Monday, February 19, 2007

Movie Chat: Links and Lists

I love it when David Bordwell uses his, um, encyclopedic knowledge of film history for good, like he does here (via Andy Horbal's February links page) when he puts the slap down on Variety's claim that Thomas Schlamme pioneered the "walk and talk" shot.

Bordwell has some interesting, and nicely-illustrated, stuff to say. For example, he notes that the walk-and-talk is particularly suited to movies/shows that take place in "institutional" spaces like hospitals or police stations.

He goes on to point out the lack of variety in the way contemporary filmmakers stage dialogue scenes. According to Bordwell, nowadays, directors tend to use either the walk-and-talk or the stand-and-deliver, but in old-time Hollywood movies, they would spice things up with more elaborate blocking, stage business, and camera movement.

Personally, I prefer that kind of staging - for one thing, I think it opens up a lot of possibilities for performers, giving them more space to work with. "Lost" techniques like these keep me going back to old movies.

Also, I had fun following and participating in this conversation about movie list-making on Andy Horbal's blog itself. Last weekend I travelled to Worcester, MA for an annual list party that my undergrad film professor throws for some of his dedicated film buff students. It was lots of fun, and it has inspired lots of thinking about movies, lists, and arts & culture stuff in general, some of which should make its way to blog form over the next few weeks.

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