NOT A LASSIE MOVIE

by Ross Sharp

Despite no action and no dialogue passing between the three characters, the scene below, from Mike Nichol’s 1971 film “Carnal Knowledge” is one of the most brutal and quietly chilling portrayals of one man’s final descent into a state of absolute emotional bankruptcy ever committed to film (at least in my opinion, whatever that may be worth).

Note the way Nichol’s utilises all the elements available to him (lighting, production design and camera) to distance Nicholson’s character (Jonathan) from the audience and simultaneously accentuate the character’s alienation from the world and the people around him …

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