January 14, 2014

Since I’ve started presenting lectures on art and cinema, I view movies in a different way.

Yesterday I watched David Cronenberg’s 1983 thriller The Dead Zone, starring Christopher Walken.

Walken’s character possesses the psychic ability of second sight. He’s hired to tutor a wealthy man’s son and has a vision that the boy will fall through the frozen pond ice during a hockey game. Prior to the tragedy there’s a very subtle hint alluding to the boy submerged underwater. The clue: a poster in the boy’s room.

A prophetic poster

A prophetic poster in “The Dead Zone”

In the top right of the movie still you’ll notice a poster. It’s a widely recognized image by an American photographer, Sandy Skoglund. In 1981, she created a surreal sub-aquatic tableau of a boy immersed in a environment surrounded by fish. How cool is that? Cronenberg empowers his viewers with second sight — that’s what I call foreshadowing!

Revenge of the Goldfish, 1981 photograph by Sandy Skoglund

Revenge of the Goldfish, 1981 photograph by Sandy Skoglund

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