Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking Perfection in the Eye

And now for something completely different. Here, friends, I give you a video clip that changed my life. This is the very end of Third Man and yes I do recommend you watch the full movie, and no seeing the end won’t ruin the entire film. It stars the inimitable Joseph Cotton and the legendary Orson Welles. But really, this clip is the best part of the movie and – dare I say it – perhaps the most cinematically perfect ending of any film ever. It’s so rapturous in its gentle simplicity, so poetically tragic and succinct it brings me to tears. The score is inspired, the long-take cinematography gorgeous, the whole thing is utterly flawless.

To think that I first glimpsed this small wonder in – horror of horrors – my Clint Eastwood class in which my professor inexplicably showed it to us in an effort to make us appreciate Eastwood more, though it probably did the opposite by pointing out how flawed his films are in comparison. But from that moment on, I was a changed woman. I went home and found the clip on YouTube and spent months hunting down the ethereal and haunting zither music of Anton Karas. I had been touched like someone who had had a religious vision or whatnot, and I too felt like I had seen the light. I had witnessed perfection, stood eye to eye with it, perhaps even grazed it a little, and now was never to be the same.

So please, watch and savor the delight of seeing something so wholly perfect.

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