Intimacy, ‘Truth' and the Gaze: The Double Opening of Zero Dark Thirty

Authors: Van Raalte, C.

Journal: MOVIE: A Journal of Film Criticism

Issue: 7

Pages: 23-30

The opening scene of Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012) is, strictly speaking, not a 'scene' at all since it offer no images, only a black screen, some text and a soundscape that uses real recordings of phone-calls made on 11th September 2001 to depict the events of that day. In this article I want to discuss the operation of intimacy, cultural memory and audience address in these ninety seconds, the way in which these same ideas are reworked in the scene that immediately follows, and the way in which the film's investment in ' the spectacle of the real' and complex treatment of the gaze is established within both these opening sequences.

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