Falling in the Movies

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 12 2013 12:46 PM

Falling in the Movies

falling montage
A still from "Gravity: A Falling Montage"


There's something about watching a character fall. There's the anticipation, as they stand hesitatingly over the edge with nowhere else to go but down, or as they dangle mercilessly from a rope while attempting to pull themselves back to safety. And then there's the fall itself, a plummet that is either terrifying or a relief, a speedy rush or a long, tedious drop that seemingly never ends.

Zach Prewitt puts together all these dramatic tropes (and a few more) to create a short, compelling video in "Gravity: A Falling Montage." Some of the most memorable scenes in which beloved (Mufasa, say) and loathed (Hans Gruber, e.g.) characters find themselves descending uncontrollably are strung together in an unnerving sequenced scored to music by John Murphy from 28 Days Later. (You can find the full list of movies included on the video's YouTube page.)


Like one of Prewitt's previous efforts, a video essay on "Back-to-the-camera" shots in movies, the video eschews a simpler supercut format in favor of a coherent, effective thematic arc. By the time the montage has reached its finale, and the music scales back, you'll likely feel like you've been taken on a short action-filled journey. And you may feel an odd sense of calm.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.


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