Wife in Mirror, 1966 by William Stilson
The painted was kept in a gallery on Bearskin Kneck when the present author lived there. She is, for the most part, "the real Inga", though only a painting.
She is the only direct subject of the first scene of the film: there is the use of voice over narrative and flashforward. In the opening shot she is seen in mediuum full shot, her having finished her correspondence. Depending upon what hour she had begun, there previously had been added to that an infrequent journal entry in epistolary form addressed to her lover more often than not rather than to herself. Despite its seeming to be too early in the evening, she appears to be putting a manuscript into the top drawer of her desk, which she closes with her right hand. If it can be said that as an actress she will be drifting and that her instructions are to dress off to the right of her chair, on film the sequence is an on camera turn-her directions to sit into the set have been precluded in that later within the scene there is the use of retrospective narrative cut in shots of her sitting at the desk from within a half hour of her having risen from her chair, the camera intriguing the spectator by suprisingly creating a voyouerism within discourse throught its third person omniscient voice, the transdiegetic aspect of its having omniprescence being temporal rather than spatial as it returns to a cutback shot in the present tense.
There is a cup of coffee on the desk, the height of which is above her knees while below her stomach. At first, the tight closeups, close ups and medium close shots are lensed from behind the desk, from a vantage point not thought possible for the camera to acquire, as though there were physically no wall behind it, much like a three wall set, whereas the medium shots are near to being filmed over the shoulder and in three quarter profile. Near to the right of the chair, she has already skimmed the contents of the drawer before closing it and has brought her glance to the horizontal plane, the subjective high angle withheld from the film as she is to lower her view to reassure herself that the objects on the desk are neatly placed, her not necessarily imediately having noticed the telephone having had been being now more to the left within the square created by what is either a computer or a television with a digital video recorder within the polished wooden rectangle . The script given to the actress includes description as to whether or not there is an object on the desk that ostensibly belongs to him, it appearing during the course of the scene that there is the disclosure that they could more than live together or that they were seeing each other frequently. The script has also withheld information from the actress untill shooting. If one or more of the items are his, they could include a gift that she had brought back as a present still waiting for him or older articles they had acquired together, the emotional content of the spatial object within the filmed frame subject to the look and actions of the character.
Were the films use of multiple cameras to include her surveying the desk, watching her eyes would have relayed a sentimental look in her having accomplished having written the particular letter or poem and in their sense of immediacy and yet there is an urgency that has concluded or transformed, something indicative of her being unfailiar with a newly felt emotion, one different than she previously had concieved it would be were she to ever experience it. As she slowly, only gradually lowers her eyelids, it is not according to a personal, solipstic fascination, but more so her lips are only slightly apart, her having ostensibly precluded opening them any wider as her unspoken response to something she had remembered his having said and would not allow herself to answer, to quote or to reiterate, she herself only having heard it said only once, only by him on that occaision, it cloistered within her memory-laden femininity as she looked to him to kiss her eyelids again. There was now a smoothness, or ease to her movements, one in part self acknowledgement, there being a look of introspective holiness, or spiritual beauty derived from that which is known intimately, and known as being particularly singular or unique to her own experience; there is a sensuality to her being in reflection and yet her herself being an an emotive image as a softness impinged her sensibility and her sensibility of self awareness. Within the transcription of her moving image into the dramaturgical significance it would acquire positioned within the linear visual plotline, projected onto, and or projected for the ideal viewer of an implied or disembodied spectator is her solitude projected as not only a mobilized gaze, but as an act of prayer that can be taken as a metaphor for what not only would be tacit between them when they later would meet, but also for her present need to speak to him at that moment- female desire as transcendental. It is discernable, before viewing the retrospective interdiegetic shots of her penning what she had only then finished writing, that it may hvae been only after her having recieved, or found, an earlier letter of his, or a volume of poetry on the shelf in which he had written something in the margins and had telephoned her about in hope she would have time to thumb through the book to find it. Was it that belief, and accordingly beauty, was the desire for union with something that found the fondness of appreciation?
"I can't say a word on this telephone untill your finished telling me everything."
"Why did you stop using words while we were making love?"
The shot at present is stationary. An as objectification of pleasure, her body, and any beauty inherent within the erotic object as a quality and its accompanying position of belief as the desire for a transcendental love and ideal beauty, in its femininity is beauty as is modified, her nudity and its foreshadowing of its possible later reoccurrence in the film beuaty that as an objectification of pleasure takes action rather than being only transitory, beauty as perpetual, truth, searched for as being absolute, held by her spontaneity; as an aethetic continuum there is a sensuality to the narrative-spatial dimensions of the scene in which its motifs are encased as she is the center of the vertical composition, the spatial planes of the room limited to the vertical frameline untill divulged by her horizontal movement.
Within the spectatorial address or any consequent objectification of spectatorial pleasure or desire, including viewer identification as desire for an erotic subjectivity as erotic object, the sequence, itself designed as thematicly autonomous, is not an autonomous single shot in that there is a cutting for continuity that includes reframings and cutting to similar angles. As image selection becomes image prescence progression, her being filmed from multiple camera angles and kept as subject brings an organization to the look, there not only an image construction that links seperate shots but one that includes her outward look within the objectified image. There is a thematic unity of context within the interframe narrative that, in being centered around her and her movement, her movement and or action theatrical space in relation to object positions that within their spatial proximity to her and within their spatial contiguity to each other are measured by linear perspective as non-moving height or width, is becoming increasingly interested in her.
Within narrative as a mode of address, the viewer is not only interpellated but reproduced, transmogrified or reconfigured, as subject and, within a unfied ideal spectatorial position is brought into a suture pattern of characterization, there being a suture pattern to identification, an appearance dissappearance within the relationship of protagonist observer, an absence presence of emotion, the emotion involved in reception, each relsolution of narrative action holding a lack of closure in the presence and absence of future event, particularly in that the view has constructed an imaginary eroticism which is either supported by the object of fantasy, or brought to a greater excitement than that which the viewer had been looking forward to while waiting. There is, casually, an erotic relationship of hers, whether erotic action or fantasy, contained in what she is doing that becomes seemingly more singular, which at first seems almost ordinary, the viewer only omniscient in that the left shot is left as imaginary and as being among the possible movements she could make within the limited space of the frame, and then in turn, within each framing, there being a diegetic logic of the erotic, there a suture relationship between the camera's decisions and selections, the individual's agency,or fate, or urgency within her particular position in the narratvie core and the viewer as fantasisizing desire to act as protagonist while vouyer. As to create a shot to shot contrast of spatial configuration, the spatial distance she is kept from the camera and each object brings a diegetic connontation that the action of the scene is her desire, or her desire to transcend sexual gratification. There is a discursive organization to the contiguous images that lends them a figurative context, a cutting for emotional effect with legnthy static shots that bring to poin her meditations and continuous shots of varying, yet measurably comparable, duration; each reframing a perspectival acknowledgement of each slight purient motion on her part and each decision as to how long they are to continue, the suprise of the nymph elapsed; each a deigetic reference to each postition her body acquires to create spatial temporality while creating vanishing points with off-screen space that had previously been onscreen and with space eroticlly hidden inhabited by the image in the shot to follow;each a reference to her moving without being as near to him as she could be.