Jul 17, 2010

Of sassy camera moves and futile attempts to entertain me...

Something very strange happened to me yesterday which has managed to trump brain space that would otherwise have been fully focused on reviewing Inception. Since it sounds like many of my readers have already seen Inception or are planning to no matter what I say, I am giving myself over to writing about this weird occurrence.

A few days ago, I rented Agora because I like Rachel Weisz and well, that's pretty much why. I watched the first half yesterday afternoon and could not make myself continue. Close to the point at which I had enough the following takes place on-screen: the Christians storm the library at Alexandria (with permission from the emperor) and start destroying everything. There are scrolls flying through the air like streamers. The camera begins to tilt and doesn't stop. Soon the viewer is upside down, just as the pagans, whose former persecution of the Christians was once sanctioned by the emperor, now find themselves displaced from their center of knowledge. I can't help but chide the film in the most sarcastic voice imaginable, "Their world will never be the same." This is the sort of camera movement that has to be subtle as it relates to the story. In this case, it was way too obvious so it just seemed gimmicky, like a substitute for good film-making.

When I came home from Inception, hubby was watching the final half of Carlito's Way, a film he saw many moons ago, and one I have never seen. Here too is a movie I have no desire to watch in its entirety, but it was somehow destiny that I saw these two halves of these two movies on the same day. When Carlito gets shot, they roll him away through the subway station, the camera becomes unbound by gravity and end over end it goes. I am not kidding. It was the same shot. I will now stop to marvel at the likelihood that anyone could be inspired by Brian De Palma or Carlito's Way. It is a camera movement that has been used before and will be used again, in the same tired "my world's turned upside down" way no doubt. So the most likely explanation is that it was all a big coincidence. But, even then, it feels a little like the Universe converging, right? I almost fell asleep before the end of Carlito's Way. I would have missed it! But something made me stay with it. It might have been hubby asking me to watch the end of the movie with him. Yep. That was it. He didn't plan it though. He too was amazed by the similarity of camera movements and overall badness of the two films.

I have to say one thing in defense of Carlito's Way. Sean Penn really is a great actor. I felt like he was channeling my old boss from The Unnamed Law Offices. I wouldn't want to hurt the scumbag's feelings.

Something this poetic happens to a film fan so rarely. I feel quite blessed.


  1. This is my favorite review of Inception so far.

  2. Giggle out loud. I am working on my Inception post, which is turning into a treatise, which could pretty much be summed up by saying, "I don't think I liked it very much."


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