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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Film Score Friday 7/5/19 by Scott Bettencourt
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2019 - 12:05 AM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

BULLITT is a notoriously confusing film and I can't agree that its cavalier attitude to crucial plot points is admirable.

A couple of years ago I saw a throwaway film (THEIR FINEST) and in a moment of clarity I suddenly realized that in scene after scene I wasn't a hundred percent sure what had just happened. What that meant, why they were acting that way, if that character was really killed. And this wasn't my fault for being inattentive ... it was the fault of the filmmakers for failing to make a film that was completely lucid.

Nevertheless you won't find any reviewer complaining about the incoherence of THEIR FINEST. The confusion is on a micro-level -- microconfusion -- and thus tends to leave viewers blaming their own comprehension skills, attention levels, or even general lack of intelligence. Indeed, I'm convinced that some filmmakers purposely obfuscate and confuse to make their films seem more complex than they really are.

Which brings me to Christopher Nolan, a filmmaker who positively revels in microconfusion. And if you don 't believe me, I challenge you to watch INTERSTELLAR or DUNKIRK and explain everything scene by scene. Why they did that. What that guy just mumbled. What time zone we're in now. How that makes sense.

Microconfusion. Don't fall for it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2019 - 12:20 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

You just described David Lynch's entire career. embarrassment

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2019 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)


Which brings me to Christopher Nolan, a filmmaker who positively revels in microconfusion. And if you don 't believe me, I challenge you to watch INTERSTELLAR or DUNKIRK and explain everything scene by scene. Why they did that. What that guy just mumbled. What time zone we're in now. How that makes sense.


Agreed. Nolan sets-up interesting ideas (and has an impressive visual style), but most of his films don't hold up to scrutiny.

The Prestige really had me engaged, until copping-out by introducing a preposterous "duplicating machine" (and the highly unlikely notion that Hugh Jackman would commit suicide just to one-up Christian Bale).

Inception is kind of a fun kids' movie, but none of it makes sense (like the silly notion that someone would be subject to zero-g in a dream, simply because he is dreaming in a car that is falling -- in a dream). I guess the loud, frenetic "shoot 'em up" at the climax is cool to Assassin's Creed players (but not to me).

Interstellar has a lot of things going for it, but really, those astronauts didn't notice the massive tidal waves from the air, before landing? And the water level where they land is (initially) conveniently shallow enough for them to comfortably wade in? And the G-forces of a black hole don't crush McConaughey into a singularity -- but instead conveniently deliver him to his daughter's bookcase?

Memento feels like (and very possibly is) a movie in which the budget ran-out before the entire script was shot, and they tried to save it in the editing (plus, anyone suffering that severity of memory loss would certainly be institutionalized).

Dunkirk has no dramatic arc, and plays like a "work in progress" -- a rough assembly of footage which has been shot so far, with most of the scenes of character interaction as-yet un-filmed. Plus I was surprised to learn that a Spitfire could fly that long (and even engage in aerial combat maneuvers) with no fuel. Amazing!

His best film is still Batman Begins.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2019 - 1:35 PM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

One of the most mystifying things about Christopher Nolan's pictures is the flip-flopping between screen formats. Some people are annoyed by it, some are completely indifferent, and most don't even notice it. One of the silliest stylistic fads of recent times.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2019 - 8:16 PM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

One of the most mystifying things about Christopher Nolan's pictures is the flip-flopping between screen formats. Some people are annoyed by it, some are completely indifferent, and most don't even notice it. One of the silliest stylistic fads of recent times.

I think the formats only flipflop in the IMAX versions (and likely on home video). I've seen Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar and Dunkirk all in multiple theatrical formats, and I believe the aspect ratio only changes in the IMAX versions (since all four films are a mixture of full screen IMAX and traditional widescreen, Dunkirk having the most IMAX).

Unusual and shifting aspect ratios are a quasi-hip trend these days. Xavier Dolan has done it in at least two movies.

(This is the only time I will ever compare my beloved Christopher Nolan with Xavier Dolan. Well, that and their similar last names).

 
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