All movies are about other movies, but all moviegoing isn't about other moviegoing. It's as much about the life the moviegoer leads as it is about the movies that let us escape from that life. Maybe the most awful-wonderful thing about the experience of viewing moving images on a screen is the way that experience inevitably alters what we see off screen. How alluring were blondes considered before Jean Harlow became a star and Alfred Hitchcock a star-maker? Did parking garages seem quite so sinister prior to "All the President's Men"? If you encounter a creature with blue skin and a long tail walking down the street, does "Avatar" make you likelier to shrug than flee? (If you work for law enforcement in Arizona, it means you're that much closer to meeting your quota for the day.)
Maybe it's just me, but I suspect that anyone who's seen a Busby Berkeley production number, like this one, from "Dames" -- with the way he makes geometry of anatomy, and vice versa -- will find an echo in Leshko's photograph. There's a sci-fi aspect, too. The image is, after all, an emanation from what Leshko describes as "the murky realm that I imagine these mechanical beasts inhabiting." The fact that the picture is black and white, taken from a very Expressionist angle, and with a fiercely geometric component suggest Fritz Lang. Which means a very specific sci-fi film, the wildest and weirdest and most visionary of them all, "Metropolis." Berkeley and Lang never collaborated, of course. Just thinking about the possibility is more than a little terrifying, like the idea of Euclid on LSD or Ruby Keeler and Peter Lorre having a love child -- not that "love" would be quite the right word. But this is an example of how seeing a lot of movies can affect how a person sees the world. Legs dangle, that wheel spins, the shutter clicks, and a striking photograph becomes a still from a (thankfully?) imaginary film.
About Movie Nation
ContributorsTy Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.
Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.
Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.
Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.
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