Week 7 – Weird Science

What I took away from last week’s clip-show extravaganza wasn’t so much ‘this or that technique’ so much as a sense of the over-arcing variety of techniques on display.

The ingenuity, and sometimes outright eccentricity of these wildly different films struck me over the head; and as a result I’ve been thinking more and more about the opportunities available to me as a person who might end up making some films.

I feel like I’m having an epiphany over common knowledge, but I guess I’ve just never stopped to consider the plethora of options inherent in telling a story in a film. Granted, most of those options would probably lead to a pretty bad movie; but I think, personally, that the crazy backdrops of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari are genuinely awesome, and deserve a comeback.

I mean, take a look at the wave of fairy-tale ‘re-imaginings’ that have taken the world by storm lately.

All thinly-disguised action movies, investigating the deeply layered question of “What if the protagonists of [fairy tale] were The Avengers?” (The answer is money.) But why not have a fairy-tale reboot that’s surreal, almost child-like, the way fairytales actually are? (The answer is still money.) I’ve never seen any of these movies. If any of them had decided to embrace the inherent weirdness of their stories, and just run with it, I’d watch it.

OR you could just throw in the abstract cityscapes for a stylised effect. Dr. Caligari meets Sin City, anyone?

My point is there may still be some potential to this crazy low-fi technique from a 1920’s horror movie. We’ve all heard a hundred times from our friends doing Arts courses how every story has already been told, and we’re just re-shuffling them and changing the phrasing. I guess the point I’m getting at is that, well… Hell yeah we’re re-shuffling the phrasing!

There’s an uncountable number of different ways to tell the same story in a film; and these different ways are often more drastically visible than in, say, literature. What if I shot the whole film from the protagonist’s point of view? What if I green-screened a child’s watercolour into a scene as a backdrop, for no discernible reason? Should I re-dub this fight-scene with typewriter sounds and weird snake noises? Hell, give it a go! Let’s do some science.

In conclusion:

There’s the real epiphany.

Isaac Mitchell-Frey (9985182)


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