PAUSE IT: What do you see? A woman, Julie (Dyan Cannon), poses before a mirror as she tries on a new wedding dress in director Otto Preminger’s, Such Good Friends (1971). Around the room are staged mannequins and shop dresses. But look closely and you’ll see that Cannon is actually positioned in what is an offscreen space. With use of an open frame, Preminger and cinematographer Gayne Rescher are able to extend the story world beyond the traditional two-dimensional plane and suggest to the viewer that the room has depth and is far larger than we may at first realize. Before our eyes the space seems to expand out behind us and in all directions. Accordingly, there is a liveliness to the visual design as both the eyeline of Laurence Luckinbill (standing aside the mirror) and the angled body language of the mannequin pull our attention toward the center of the composition. The center mirror acts as a frame within a frame further emphasizing the importance of Cannon’s lead character.

Director: Otto Preminger
Cast: Dyan Cannon, James Coco, Jennifer O’Neill
Cinematography by: Gayne Rescher
Available from Olive Films on DVD and Blu-ray:

Pause It Archive: