Friday, July 30, 2010

Heroic Silhouette Images

My good friend and movie blogger, J.D. from RADIATOR HEAVEN, recently tagged me with a meme that has been making the rounds. It is naturally close to my heart, since I tend to be so visual (just ask my wife)... and love film.  The original meme, begun at Stephen Russell-Gebbett's Checking on My Sausages blog, asked that those participating submit...
"... a gallery of images... to stand for so much of what makes Cinema such a rich and exciting medium."
Blogger Jeremy Rickey (of the Moon in the Gutter blog), who tagged J.D., seized upon another's (The Dancing Image) lead by offering up some stills that captured a certain theme byway of his image collection. J.D.'s meme post followed suit and centered upon director Michael Mann's protagonists in isolation. Who am I to buck such a trend?

I've chosen the theme of heroic silhouette images in cinema (shown below after the jump). This visual outlining technique, which some say is tied to mythology, has been well used in the cinema throughout the decades. It is utilized to portray and identify the hero (or protagonists) in film. Plus, I happen to love high-contrast images.

The rules of the meme are:
  1. Pick as many pictures as you want - but make them screen-captures. These need to be moments that speak to you that perhaps haven't been represented as stills before.
  2. Pick a theme, any theme.
  3. You MUST link to Stephen's original gallery (see above) and my post if I am tagging you and you choose to participate.
  4. Tag five blogs.
Here are my five blogger selections for continuing this image meme, if they are interested in participating (and haven't already done so):
King Leonidas, 300

Stephen McCaffrey, Backdraft

El Mariachi, Desperado

John McClane, Die Hard

The Stranger, High Plains Drifter

The Bride, Kill Bill Vol. 1

The Bride, Kill Bill Vol. 2

Arthur, King Arthur

Will Graham, Manhunter

Maggie Fitzgerald, Million Dollar Baby

Hartigan, Sin City

Sgt. Todd & Caine 607, Soldier

Harry Callahan, Sudden Impact

Dale 'Mac' McKussic & Nick Frecia, Tequila Sunrise

Father Merrin, The Exorcist

Ethan Edwards, The Searchers

David Dunn, Unbreakable

William Munny, Unforgiven

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  1. What an inventive and beautiful selection to contribute to this meme.  I love your gallery.  You have proven with pictures what an iconic image this is: the hero silhouetted.  Fascinating stuff! (I wish I hdad thought of it!)  Thanks!

    John Kenneth Muir

  2. Pop Culture NerdJuly 30, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Oh, I love this! Such intense yet beautiful images. You are so clever, Michael. I don't even know how to do screen captures, much less pick the perfect moments to illustrate your theme.

    So many good ones here but I think my faves are Indiana Jones, Unforgiven and Tequila Sunrise.

  3. WOW... another meme to blow me away.  First JD with his wonderful images of isolation like the one of Crowe in The Insider, then a theme on iconic images in America like that unforgettable finale to Planet Of The Apes and now a beautiful display of the heroic silhouette.  Stunning L13.  It really is a lovely selection.  It's hard to pick favorites [300, Backdraft, Soldier, Exorcist..].

    Anyway, I'm about ready to throw my hands in the air and pack it in.  This is a difficult challenge and you make it look easy my friend.  Well done.

  4. <span>Great theme - and great picks/pics to illustrate. I'm especially intrigued by the 300 screen-cap; lately I've been reading about the Spartans and the Persian War - Miller's comic, the Herodotus histories, and a book called Persian Fire. When I'm finished I plan on watching the recent film, the one from the 60s, and the History Channel doc.  
    Btw, here's the link to my original piece if your readers are interested (I'm the one who kicked off the meme in honor of Stephen's gallery):  

    I also encourage anyone who participates to drop a comment there so that I know to add your link to the bottom of my post, where all the participants so far have been gathered. Thanks!</span>

  5. My favourite themed selection so far. Fantastic. The silhouette: Mysterious, powerful, untouchable.

    The 'meme' did start at MovieMan's site, not mine. I made my own contribution here:

  6. Thank you very much, John. I especially admired your image meme gallery, too.

  7. You're very kind, Elyse. I'm glad you liked the images. Thank you very much.

  8. Thank you very much, SFF. And yes, J.D. and JKM produced some stunning images in their respective memes. You're very kind and generous in your praise, my friend, and I look forward to your image gallery.

  9. Welcome, MovieMan0283. This is a great meme (and a great lead by yourself for the film theme aspect) and I consider myself lucky to have been tagged by a friend to join it. I've now included your post link in the piece (and will head over to it, shortly). Thank you very much.

  10. Welcome, Stephen. Thank you for your kind words and for getting all of this going. Your theme contribution is a stunner, my friend (and great that your included the link). I look forward in going through the contributions.

  11. Superb selection if images, Michael. Very well chosen. Thanks for tagging me, but I don't have the facility to do screen captures.

  12. Thank you very much, Steve.

    The built-in utilities (on the Mac and Windows operating system) blocks normal screen captures from commercial DVDs. However, the free open source VLC utility is what many use (as I did) to do such captures. It plays DVDs on computer, and when you pause the film at the point you want, you can take (right-click) Video - Snapshot to get an image file. HTH

  13. It would have taken me a year to come up with all these images -- if I'd even had such a great idea to begin with. And I wouldn't have. This is a fantastic idea.

  14. You're very kind, Naomi. I think, with your imagination, you'd have thought of something better. Thank you very much.

  15. What a fantastic collection of images! You really did a great job with this. In particular, I really dug the images you picked from MANHUNTER, DESPERADO and SIN CITY. What a really cool theme to do this one on.

  16. What a fantastic collection of images! You really did a great job with this. In particular, I really dug the images you picked from MANHUNTER, DESPERADO and SIN CITY. What a really cool theme to do this one on.

  17. Thank you very much, J.D. And thanks again for tagging and bringing me into this fabulous image meme. It's brought so many great images and films to the forefront from a heady and talented group of bloggers. I'm honored to be mixed in among them.

  18. I really liked this collection especially.  It keys you into heroism as connected to film language--silouettes, backlighting, doorways, all sorts of elements come into play here.  Really well done!

  19. Really liked this post a lot.  It keys you into so much of what links the idea of heroism with film language--particularly in the use of lighting, space, camera placement, performance, and costuming.  Really well done.

  20. Welcome, Dean. Thank you for comment, your generous words, and your keen insight on the subject.

  21. Fantastic collection here! Thanks for the viewing pleasure!

  22. Thank you, Rachel.