This film taught me a lesson that has not only stuck with me, but remained an important guiding point in my mind for every film I’ve watched since.
It taught me that you don’t have to like every aspect of a film in order to really appreciate it. I don’t know why but I think we as humans tend to be too opinionated in everything (I’m a particular offender), and not open-minded enough. If you have to love every part of every film you see, then you’ll end up appreciating very few. You can love certain aspects of it and dislike others without sacrificing your perspective of the whole.
The cinematography in The Reflecting Skin is not only beautiful but incredibly moving. To me, the kind of shots that can evoke emotion in and of themselves are the best kinds, but maybe the hardest to accomplish. I think it might be more achievable to take sweeping shots of magnificent landscapes which sometimes gets chalked up to great cinematography. But put a film in a flat, farm-land setting with little but corn and sky as a backdrop, all while making the viewer feel rich emotion is quite an accomplishment.
This is the one thing about this film that I adore. The subject matter is too disturbing for my taste and the bleak outlook is hard to swallow. But the erieness, hopelessness and utter tragedy you can feel with just a camera angle is mind blowing to me. If you’re into cinematography in any way, shape or form I encourage you to check out this diamond in the rough.
Image via The Reflecting Skin, directed by Philip Ridley