What is there to see when characters turn their back to us? Back views in cinema are experienced as disturbances of their visual regime. But by hiding the faces these images point towards another presence, both familiar and uncanny to us all: there’s an off-space we all carry with us but can never look at without optical help. The part of us, where we become strangers to ourselves.
for research purposes
[The ideas for this video essay were first explored in an essay I wrote for Filmbulletin (3/2017) on a scene from „The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit“ (1956). The respective issues can be found here.]