us?
With a film editor's keen sense of varying frame and camera angle, Thomson cuts from Muybridge's medium shot of these full bodies to a close-up of the transfixed face of Renée Falconetti in Carl Theodor Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928).
For Thomson, the film is about two different kinds of passion, "the
San Francisco Chronicle article