' Cinema Romantico: Starlet: My Favorite Shot Of 2012, Re-Visited

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Starlet: My Favorite Shot Of 2012, Re-Visited

---I originally put up this post back at the beginning of the year sans actual shot, but since that time the cinematographer of "Starlet", the incredibly kind Radium Cheung, got in touch with me and provided the still of the shot of which I wrote. Thus, I am re-running the post today with the still and the still of the shot leading up to the shot to mark the film's release on Video On Demand. Because you should go to your VOD right now and buy it and watch it. Seriously. That's not a suggestion. That's an order.

As I have communicated before, my favorite shots tend to be framed simply but elegantly, primarily working to convey heaps of emotion and meaning. The shot that occurs in the latter half of Sean Baker’s indie gem “Starlet” is not technically ambitious, though it does utilize the glittering twilight of Los Angeles to fine effect, with the camera lingering just outside the passenger window of Jane’s (Dree Hemingway) car as it moves, probably west down Ventura Boulevard.


Jane’s situation at the moment the shot is served makes all the difference. She has just packed up her belongings, though they are far short of many, including her requisite faithful dog, and moved out of the house (room) where she was living. She does not know where she is going. She does not know where she will be staying. At present, her car is her home. Oh, and she is on the verge of flying to Paris with a geriatric recluse whom she has only just met and befriended. This would be enough to put anyone on edge or induce pangs of stress.

So what does Jane do? She tilts her head back and laughs, stopping short of crazily but not by much.

This is my favorite shot of the year.


It is my favorite shot of the year because it captures with gracefully astounding perfection that feeling I dare say we have all at one time or another experienced, that feeling of an irrevocable, potentially damaging, possibly life-altering decision and having no idea which way it is going to go and not even caring which way it is going to go because that is for tomorrow and this is not even today – it is right the f--- now.

This shot is what it means to be alive.

3 comments:

Alex Withrow said...

Damnit, your post about this film a few months ago totally made me want to see it. Completely forgot. Gotta hunt this one down. Great write up man.

Nick Prigge said...

Thanks, man! You gotta see it! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Em Pakdevitayakul said...

One of my most favorite films of all time :')