“Deep focus” is a technique used in cinematography that brings the entire frame into focus. If a close-up shot allows us to see one thing, deep focus opens the field of view allowing us to see multiple things at once. Rather than seeing only the foreground, we can see the middle-ground and the background. Rather than seeing simply the surface we also see depth. But this demands more from the viewer.
The deep focus of the title invites us to reach beyond the veil, to look further than the surface. You might say the site category we’re introducing here is the back room of thecinemachina, a low-lit, smoke-filled room where difficult questions are asked, deeper issues are pondered, and darker themes are explored.
There’s something to be said about exploring the darker side of cinema because film noir and offbeat classics, in particular, tend to highlight difficult, but important things about ourselves and the world. If it’s true we’d rather avoid such things, good films draw us in and compel us to reflect because they do so in provocative, highly creative ways with an honesty that acts as a kind of therapy for what ails us.
If these sorts of things interest you, consider this an invitation to probe the murky recesses of film and see what it has to offer. If you’d like to contribute thought-provoking reviews or comment constructively we’d like to build a following of like-minded people attuned to shaded, more obscure, yet critical cinematic sensibilities. For the uninitiated, you’ll be surprised how darkness can be so illuminating.
While we solicit film reviews from the silent era to the present, it’s important to provide a sense of the kind of films (even TV series) we’re interested in. Here are a few examples: Flesh and the Devil, 1926; Red-Headed Woman, 1932; Pépé le Moko, 1937; Stranger on the Third Floor, 1940; Nightmare Alley, 1947; In a Lonely Place, 1950; Kiss Me Deadly, 1955; Murder by Contract, 1958; Peeping Tom, 1960; The Swimmer, 1968; Vanishing Point, 1971; Night Moves, 1975; Cutter’s Way, 1981; Blue Velvet, 1986; Dead Man, 1995; Pi, 1998; Brick, 2005; Tyrannosaur, 2011; You Were Never Really Here, 2017.