Film School: the Close-Up of the Human Face

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

The image powering films from Spaghetti Westerns to intimate character studies.

In his contemplation of the function, and more importantly the feeling, of the close-up as used by director Sergio Leone, Entertain the Elk opines that “kind of intimacy is one thing that cinema gives us, that few other art forms can”, and furthermore that Leone’s particular use of them in his Spaghetti Westerns “disrupts the conventional heroes of the West to reveal the dark underbelly of it all“:

In an era of CGI-powered cinema releases, Nerdwriter reminds us that, once upon a time, the “special effect” which drew people to theatres was the human face:

Ingmar Bergman is another director whose work employs the close-up in uniquely powerful ways. Thomas Flight‘s examination pays particular attention to Bergman’s compositions using two faces: