Features and Columns · Movies

The Eyes Have It: A Celebration of the Cinematic Gaze

Here’s looking at you…and you…and you…
Full Metal Jacket Cinematic Gaze
Warner Bros.
By  · Published on August 26th, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the cinematic gaze.

It’s truly astonishing how much information we convey with our eyes. From fluttering lids to sustained stares, a well-timed look can say more than any monologue.

Cinema seems particularly well-suited to capturing the power of the gaze. A painting or a photograph can freeze a look in time, but movies show the eye in motion. The flitting, the blinking, the widening. The dilation of a pupil, an adoring glance, or an accidental confession. Film is able to capture all those little subconscious muscle movements that let others in and give us away. More than that, as the old adage goes, eyes are a window to an ineffably human spark. They invite empathy and betray an inner life. They are, in a word, cinematic.

The montage below celebrates the power of the gaze on film. From fourth-wall-breaking stares to longing looks. From nervous glances to undaunted focus.

Watch “The Movie Gaze: A Video Essay“:

Who made this?

Netflix Film Club is exactly what it sounds like. The YouTube channel offers a hub for all things Netflix with interviews, video essays, and behind the scenes clips. You can subscribe to the channel here. The above video essay was made in collaboration with Lost In Film, a Portuguese video editor you can find on YouTube here.

More Videos Like This

Related Topics:

Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.