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Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

Light and dark

Courtesy of Elberry, this one goes out to Nick (and anyone else who likes noir).

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What Yanqui english sounds like to Italians; what Limey English sounds like to Yanquis. (Language warning at end.) (And for real Cockney incomprehensibility, acquire the Small Faces album “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”, from whence cometh this.)

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In response to a previous post by Nick, I commented unfavourably on Zack Snyder’s use of violence in movies, in a manner threatening to derail a thread about upcoming movie awesomeness onto the topic of how Zack Snyder is a psychopath. I figure it best to make a separate post about this; this is that post.

Readers may be familiar with the concept of “the male gaze”: that in movies made by men (which is most of them), the way the camera treats women reflects the way men look at women: the camera will linger on a woman’s curves and, in choosing the angles from which it perceives her, will be guided by a sense of beauty and aesthetics informed (consciously or unconsciously) by male heterosexual desire. So far, so blindingly obvious. I can’t say much about it myself, because I spent most of my life without a TV and I don’t watch too many movies, and I’ve never developed the capacity to analyse camerawork to that extent; but I’d be surprised if that didn’t happen, at least a little.

Readers may also be familiar with the film Manhunter, an excellent adaptation of the Hannibal Lecter book “The Red Dragon”, in which Lecter is played by Brian Cox. There is a scene in which Cox, in a mental institution, looks at some gruesome crime scene photos, and his eyes – briefly – flicker with interest. A lesser Lecter would have made some comment along the lines of “ooh, yeah, now that’s the good stuff”, but Cox’s Lecter doesn’t say a word about it, just carries on with his conversation. (Later, Will Graham falls asleep on an aeroplane and the case files folder spills open; a girl sitting next to him sees the same photos and starts shrieking.)

Imagine a combination of the two: a film made by a Lector-like serial killer, in which the camera lingers, briefly but noticably, on wounds, the same way the camera might normally linger, just a second longer than necessary, on a woman’s curves. And if you can’t imagine it, well, you don’t have to, because Zack Snyder has given the world the Watchmen movie.

The rest of this post focuses on the details. The reader is advised to skip unless very specifically interested in the topic. It will not be edifying. (more…)

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