Composition of the Day: EISENSTEIN IN GUANAJUATO (2015), directed by Peter Greenaway

I’ve never before seen a dolly-zoom like this one. Unlike the locus classicus of the technique in JAWS (Spielberg, 1975), it is executed slowly and has little to do with shock or even with giving the viewer access to character subjectivity.

The camera begins in an extreme long shot (fig. 1).

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Fig. 1. Eisenstein in Guanajuato.

After simultaneously tracking in and zooming out, the camera ends up in a position closer to the actors, and the left and right sides of the frame have crowded in on the viewing space (fig. 2).

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Fig.2. Eisenstein in Guanajuato.

The movie is punctuated by moments like this, where space becomes radically warped.

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