Pause It: Hoodlum

'Pause It: Hoodlum'

PAUSE IT: What do you see? Gangster Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson (Laurence Fishburne) embraces love interest Francine Hughes (Vanessa Williams) on a lamp-lit street in director Bill Duke’s Hoodlum (1997). Shown here as three consecutive frames, the succession of images is actually taken from one extended crane shot. A crane is a piece of film equipment used to move the camera through space along a vertical axis. Most often placed on a platform which can then be appropriately raised or lowered as the director and/or cinematographer sees fit, crane movements can, at times, also be combined with the use of a dolly so that the camera has total mobility. The use of a crane changes the visual relationship of subjects to their surroundings. Lovers of classic cinema will have to keep a watchful eye on the use of the cranes in the contemporary cinema as the proliferation of artificially created CGI camera moves and aerial drones have increasingly been used as substitutes. With that said, traditional uses of cranes have not lost their power when appropriately used to affect the viewer emotionally.

Director: Bill Duke
Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams  
Cinematography by: Frank Tidy
Available from Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray:

Pause It Archive:

August 20, 2018

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