Double Dolly Troy

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The double dolly shot scene that I will be analyzing is the second one in Crooklyn with Troy and her youngest brother Joseph (1:45:08-1:45:20). The shot appears after the funeral inside Troy’s home. Lee uses the double dolly shot to showcase Troy’s confrontation with the Possums. The purpose of the double dolly shot is to introduce a sense of timelessness, one that removes the audience from the progress of the movie into an experience devoid of temporality and space—at least for a brief, brief moment.

In this shot, both Troy and Joseph are on a dolly, which is unusual because rarely does Lee use the double dolly shot with two people. Troy has a bat swung over her head, ready to swing it, while Joseph points at the camera. Both Troy and Joseph have an enraged child face on, one that insinuates that they are ready to fight. There are three different shots in this sequence: 1) camera facing Troy and Joseph 2) camera through the eyes of Troy and Joseph as to simulate their sight of vision and 3) camera from behind them so as to see Troy, Joseph, and whatever is in their line of vision. With the first shot, there are moving people behind the siblings—normal moving people walking the streets. In the second type, you see all the kids fleeing off the camera. In the last type, Troy and Joseph make up most of the shot, but we still see people fleeing off the screen.

As I watched this scene, what makes me realize Lee’s purpose is when he breaks from the double dolly shot: when Troy strikes one of the Possum’s in the head. That shot is very abrupt, and it strikes me just as fast as it strikes the Possum. The audience loses a sense of time and space when the dolly moves in such smoothness; we see Troy and Joseph inching towards the Possum and we anticipate. We are entranced. In addition to the cutting back and forth triple sequence, the audience loses a sense of where and when, our minds move with the quick cuts, and our conception of progress is held still and unpredictable, all molded by Lee’s manipulation. Not only are we taken out of the film in those seconds, but we are also stuck in a different realm until Lee breaks us out of it.

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