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However, when the camera detaches itself from Travis it also – at least partially - detaches itself from experiential perspective.It may still communicate something to us about Travis subjective state but does so throughnarrative agency (‘Scorsese’) rather than through character and performance.
However, their relationship quickly turns sour as Travis takes her to see a ‘dirty picture’.
The shot in question is initially static, showing us Travis taking in the first words of rejection from Betsy (fig. But in the course of the conversation, the camera – unmotivated by moving action – tracks right and stops on an empty hallway while we continue to hear Travis off-screen (fig. At the end of the hallway is a door opening onto the street.
As the shot unfolds, Travis hangs up the phone and walks into the hallway.
Herrmann’s score joins forces with Travis’ voice-over to convey how he tried to contact her after that – but to no avail (fig. Given the attention bestowed upon the camera movement by Kael (and others subsequently) and the privileged position it holds for Martin Scorsese it is worth asking why this shot – in particular the camera movement contained within it – is so arresting?
Cinematic phone conversations have a long history dating back to early silent cinema.