Monday, November 20, 2023

Naomi Watts' King Kong Close-Ups

Naomi Watts, first-billed in the Peter Jackson-directed King Kong (2005), must carry the film with relatively little dialogue. No surprise, then, that Jackson uses many close-up shots to capture the full range of Watts' emotive abilities. I thought it might be interesting to show a frame or two from each of these close-ups side-by-side to showcase her performance, which is my favorite thing about this remake.

I initially thought to do so here, as one long photo-heavy blog post, but after screencapping several hundred frames, I decided it may be more practical to issue one image per day on a platform better suited to that type of presentation (or at least one that has previously gotten me more action than Blogger). Below, therefore, are links to the Instagram and Twitter accounts I've created for this purpose. (Some posts contain more than one frame from the same shot. On Twitter these are visible all at once, on Instagram, swipe left.)

One note: My definition of "close-up" is a little flexible, both out of necessity, because pinning down the boundary between certain framings is not an exact science, and personal choice, as there are some frames I like too much to omit. In any case, I'm confident that all genuine close-ups will be included, along with a fair number of medium close-ups, and maybe a medium shot or two as well.

Twitter: @kingkongcloseup

Instagram: @naomiwattskingkongcloseups

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

King Kong (1976)

I love this movie. Love love love love love this movie. Love the cast -- Lange, Bridges, and Grodin, of course, but also John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois, and Ed Lauter. Love John Barry's great score, love the sound stage exteriors, Rick Baker giving it his all in an ape suit. Love the way it's funny, it's fun, it's silly but not stupid. Did I mention Jessica Lange? Or Jeff Bridges' long hair? I love the colossal failure of the 40-foot mechanical Kong. I love when Jack says "The rest of that log entry unfortunately was suppressed by the Holy Office in Rome." I love that it's a monument to the Twin Towers, and I love the choreography of the huge crowd scene at the end. Despite what's good in Peter Jackson's version, this is the remake I watch over and over again. Here's to the big one!

Friday, April 21, 2023

Happy Birthday, Antonio Bay!


"Eleven fifty-five. Almost midnight. Enough time for one more story. One more story before twelve, just to keep us warm. In five minutes, it will be the twenty-first of April. One hundred years ago, on the twenty-first of April, out on the waters around Spivey Point, a small clipper ship drew toward land. Suddenly, out of the night, the fog rolled in. For a moment, they could see nothing, not a foot ahead of them. And then, they saw a light. By god, it was a fire burning on the shore, strong enough to penetrate the swirling mist. They steered a course toward the light. But it was a campfire, like this one. The ship crashed against the rocks. The hull sheared in two. The mast snapped like a twig, and the wreckage sank with all the men aboard. At the bottom of the sea lay the Elizabeth Dane with her crew, their lungs filled with salt water, their eyes open and staring into the darkness. And above, as suddenly as it had come, the fog lifted, receded back across the ocean, and never came again. But it is told by the fisherman and their fathers and grandfathers that when the fog returns to Antonio Bay, the men at the bottom of the sea, out in the water by Spivey Point, will rise up and search for the campfire that led them to their dark and icy death. Twelve o'clock. The twenty-first of April."