To conclude our series on Cinematic Storytelling, last week Mystery Man examined the origins of and opinions about close-ups.
Today, in the 10th and final episode, we look at 23 visual examples and their dramatic reason.
To examine beauty / ugliness:
To illuminate a glance we would not have seen (as in Lady Snowblood):
To establish an essential prop in the narrative (thanks to Keith Uhlich):
To insert an important text or image that pushes the story forward:
To inspire using a much-loved visual symbol:
To convey non-verbal emotions (like confusion and embarrassment):
To emphasize a word(s):
To make us face a face that we may not wish to see:
To emphasize power, influence, obsession, or one individual’s absolute resolve to stay the course:
To create a feeling of unease and paranoia:
To punctuate the severity of a tragedy (as in Battleship Potemkin):
To convey isolation and emptiness:
To show a different side of a character, such as an army leader’s personal, private breakdown:
To terrify (as in Opera):
To disorient (thanks to Jonathan Lapper):
To tantalize (as in Malena):
To show a moment of extreme intimacy:
To make a visual statement about a character (as in Miller’s Crossing thanks to the Opening Shots Project):
To reveal a sought-after MaGuffin:
To capitalize on a heightened emotional near-death climax:
To provide a moment of humor:
And to give resolution to a conflict:
– Mystery Man
In his own words, Mystery Man was “famous yet anonymous, failed yet accomplished, brilliant yet semi-brilliant. A homebody jetsetting around the world. Brash and daring yet chilled with a twist.”
MM blogged for nearly 4 years and tweeted for only 4 months, then disappeared – mysteriously.
The Story Department continues to republish his best articles on Monday.
Here, you’ll also be informed about the release of his screenwriting book.