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February 28, 2004

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Pure Cinema


Story — who needs it?

I submit: The trailer for this Japanese movie “Casshern” (pictured above). Here’s the site. Do I have any idea what this movie is about? No. Does it matter? Nooo!

Then there’s this Boing Boing entry linking to a series of Flash animations built with old 8-bit Mario graphics. The whole thing is pretty funny, but check out part two in particular — the way it uses music, motion, and cinematic tricks is astounding. It doesn’t matter at all than the actual images are blocky NES icons and the plot is even lower-rez. There is some serious movie magic in effect.

I want an Oscar awarded for “Best Use of the Medium” or something like that. This year, I think “Big Fish” would have fared well in that category.

Posted February 28, 2004 at 12:06 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Movies


That is indeed a mighty trailer; my favorite part is when it breaks out into hard rock and robots show up! (But that's my favorite part of every movie.)

Robin, I think the award you're thinking of is "Best Cinematography" -- but at the same time, you may have a point that there should be an award that doesn't just reward tip-top camerawork and lighting, but the development and direction of shots specifically designed to look amazing on film: "Best Mise-en-Scene," or something like that.

Post away.

You might be right, Tim, although sometimes I get the feeling that Best Cinematography rewards pretty pictures as much as it does the movement of those pictures over time, which I think is more important (and interesting) where film is concerned.

Case in point: "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (and a bad script!) is nominated this year. Beautiful shots, I'll concede; but I don't remember any that rose above the level of pretty-arrangement-of-well-lit-objects to even begin to approach the dynamic construction of, oh, say, every shot in "Return of the King."

Which will clearly win this year, because it's the best by both standards (pretty pictures, cinematic movement) -- and by your cool new metric, "the development and direction of shots specifically designed to look amazing on film," too.

Two words: Minas Tirith. Y'all know what I'm talkin' about.

Posted by: Robin on February 29, 2004 at 02:08 PM

Oops. "Return of the Kings" wasn't even nominated for Best Cinematography. Oh well. "Master and Commander" was a worthy substitute.

And at least "Seabiscuit" didn't win!

Posted by: Robin on March 1, 2004 at 12:25 AM
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