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Favorite Movies

Golden Pupils

I usually don't watch serious drama unless the cinematography is also somewhat artsy. For example, Nights of Cabiria is my kind of movie, but things like The Hustler and The Goddess I'm less likely to have seen. (As it happens, I like all three of those, but I'm sure there are lots of incredible films like the latter two that I don't know about.)

So it's a little unusual that I watched The Man With The Golden Arm, a 1955 Frank Sinatra film about drug addiction and crime. The acting is great. They present a fantastic portrayal not just of the drug world, but of the psychological pull of addiction that creeps up alongside despair and boredom.

Anyways, I noticed one particularly subtle thing they portrayed accurately.

Frankie Machine just before getting his fix:

and about ten seconds later as the drugs kick in:

They actually got the constricted pupils correct! Nicely done. Assuming they did it by cranking up the lights and stopping down the aperture, there's an interesting parallel there - the camera and actor's "eyes" both constrict together...