Still from 'The Matrix', 1999
When it was released in 1999, The Matrix introduced a new type of image: bullet-time. Bruce Isaacs explains why it has become one of the most influential special effects in the history of cinema.
Requiem for a Dream, 2000.
Bruce Isaacs dissects a scene from Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream. In this video, Isaacs looks at the director's unique use of camera technique to create a deeply subjective and intimate sequence.
Still from 'Marie Antoinette' (2006)
While Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette may not be faithful to historical events, the film is a rhythmic, impressionistic and comical retelling of the young queen's life by a sophisticated filmmaker.
Still from '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968)
Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey broke all the rules of science fiction cinema, and allowed the audience to experience a uniquely philosophical film about the evolution of human consciousness.
Composite: Stills from Godfather (1972), Shutterstock
The final scene of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola deploys a technique known as parallel montage to great and rhythmic effect.
Bernard Herrmann’s music for the final scene in Psycho fragments and breaks down, echoing the psychotic episode experienced by the character Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).
Graphics: Emil Jeyaratnam/The Conversation; Image: Still from 'Psycho' (1960)
In this episode of Close-up, Bruce Isaacs contrasts the unsettling musical score from Hitchcock’s Psycho with Howard Shore’s score for Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.
The mechanical shark used in the 1975 film Jaws.
Tom Simpson/ flickr
The 1975 film Jaws launched the career of a young Steven Spielberg. In this scene, the town's police chief Martin Brody witnesses the shark's brutal attack for the first time - taking the viewer along for the ride.
(Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind) says to me…true love is still possible and you can put your faith in it.
Bruce Isaacs analyses the deceptively complex closing scene of Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), starring Jim Carey and Kate Winslet.
Jack Nicholson gave perhaps his greatest performance as journalist David Locke.
Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger (1975), starring Jack Nicholson, explored time and memory. We look at a single scene, featuring one of the most influential camera moves of '70s cinema.
James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958).
Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions
What makes a film a classic? In a new monthly column, film scholar Bruce Isaacs analyses a single sequence from a great film. Here, we look at a scene from Vertigo.