from A Bill of Divorcement (George Cukor, 1932)
"In George Cukor’s A Bill of Divorcement (1932) Katharine Hepburn’s character is saying goodbye to her mother at the door. She closes it and retreats back into the house. In most films this would be the end of the sequence. But Cukor defers the ending, and cuts to another shot, a narratively unnecessary one, inside the house, following Hepburn as she moves into another room. Hepburn’s walk starts out slow as she begins to circle the room; free of story – all the other important characters have left the house – Kate is now free to move about as she pleases. She languidly scratches her head as she walks into a living room, then yawns. A half-heartbeat later she lowers her arms with a little burst of energy that slices the air around her body, as if drawing it in towards her. She then circles around to a sofa on which she finds two pillows, and swings around to the rug in front of a fireplace, plopping the pillows on the floor. She is now ready to perform the most enchanting performance of prostration I have ever seen in movies: facing away from the pillows, she lowers herself backwards, hands first, knees up, onto them; then, dropping her head on the edge of the first pillow, she runs her hands through her hair again, juts her torso up twice to reposition her midsection slightly on the pillows, all before exhaling, unbending her knee, and crossing her right foot over her left.
Cue a dissolve."