In a way, viewing a corpse is like viewing a snap shot of someone. Although the entirety of their being is still, we are able to register their image past a paused (or final) moment in their lives and consider the context of the subject. In Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow Up, a man is first presented to the audience in black and white photos as a pale figure in what appears to be a shady situation. This does not change when we next view him as a body upon the ground. Although there is no personal connection established, when asked who the stranger was our photographer-protagonist replies, “He was somebody.” The connections the mind creates when looking at photography are blown up within the central character throughout the film, and his ability to see past surface detail is illustrated subtly in this line. The photographer is not portrayed as a particularly empathetic or feeling man, but he is able to see this stranger through his own art and the disturbing caricature of photography that is death.
-Paige Mac Millan