Todd Haynes: Zooms

From American Cinematographer, Glitter Gulch by Chris Pizzello (November 1998)

Particulary inspiring to Haynes was the jarring use of zoom lenses in Performance and other films of the period, a technique now generally considered to be dated and passé.

"Today, you have the constant movement in and penetration of the camera into physical space, with swooping tracks and pyrotechnics of all kinds. The camera of the late Sixties and early Seventies seemed to really hold back — it didn't physically enter space, it would instead zoom, pan, or swish through space. It would rack-focus suddenly, identifying one part of the frame to the other. The difference is that you really got a sense of surface, this beautiful, almost caressing of the surface of the screen. In Performance or early Robert Altman films, like McCabe and Mrs. Miller, the camera searches for and finds the subject in a fog of blurry haze and grain, then finds focus on one thing and follows it somewhere else. It's a more voyeuristic way of seeing, because you're not physically entering the space — you're staying outside and using the technology to scan the surface and isolate certain parts of the screen."

- Todd Haynes, Director of Velvet Goldmine

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