sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2017-09-01 05:28 pm

I turned in all directions, but my compass wouldn't spin

It is a quiet, sunny September afternoon and all of a sudden it feels like fall. Last night it was cold enough for an electric blanket and as of today I have transferred my keys into the pockets of my corduroy coat; the color of the light and the clarity of the sky are stone-washed, paling, remote. The leaves are not yet turning that I can see, but I just realized that the tree directly across from my office window may have died. Its branches are split and grey with lichen, its twigs leafless. I wonder if the ash borer got it. It had better not be an omen. Autolycus crouched next to my computer with the afternoon in his green eyes suggests that I should not take it as such.

Tomorrow I plan to meet [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for the HFA's all-night vampire marathon. For most of next week [personal profile] spatch and I will be out of town and traveling because of family business on his side. When we get back, the Brattle will be running a celebration of Tilda Swinton and I will get to see more Derek Jarman on the big screen, including The Last of England (1987), which I have only read about. The HFA is not running a full Wellman retrospective, but selected works with emphasis on his pre-Code and social message pictures. I am glad that someone other than me considers Heroes for Sale (1933) and Wild Boys of the Road (1933) "neglected classics," because they are. Any summary that leaves Dorothy Coonan out of the latter, however, is out of focus.

I keep thinking about Dunkirk (2017). I went to see it again last weekend because I wanted to observe the structure now that I knew how it worked; what I feel I mostly ended up observing was the emotion. It's really not a cold movie. Some characters' arcs leapt out at me this time around, one numinous moment in particular which I may describe if I can recompile my brain. The cinematography still sticks for me. There are moments of great visual beauty, disorientation, immersion, but not everything needs to be quick-cut, adrenaline-flash. You can create astonishing claustrophobia and chaos holding the camera crisp and steady—Sidney Lumet and Oswald Morris did it with The Hill (1965), yet another film I saw this summer and failed to write about. I know Christopher Nolan thought the alternative would be more intuitive. I don't know that he was right.

I wish I were not so tired. I remember being able to think. I liked it.
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-09-01 09:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I agree, I wish quick cut/shakycam would go the way of black-and-white.

The numinous moment for me was the plane gliding without fuel over the empty beach. And to a lesser extent, the propaganda fliers fluttering down from the sky.
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-09-01 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I like black and white too. But it's not really used much any more. Ideally B&W should come back and shaky-cam should go. I have literally never seen a movie that wouldn't have been as good or better without it.

Also I have motion sickness and there was a stretch of years where shaky-cam was so extreme that I literally could not see many movies I wanted to see. I spent half of one of the Bourne movies sitting simmering with my eyes shut.
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)

[personal profile] julian 2017-09-02 02:08 am (UTC)(link)
On the one hand, it was one of many things that made it so janky, overwhelming, suspenseful, and *warlike*, even while there was very little blood.

On the other hand, when it gets to the point where the technique interferes with understanding, yes, that is a problem.
asakiyume: (miroku)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2017-09-04 10:57 am (UTC)(link)
Someone on Twitter was saying the opposite and equally true thing--that having slow-mo and silence for an important moment in a very action-filled scene was effective the first thousand times Hollywood did it, but could maybe now be retired.