The Empty Screen

The screen is a two-way street. It watches the audience as the audience watches it.” Trust Mark Rappaport to always come up with idiosyncratic ways to illuminate the very nature of the film experience.


This video essay published by Talkhouse is no exception. It takes meta-movie moments and scenes as its starting point for ruminations on the relation between the viewer and the viewed, between the illusion and the enchanted. The Empty Screen or the Metaphysics of Movies is vintage Rappaport, applying the highly personal contemplation of the essayist to a breadth of knowledge of film history. He frequently steps into the shoes of the characters in the films he discusses, voicing their imagined thoughts, then segues effortlessly back into a more classic, detached voice over.