Pathos and Pathology: The Cinema of Todd Haynes

Pathos and Pathology: The Cinema of Todd Haynes There are at least two shots in Todd Haynes’s work that recur so frequently one might almost call them signature shots. The first appears in Superstar (US, 1987) and Poison (US, 1991) and functions as the opening shot of Safe (US/UK, 1995). A long tracking shot, sometimes marked as originating from inside a car, traces row after row of classic suburban houses — all basically the same with only slight differences, all overly familiar — in a seemingly endless movement reminiscent of Jean-Luc Godard’s lateral tracking shots in Le Weekend (The Weekend; France/Italy, 1967). In Safe, the point of view is through the windshield of the car (and here we have haute suburbia), of streets with identical lampposts and houses, trash carefully placed at the edge of driveways, of serial production, of sheer separation from the rest of the world as signified by the gate at the end of the Whites’ driveway. The suburban house in its many incarnations is the site of both the familCopyright © 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 57, Volume 19, Number 3 Published by Duke University Press 1 • Camera Obscura iar and its etymological kin, the family, the site of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Camera Obscura Duke University Press

Pathos and Pathology: The Cinema of Todd Haynes

Camera Obscura, Volume 19 (3 57) – Jan 1, 2004

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Camera Obscura
ISSN
1529-1510
eISSN
1529-1510
D.O.I.
10.1215/02705346-19-3_57-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

There are at least two shots in Todd Haynes’s work that recur so frequently one might almost call them signature shots. The first appears in Superstar (US, 1987) and Poison (US, 1991) and functions as the opening shot of Safe (US/UK, 1995). A long tracking shot, sometimes marked as originating from inside a car, traces row after row of classic suburban houses — all basically the same with only slight differences, all overly familiar — in a seemingly endless movement reminiscent of Jean-Luc Godard’s lateral tracking shots in Le Weekend (The Weekend; France/Italy, 1967). In Safe, the point of view is through the windshield of the car (and here we have haute suburbia), of streets with identical lampposts and houses, trash carefully placed at the edge of driveways, of serial production, of sheer separation from the rest of the world as signified by the gate at the end of the Whites’ driveway. The suburban house in its many incarnations is the site of both the familCopyright © 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 57, Volume 19, Number 3 Published by Duke University Press 1 • Camera Obscura iar and its etymological kin, the family, the site of the

Journal

Camera ObscuraDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2004

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