Post by Anna Fomicheva
In November 2012 issue of Sight & Sound the ever-wonderful Mark Cousins wrote a superb piece on the use of close-ups in cinema. One of the films he discussed is the short Latvian film Ten Minutes Older (Par desmit minutem vecaks, 1978), directed by Herz Frank and shot by the great Juris Podnieks, before he became a director of documentaries himself.
The film consists of a single ten-minute shot of an audience of children watching a puppet show. The focus, however, is on a boy whose emotional involvement with the artifice of theatre (which we never see, and it can therefore stand for any art) is incredibly moving and revealatory. The pain, the joy, the fear on the boy’s face are piercing. “Is this boy you?”, asks Cousins. “How could you answer other than yes? That’s the thing about close-ups: they’re always about you”.