Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Bridge of Spies | Steven Spielberg, 2015

American mirrors. The first, seen in the film's opening shot, is utilised for a self-portrait. There are two faces on screen, neither of them real, as well as the back of a man's head out of focus in the foreground. The painting is an impression of a mirror image, a copy of a copy. The man on the canvas wears different clothes to his counterparts. He's a faceless man, a construction of cold light, of dark paint. Every gesture studied and recreated. A Soviet spy.

The second mirror, from the film's closing moments, is in a bedroom. A woman checks on her husband, just returned from negotiating the release of two American men in East Berlin. He has collapsed from exhaustion. She faces him as he lays on the bed, unconscious, and her back is reflected in the mirror, invisible to her. No constructions, no copies. One face, a real one. A return to simplicity.

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