Blowing Up, Slowly but Surely (083568)

25 May

The film Blow-Up was released in 1966 and revolves around an unusual day in the life of a photographer that believes he has played witness to a murder. The movie follows the young photographer as he goes about his business throughout a regular working day, taking pictures of models, landscapes and whatever interests him. However, as he stumbles upon what appears to be a young couple in love and later “blows-up” his photographs of them, he comes to the horrific conclusion that he has just witnessed a murder as his pictures show a stranger with a gun and the eventual dead body of the man.

The film as a whole comes off as realistic and voyeuristic. For most of the film we see the plot unfold from the photographers point of view, exactly as he would. Even the musical score isn’t used unless a radio or record player is used in the scene, such as during his photo shoots. Ambient and natural sounds are what make up the majority of the noise in the film such as gusts of wind, the sound of traffic and automobiles, and the clicking of the photographer’s camera. This may make the film difficult to watch as it provides less of an edge and may cause the viewers to lose interest. We as the audience are simply viewing the events of the film for what it is, being spectators, nothing more than on-lookers of what is going on.

The film eventually has the photographer actually see the dead body in the middle of the night, however lacking his camera he is unable to snap any photographic evidence, and when he returns in the morning, the body is gone. The movie concludes with the photographer once again in the park watching a squad of mimes play tennis, as the imaginary ball flies out of the court and seemingly towards the photographer, he gestures to pick it up and toss it back at them as the film cuts to a birds eye view shot (further implying the voyeuristic nature of the film) of the man in the park and the eventual end scene.

As a metaphor I feel that the film encompasses that feeling of capturing a priceless moment with a camera, and how easily it can slip away. In the film that moment is the murder, only to slip away from the photographer at the very end, representative of his return back to his normal life in the park, with no photographic proof of what he has just witnessed, and how no one would believe him if he were to even tell the story.

My favorite part of the film occurs when the protagonist is slowly uncovering and realizing the murder that he has just witnessed. Whilst in his home, slowly blowing up the pictures he had taken earlier in the day, and suddenly realizing the shooter in one of his pictures and subsequently the dead body on the ground behind the tree, it is all very nerve-racking. It would be customary to add a dramatic score at this point in this film but it is in fact the lack of any music whatsoever that brings in this very unsettling feeling to the audience, only to climax with the sudden knock on his door.

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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized


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