The Eyes Have It: A Celebration of the Cinematic Gaze

Here’s looking at you...and you...and you...

Full Metal Jacket Cinematic Gaze
Warner Bros.

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores the cinematic gaze.


It’s truly astonishing how much information we convey with our eyes. From fluttering lids to sustained stares, a well-timed look can say more than any monologue.

Cinema seems particularly well-suited to capturing the power of the gaze. A painting or a photograph can freeze a look in time, but movies show the eye in motion. The flitting, the blinking, the widening. The dilation of a pupil, an adoring glance, or an accidental confession. Film is able to capture all those little subconscious muscle movements that let others in and give us away. More than that, as the old adage goes, eyes are a window to an ineffably human spark. They invite empathy and betray an inner life. They are, in a word, cinematic.

The montage below celebrates the power of the gaze on film. From fourth-wall-breaking stares to longing looks. From nervous glances to undaunted focus.

Watch “The Movie Gaze: A Video Essay“:


Who made this?

Netflix Film Club is exactly what it sounds like. The YouTube channel offers a hub for all things Netflix with interviews, video essays, and behind the scenes clips. You can subscribe to the channel here. The above video essay was made in collaboration with Lost In Film, a Portuguese video editor you can find on YouTube here.

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(Senior contributor)

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