The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood

5.x28 The Captive City

Cinematographer Lee Garmes’s crew removed the driver-side door and mounted a camera with a 40-millmeter lens. Then they attached a generator to the front of the car, powering a set of lamps to illuminate the actors. The results are exceptionally eerie, using camera movement to express the film’s fears of urban decay. In voiceover, the protagonist regrets what has happened to his beloved town. In the background, the town whizzes by, just a blur of white neon lights sliding through pitch-black backgrounds.

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