Reflecting on Spielberg: Characters in Mirrors and Glass

By  · Published on November 29th, 2017

The director of The Post is preoccupied by self-assessment.

Steven Spielberg creates characters that always question themselves and invites the audience to do the same. The way he does this is by including many scenes of literal self-reflection. Protagonists considering themselves in mirrors, windows, and glass all allow the audience to make the metaphorical leap from the visual to the thematic.

His characters, often contemplating facets of paternalism to some degree, take this time to consider their own actions and the doubt they feel towards their motivations. Imbuing us with the same doubt allows his sometimes sugary plots to feel nuanced and complex.

Shera Junushev’s video essay focuses on these reflective surfaces and the often unsung shots that highlight them with enough subtlety that we don’t know we’re being nudged in a certain direction. The subconscious influence comes from very conscious cinematography, direction, and prop placement – a perfect blend of mental and physical.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).