That last bit I typed on the previous post - the part about Grace Kelly's face - reminded me of a story I heard once about John Ford. I am trying to recall it from memory...but it went something like this:
During the shooting of one of his films, John Ford and his crew made the trek to Monument Valley, where many of the famous John Ford landsape shots were filmed (to this day, no filmmaker shoots there, out of respect). But in the morning when the crew got up to shoot, it was raining something terrible. A studio executive who was with them looked out of their tent and said, "what the hell are you going to shoot in all this muck?" and Ford supposedly replied, "The most interesting and fascinating thing in the entire world: the human face."
As I said, from birth we are drawn to look at faces. We get all of our information from other people's faces: do they like us? Do they hate us? Are they going to attack us? Are they going to embrace us? So much of our actions in life are reactions to what we see around us, and faces are always an important stimuli.
People in the animation business are always trhowing around the criticism "it's just talking heads". Animation - particularly television animation - has become guilty of relying on a lot of close-ups to tell a story, because it's cheaper and easy to draw. It's really hard to storyboard a sequence the way it SHOULD be done, by finding the right staging for each shot to tell the story well (by that I mean: where do you place the camera to tell the story the most effectively?). It's so much easier to draw faces as people deliver their dialogue. So it becomes a crutch, and when people see it, they whip out the easy crticism: "ugh, it's just talking heads."
But many live-action films have long stretches of just "talking heads". I guess it's more interesting to watch close-ups of real actors than CG or hand-drawn ones.
But, of course, every animated film has it's share as well. why? Because they're necessary, of course! There are so many emotions that can only be shown in the face. And for those we need close-ups. How could you show two people talking intimately and falling in love is you weren't looking at their faces? It wouldn't seem sincere if you were looking at their whole bodies. And if you went through a whole movie without seeing an actor in close-up, you wouldn't feel that concerned for them or connected to them. Close-ups, which is how we tend to see people in real life when we are talking to them, make us feel connected to the actor and helps us feel empathy for them - which is necessary if you want your audience to be concerned when they are hanging off Mount Rushmore or something like that.
Anyway.........more screengrabs. This one cracks me up - it's a Hitchcock gag tableau! You HEAR a car wrecking (without seeing it) then cut to this - the comic tableau of how this police car got smashed. A wrecked car, a chicken and the cop on the radio saying "it was a chicken....no, a chicken!" (in French).
An interesting angle from the car chase that led to the wreck:
Nothing too brilliant to say about these next ones. Just good composition: a nice uneven breakup of space, and no uninteresting or blank areas in the frame.
Lots of good questions and comments in the last post - sorry for not answering better, I will later. For now, I am still trying to recover and rest.