Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Preparation for Willa Harper's Murder


From Charles Laughton's "Night of the Hunter"


Willa lies flat on her back with her arms crossed over her chest, apparently ready for burial.  The mood is eerily calm; Rev. Powell stands with his head bowed as though in prayer or observance of Willa's lamentations.  Willa is in a trance, unable to face the knowledge that her husband is a murderer.

  As we approach the murder the bedroom becomes a wicked, expressionist chapel with a satanic reverend.  The camera has receded from the bed, causing Willa to lose her humanity and become an object.  There is nothing outside of the room but darkness in spite of the fact that light appears to be coming in through the window on the left.  Perspective is skewed; Rev. Powell towers over the door frame while the ceiling is absurdly high for a modest farmhouse; the vertical wall to the right is shorter than the one to the left.  The asymmetrical triangles of light menacingly suggest the switchblade that Rev. Powell will use on his wife.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The most beautiful movie of ever.
A masterpiece of XXth century art.