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Exit Clear

‘Escape from New York’ and 'Escape from L.A.’ Have Amazing Visual Symmetry

Film lovers know that John Carpenter is a master of the stunning visual, from the opening Steadicam shot in Halloween to the first time we see the creatures emerging in The Fog, but Carpenter’s knack for visual artistry extends beyond his ability to create captivating shot after captivating shot.

As Vimeo user whoispablo revealed with this clever side-by-side montage, Carpenter adopted a certain visual style when he shot the 1981 classic Escape from New York, then returned to the same visual style when he made Escape from L.A. a full 15 years later. It’s all there, from the crane shot over the prison wall to the post-apocalyptic gladiator fights to Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) sharing a chat with his newfound driver pal (Ernest Borgnine in the first film, Steve Buscemi in the second). It’s like a mirror image across time, but it also might explain why L.A. feels predictable and stale compared to New York.

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