Deconstructing Depth: Proximity and Contemplation in Déjà Vu

Matt Denny
  • Film-Philosophy, June 2018, Edinburgh University Press
  • DOI: 10.3366/film.2018.0075

A Film Theory Centred Exploration of Action Cinema Style in Tony Scott's Deja Vu

What is it about?

This article considers how concepts such as "surface" and "depth" or "closeness" and "distance" are used in descriptions of action cinema style. It draws links between these uses and a wider critical tradition in order to show the ways in which distance is typically considered better than closeness. This article argues that closeness can in fact be valuable, and demonstrates this with reference to the action film Deja Vu

Why is it important?

This approach is important because it opens up different ways of looking at and valuing film. It demonstrates that qualities we think of as "natural" in film criticism - critical distance is better than complicit closeness - are actually constructed and evidence more of personal taste than objective "rules" of art.

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