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>The Deerhunter (1978)

I’ve discussed the Deerhunter before on this blog, in fact about a year ago with an entry in the Ecstacy in Motion series. This scene, set shortly after Robert De Niro’s character Michael returns from the Vietnam War is an extremely affecting one. John Williams plaintive music enhances the emotional response somewhat but one could easily imagine this scene being just as powerful without a soundtrack relying on the centrifugal force of De Niro’s slow burn performance as a stoic man of duty on the verge of an emotional collapse.

Up to this point, Michael has been portrayed as a sturdy, self reliant,courageous individual and comrade but here the weight of his own suppression, the displacement of his true feelings if you will are taking their toll on his body and soul. No longer able to withstand the pressure on his psyche he finally breaks down in private away from the admiring and sympathetic eyes and words of the local townsfolk. A quiet moment of empathy and and one of the actors finest moments.

So as not to be accused of complacency or laziness as this is the second De Niro scene that I have chosen for analysis already, this entry will exist within it’s own little universe as it’s own entity and thus is not officially a part of the series. Part 10 will arrive in time and will this conclude the series.

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