10.18.2004

artsy directors = pretentious a-holes

i saw friday night lights this weekend and i'll blog a thoughtful review later when i have the time. however, there is one thing about the movie that has inspired this long overdue rant.

the last six or seven years has really seen a boom in the use of what is affectionately known among people with motion sickness as "shaky-cam" for the cinematography in movies. for those of you who don't know what it is, it is when a movie films a scene using a hand held camera, instead of a stationary camera or one that moves mechanically. in other words, the cameraman has the camera on his shoulder. i've read that the principal reason for doing this is to give the scene a more realistic feel or even dumber, a "gritty realistic feel".

when was the last time you sat and watched a movie and said to yourself, "you know i just don't buy this movie because it looks like the camera is moving on rails of some sort", or "you know what would have made that movie more believable is if the director had made it seem like the person holding the camera was having a seizure."

the only thing i can come up with is that it makes the scene in the movie look more like those cheesy investigative reporters who ambush car mechanics who overcharge. you know what i'm talking about, they wait behind bushes, and the car mechanic comes out of the mcdonalds and then the camera crew jump out, the reporter sticks a microphone in his face and repeatedly asks, "did you charge an old lady $20,000 for an oil change? why did you do it?" and then while the guy tries to get into his car, they chase him, the reporter trying desperately to keep the microphone in his face, still asking the stupid question, "do you have any response to these accusation? do you?" and then the promos make the reporter seem like some kind of modern day customer service vigilante.

anyways, the point is, that stuff sucks, and it also sucks when a pretentious director's thinks his pretentious artistic statement is worth causing a large portion of the audience to not be able to watch an entire film. the shaky cam in friday night lights is so bad, that one of the people that i went to see the movie with had to leave about ten minutes in. i had to leave at one point because i thought i might barf. i haven't felt that sick in a movie since the blair witch project.

anyways, like i said, i need to think about the movie some before i can write a decent review since i don't remember half of it because i had to focus on the exit sign (when you get motion sickness, you're supposed to focus on a non-moving object, like the horizon).

anyways, to all you stupid directors like lars von trier and stephen soderburgh who think you are being intelligent or artsy or symbolic by using the shaky cam: cut it out you pretentious a-hole. you're literally making people throw up.

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