Saturday, May 10, 2008

Movies that are pissingme off

I watched Before the Devil Knows You're Dead last night and was very disappointed. Now Sidney Lumet is a great director, and has had a long, distinguished career, but this film just pissed me off. I am really getting sick of movies with a nonlinear storyline, which jumps back and forth in time. If you have a good story to tell, this is absolutely unnecessary and just kills the natural flow of the film. It's one thing to have occasional flash backs to explain events, but some of these films just seem like the editor cut a bunch of scenes, threw them into a hat and picked them out at random, splicing them together in that order. Listen, all you directors and editors out there, if you have a good story with solid characters and plot, there is no need to get fancy with your editing. Just make the fucking movie. Could you imagine Casablanca if the movie starts with Rick at the airport giving the "maybe not today" speech and the rest of the movie jumping back in time to random intervals? It would suck! Just make the fucking movie! Thank you for your time.


DrX said...

Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if you could actually recut/rearrange famous classics into a JJ Abrams style flashback/time jump. It's definitely a big story structure trend.

If I had some decent video editing software (and some time), I might actually try this.

kevthegreat said...

Nooooooo! Great films should never be touched. That's why I hate remakes so much, unless they are a remake of a flawed film.

DrX said...

Every film is flawed in some way. For example, any film without Spider-Man could use an obvious upgrade.

Seriously though, no matter how much I love a film, I always see some way to change some (often minor) aspect that would make be an improvement, to me. To my tastes. Everybody has an opinion. And aggregate opinions change too. Visual storytelling styles and structures are pretty dramatically different now than they were 50 years ago. Obviously.

Great films should absolutely be touched. And stroked, and manipulated. The original won't go anywhere. It's still there. You can make some great art by riffing on somebody else's great art.

Music does this all the time. So does painting and sculpture. Movies, plays and TV don't get riffs because of lawyers and perceptions of plagiarism, technical issues. Video editing used to be very difficult. It's not anymore, and I think it'd be interesting to try and recut a classic film to alter the story structure, and see how it might change the story or audience experience.

Go Google "Phantom Edit."