All by Myself: A Montage of Loneliness in Cinema

By  · Published on March 20th, 2017

Behold the power of being alone.

For all the powerful imagery film can capture and create, sometimes it’s still the most basic, simplest shots that can convey the most meaning and resonate strongest with audiences. Take, for example, any shot of a lone figure— perhaps in silhouette, perhaps not – against a vast landscape, the only person in sight. It’s an image that’s been utilized time and again in films like The Revenant, Tree of Life, Gravity and even some not shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, as evidenced by the following montage from Nacho Ozores that has compiled four dozen examples from across cinema history.

Don’t get me wrong, though, not all these lone figures are lonely. Some are contemplative, pensive, resolved, introspective, and other such things that require loneliness. There are even moments of triumph inside loneliness, the celebrations we save only for ourselves. Ozores has found all of these, and the resulting video is an emotional pressure cooker that will sweep you through the spectrum and back again in its two-and-half-minute runtime.

There’s a complete list of the films used at the end, albeit in Spanish, but you should be able to figure it out even if you don’t speak Ozores’ language. The real communication here is visual, and it is a gorgeous conversation.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist