Camera one, camera two
I am watching Underworld this afternoon, drinking yellowtail (shiraz/grenache blend) and procrastinating the day of cleaning.
What strikes me most about Underworld is how clearly the director (Len Wiseman) is in love with the main star (Kate Beckinsale). She is beautiful, her piercing eyes and soft features. He lets the light play on her face and dresses her in tight leather. Her fierce exterior and strange vulnerability is made painfully clear for such an action flick. The shots with her are so much more rich and thoughtful than any of the others.
I would have to think about it a little more, but I would contend that it is often very clear when the director is in love/infatuated with the actor/actress. I think of Quentin Tarantino and his obsession (and rightly so) with Uma Thurman. In every shot of Pulp Fiction in which she is on screen, it is like an ode to her beauty and personality. In other movies with Uma, it is not the same. He shows her feet (which he admittedly adores) as our first glimpse of her. He refused to let any other actress star in the Kill Bill series. He waited for an extra year so Uma could have her child. While I do not know that much about movies, I imagine there is a whole dissertation to write about directors and their love of their stars.
There is often a lot of talk about stars falling in love with their costars, but there is something much more romantic about the director falling in love with his artistic vision. It worked for Kate and Len, they are married now. Sadly for Quentin, Uma never loved him more than as just a director and perhaps, friend.
Amazing that she resisted--to be given tribute in a way only few are capable.