6 September 2012

Stanley Kubrick – One-Point Perspective

Some items of film direction are very difficult to explain. Unless of course, you have a visually stunning teaching device such as this from kogonada. In one-point perspective a single vanishing point is typically used for roads, railway tracks, hallways, or buildings (interior or exterior)viewed so that the front is directly facing the viewer.

Any objects that are made up of lines either directly parallel with the viewer's line of sight or directly perpendicular can be represented with one-point perspective. Without using any of these words (or any at all for that matter) this marvelous piece of film explains it all.

More than many directors, Kubrick was aware of the emotional and mental effect it has on audiences – it can be somewhat disquieting on film. This reel is a prime example of how disconcerting evenness and proportion can be in motion picture photography. Even when there is no clear and present danger there is something in the balance which unbalances the viewer. They produce a feeling of unease.

Everything appears correctly in place but there is something out of kilter in our minds. This is a wonderful example of how one auteur used it throughout his oeuvre to incredible effect. You will also, hopefully, have great fun movie spotting in this short (it is less than two minutes in length).