Mike Miley put together this absolutely fantastic video essay titled “The Face of Cult: Cult Movies and the Power of the Closeup” that explores the use of one particular camera shot – the closeup – in famous cult films. I can’t gush enough about the construction of this video, as it describes the way the closeup creates a portrait of a character and how those iconic portraits become representative of cult cinema as a whole. I think Miley puts it best:
A lot of ink has been spilled trying to arrive at an all-encompassing definition of a cult film. Rather than relying on words, “The Face of Cult” uses clips from more than 40 cult classics to propose that the essence of a cult film can be found in the unique, spiritual power of its close-ups. The elements of a cult classic may be closer to home than we’d like to admit. All this time that we’ve been seeking out cult movies to explore the outer depths of human experience, we’ve actually been staring at a reflection of our deepest selves.