16 May 2004

<i>The Saddest Music in the World</i>

I've actually seen a number of weird movies lately. These posts are incorrect in terms of chronological order—that is, I saw Saddest Music yesterday(Friday) evening and Secretary tonight(Saturday). I didn't think to write about the former until I had finished writing about the latter. I guess I could rearrange the timestamps, but I kind of like the idea of preserving the temporal dimension of the vector of thought in the bløgosphere.

So this film was in black & white with a slight blue filter and a vaselined-lens around the outside of the frame to present it in the style of the 20's, when screens were smaller and film was of lower fidelity. The film is set in 1930's Winnipeg and edited to look as if shot around that time period. It tries a lot of different things, and much like Secretary (below) it ends up feeling lumpy. But in this film there's a lot of good stuff in the stylistic choices that made up for my not really digging the story.

I'm not quite sure why they did this, but all the shots are really cramped. Even the outdoor shots feel as if hte buildings are sort of out-of-proportion models right next to the actors. The camera never pulls back more than a few feet from them. Maybe this is another way to emulate an older film style? It feels almost like filming a stage production because every scene could be set up and done in a small stage. There are no sweeping external shots and no big effects. But even more than that, some of the sets are downright claustrophobic. There's one house where everyone has to kind of squeeze around each other to move through the main room. It's hard to describe (obviously).

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