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Widescreen

Cinematic truth lies in the close-up

By Mark Cousins   June 2004

The whole point about cinema, surely, is the close-up of the human face. Huge images such as the Sphinx, Mount Rushmore and the colossal statues in Greece and Rome established the sense of wonder to be had in gazing at magnified physiognomy, but until the movies, such depictions were rare. Even in vast paintings – of battles, landscapes, coronations – the human beings tended to be no more than twice or thrice our size. But Greta Garbo’s inscrutable face was hundreds of times bigger than that of those who read their own thoughts into it. Therein lies the wonder of…

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