Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Quick Movie Review

The Aviator: Well, first of all, has Scorsese ever even made a movie that wasn't at least very, very good? And then to direct that talent at a story that could just about have been written by Ayn Rand: Genius entrepeneur vs. evil interfering government. Puts a smile on my face. I particularly liked the dialogue at the Hepburn estate/socialist-artist-commune ("We don't care about money here, Mr. Hughes." "Well, that's because you have it.")

On the Ain't It Cool News discussion thread regarding the new King Kong trailer, some people complained about the CGI effects in The Aviator, specifically the "ridiculous camera acrobatics". I believe that what they meant was that the camera did things that no physical camera could ever do, and that this therefore destroyed the illusion for them (and contrasting with the big crash scene, which was a miniature shot with physical cameras, and therefore "felt more real" to them). I'm afraid I can't agree with that argument. Tools develop; they progress. The physical cameras of today are capable of things that the physical cameras of 40 years ago were not. There are possibilities with lighting open to filmmakers now that were not available even a decade or so ago. So should filmmakers refuse to use these new tools, just because they create images that would have been impossible in films made earlier? I'm not just talking about effects work, here. Should Welles have eschewed using deep focus in Citizen Kane, because it would destroy the illusion by presenting images earlier lenses could not have captured?

I find it a particularly ironic complaint with regard to this movie, given its emphasis on Hughes' combination of technological engineering genius and iconoclasm (as exemplified by the line, "Don't tell me what I can't do!")...

3 comments:

3XHAR said...

Hmmm... Your Randian comment has me interested in 'The Aviator'. Generally I stay away from biographical films, but maybe I'll have to give this one a shot.

Salvius said...

If this were a Rand novel instead of a historical biography, I suspect the main differences would be that Hughes would have just shrugged off the whole obsessive-compulsive thing through sheer force of will, and there would have been more sex scenes.

Chameleon said...

Hello Salvius! Thanks for your recent comment on Redemption Blues. I couldn't think of a more appropriate place to respond as I haven't been able to find an e-mail address on your site. Firstly, I did reduce the size of the photos slightly. Secondly, yes, I know what you mean about the Daleks. Have you had an opportunity to catch any of the new Dr. Who with Christopher Eccleston in the title role or has it not been broadcast in the States yet? If not, you are in for a treat, especially if you are a Dalek fan. I intend to write a short piece about the episode entitled (appropriately enough) Dalek, as for me it was the stand-out episode, one of the best ever in any reincarnation of the series. Thirdly, I always enjoy reading your movie reviews. Have you seen War of the Worlds yet? I have just finished jotting down my preliminary impressions at
http://www.redemptionblues.com/?p=157
if you are interested.
:)