Sunday, March 22, 2009

I can smell the chemicals

An evening of two bad movies has me thinking about how like everything else, film had to become formulaic and common.
One of my tasks at work is to check DVDs that come back where the borrower has said they didn't work or were scratched. Often, there seems to be nothing wrong with them, conversely at times they are totally messed up.
In order for me to check them, I watch them on a PC and just view each chapter's beginning. With that, I've seen the start of hundreds of scenes and they all, or at least most, follow a traditional thread, there is an establishing shot of; action, people walking around, driving, arriving, or a still shot of the environment. When you're watching a movie normally, none of this stands out or seems so very everyday, but the technique becomes as standard as the requisite bowchickabowow in a porno.
It's annoying, or cloying might be a better description. Though it's become so the norm, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a relevant way to set up every moment where the viewer is walked through, shown where everything is, and then left with the comfort and security of the known. It sets up a false sense of reliability that rarely is the case in any other domain.


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