Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eyes That Shine Burning Red

In Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man, George Case rather briefly discusses the movie The Song Remains The Same. He quotes (p.131) Jimmy Page as saying:

"All my sections are related to the eyes, the eyes being the mirror of the soul."
I have to say that idea hadn't occurred to me once in the thirty years or so between first seeing TSRTS and subsequently reading MMM. There are several occasions when the camera concentrates on Page's gaze – no one who has seen the movie will forget the early scene with the glowing red eyes, although I personally was traumatized far more by the scene where the camera actually dives into his eye to show a violent offstage event. But the scenes I noted didn't seem to add up to his eyes being the mirror of his soul – and anyway, isn't it "the eyes are the window of the soul", not "mirror"?

It turns out both are used. gives the following citations:

The eyes…are the wyndowes of the mynde, for both ioye & ange…are seene…through them.[1545 T. Phaer Regiment of Life 14]


The eye, which is the reflector of the external world, is also the mirror of the soul within. [1940 G. Seaver Scott of Antarctic ii. 48 gives this explanation: EYES ARE THE MIRROR (MIRRORS) OF THE SOUL -- "A person's thoughts can be ascertained by looking in his or her eyes. The proverb has been traced back in English to 'Regiment of Life' (1545). But the proverb was known much earlier. Cicero (106-43 B.C.) is quoted as saying, 'Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi' (The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter). The Latin proverbs, 'Vultus est index animi' or 'Oculus animi index,' are usually translated as 'The face is the index of the mind.' The French say, 'Les yeux sont le miroir de l'ame (The eyes are the mirror of the soul). 'The eyes are the window of the soul' is a variant form of the proverb..." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

Here are the TSRTS scenes showcasing Page's eyes.

During the section of the movie when we establish the band's home life and family duties, you may wonder what we will see of Page, who keeps his family well out of the public eye. In fact, we see Jimmy Page sitting alone by the moat of his house in Plumpton Place (1973) with his back to the camera. He's playing a hurdy-gurdy. He turns round, and in lieu of his eyes, we see twin glows, burning red.

I'm not sure what was intended, but this scene usually gets a laugh. Of course, Led Zeppelin fans are notorious stoners, so burning red eyes are some seriously funny shit, man.

During Since I've Been Loving You, the camera takes a long, lingering look at Page's eye.

(Edit: the shot is from 25'13")

At 1hr 10'00", the shot of the band onstage playing Dazed and Confused changes to Jimmy Page's Loch Ness fantasy sequence. The change is done by a dissolve from Page's face to the face of the full moon over a mountain, on top of which waits the Hermit.

After Page touches the Hermit's staff, the camera lingers on the Hermit's face while the old man's apparent age reverses to the stage of a fetus, and then re-ages. The deaging/aging sequence is keyed so that the eyes are invariate while the face changes around them. (This bit I get.)

At 1hr 20'10", still during Dazed and Confused, the camera dives into Page's eye to show a scene backstage. The scene is of a pretty long-haired young man in tight jeans being forced to the ground by burly security men with nightsticks and handcuffs while a crowd of women security guards watch. I don't see how this has anything to do with Jimmy Page's soul, but perhaps someone will enlighten me.

That's all I can recall that showcase Page's eyes in the movie. I wish I saw a pattern, but I don't.

Anyone see any more?

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
I sometimes mention a product on this blog, and I give a URL to Amazon or similar sites. Just to reassure you, I don't get paid to advertise anything here and I don't get any money from your clicks. Everything I say here is because I feel like saying it.