Movies Imitating Theater

In the beginning of movies, before innovators,
such as, D. W. Griffith, among others. Movies were essentially just recorded plays. Of course,
there are some exceptions, but most directors at that time barely used the camera as a tool
to tell the story. And what really separates a recording of a play, and an actual movie.
Is that a movie tells its story through the camera and editing, as well, as the techniques
that are used in plays. Like music, light, actors’ performances, among a bunch of other
things. So movies seem like the equivalent of plays just with more tools to tell the
story. What about a movie, that, sort of, goes back to its roots, and imitate… theater Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
This film appears to be one shot. If you are familiar with editing live-action stuff, you
probably know how they pulled off this effect. If the camera turns quickly, there will be
a point where it’s blurry enough, that you can hide a cut or dissolve without anyone
noticing. But the takes in the movie are still really long, and the camera is almost always
moving around. That is pretty impressive on its own.
The director Alejandro G. Ina… Inarr… Inaratatouille, did a great job. He won best
director at the Oscars, and deservedly so. This is a movie about a play, that uses techniques
to feel like a play. One technique is of course, the “one take” effect.
The movie is also very dialogue heavy, which also helps to achieve this theater-like effect.
There are very few moments where nothing is happening in the movie, when the characters
are just walking to some place in order to transition to the next scene, the movie usually
provides us with some character who walks in, who has something to say, something to
add to the story. This forces the writers to make the character
have more depth. It’s a sort of like a lucky accident, in that way. But on the other side of the spectrum we have
The Grand Budapest Hotel. The aspect ratio changes depending on what year that part of
the story is set in, in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Since the film is essentially a story
within a story within a story in a book, Wes Anderson gets the excuse of doing basically
anything without it seeming weird. For example, the light changes multiple times while a scene
is playing out to change the emotion of that scene. Not between cuts, but we literally
see the light changing. There are also cool nods to D.W. Griffith. Like the circle-thing. [clip from “The Grand Budapest Hotel”] I saw Birdman three times in theaters. Not
that theater, the movie theater. And I think that the way Birdman uses cinematic tools
to tell the story as if it was a play, is really cool. And it has Michael Keaton running
around in public with only his underwear on, so, you know, what more can you ask for?


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