From a dramatic standpoint, hands deserve special attention. While it’s easy to form attachments to faces and read their expressions, it is the hands and fingers that do the “doing.” They are the executor of our intent, and they can tell a story without being compromised by those unreliable faces and expressions.
At least, that’s the philosophy that’s at work in Steve McQueen’s films and on display in this supercut by Vimeo user Alex Kalogeropoulos. Pulled out of context, hands and fingers betray much about a character’s intention, as well as his key attributes. Hands can reveal a set of skills or frayed nerves. They can gauge the certainty of a person and they bear the scars of previous actions. By using these tight shots, McQueen provides a secret life of hands, the quiet doers of the mind that engage in fascinating small moments.