PAUSE IT: What do you see? Actor Kevin McCarthy yells at indifferent drivers as they whiz by him on a busy freeway. In hard-bitten director Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), the situation is fraught with tension as cars honk and swerve nearly hitting McCarthy in the process; he wants to warn them of an imminent alien invasion, but will anyone listen? Note Siegel’s use of a canted (or Dutch) angle. A canted angle is framing which appears tilted or askew. Canted angles are often used in moments when a filmmaker wants to convey to the audience a heightened state of mind. In this particular instance, a state of delirium is being depicted as McCarthy shouts for help. The crooked framing of the scene injects a sense of peril into the circumstance as the potential threat of a camera careening out of control is made real.
Director: Don Siegel
Cast: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates
Cinematography by: Ellsworth Fredericks
Available from Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray: https://amzn.to/2D9Ky11
Pause It Archive:
October 8, 2018