Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Safe

[For those curious, this is a regular feature over at The Film Experience. Previous entries can be found here.]

Safe is a film that recently garnered new attention thanks to its recent Criterion transfer. By the time the 1990s were over, the careers of director Todd Haynes and star Julianne Moore had earned a wider audience because of this film. (Moore finally got her overdue Academy Award earlier this year but Haynes has yet to receive such acclaim for his directing though he did get nominated for writing Far from Heaven).

Back to Safe. There are many working elements of the film that you notice. For instance, the film's use of white noise adds to its sense of paranoia. And thanks to Moore's performance, it becomes a film that may be too much for one to handle.

The best shot of Safe

It's this shot that I feel best sums up Safe. This is after Carol's first attack, and it mirrors what's to follow for her. Amid her suffering of mysterious causes, she's alone in trying to come back to reality. Like many other shots later on in the film (including one of the final shots), Carol is framed in an isolated center shot. Even with many people caring about her well-being, Carol's all alone in her potential recovery.


  1. I almost chose this shot! but it woudl have changed my essay. I think it's fascinating that even during her coughing jag she finds the emptiest place to park.

    Carol is also isolating herself. She's part of the problem.

    1. Ooh, I didn't think of the latter part in that way. Clever.

  2. Oh, I fucking love that shot. I just love the fact that part of Haynes' direction is that it doesn't have a lot of close-ups but a lot of wide shots that does play into Carol's own sense of detachment from reality.


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