How Editing Mimics Memory in Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell”

The Farewell is absolutely one of my favourite films of the year, and one of the few which made me cry (twice, if we’re counting) yet want to rewatch immediately. Awkwafina is a star. I look forward to her career of interesting choices and varied projects. I hope she ends up getting offered all the … Continue reading

Shooting, Editing, and Crossing the Line on HBO’s “Succession”

Succession has all the hallmarks of HBO Prestige Television: big names, stunning production design, Shakespeare out the wazoo. It crosses the line as much in its shooting as its characters cross it morally, and just as often for kicks; see Episode 1.04 “Sad Sack Wasp Trap” (video for educational purposes): I did a more detailed … Continue reading

Better Call Saul: Art of the Montage

Like Breaking Bad before it (but better in almost every way – fight me), Better Call Saul loves an out-of-context cold open, a seemingly inconsequential detail or character beat which will come around in a few episodes or seasons, and a long montage. In fact, like this groundbreaker before it, Better Call Saul brings us … Continue reading

Colour in DRIVE and IL CONFORMISTA

Drive and Il Conformista ‘s use of colours make for great comparison and contrast symbolically, emotionally, and technically. First: Refn is colourblind, which impacts his work in a preference for heavy colour saturation. Second: because of its time, Il Conformista required everything from on-set lighting to colour timing to be planned far more thoroughly in … Continue reading

The X-Files: Preserving One of TV’s Biggest Procedurals

Recently The X-Files has been remastered in HD and with the potential of 4k, which involved ingesting and preserving hundreds of hours of footage, changing aspect ratios, and more. A fascinating peek into the technical aspects is here, but I want to focus on why The X-Files of all the network procedurals. Sure, genre classification … Continue reading

Doctor Who “Resolution” Shot Study – Crossing the Line

A month ago I was on a feature film shoot, ready to go into a take. The 1AD had called turnover, everything was slated, and the DOP jumped up, startling everyone, waving his arms. “Wait! Is this a line cross!?” They don’t always wait until quite so last-second, but a line cross is a DOP … Continue reading

Shot Study – Doctor Who “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”

The first episode of the 11th season of NuWho has Very Big Expectations. It has to stand up to many recent introductions of The Doctor and/or companions, some of which arguably rank among the best episodes the show has done. It has to act as a pilot of sorts, because even though we know this … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Films with Gutsy Endings

I’ve recently seen both Call My By Your Name and A Quiet Place, which I loved for very different reasons. The real clincher, though, one of the things which sticks out in both films and which I submit is unusual today, is in the final moments. Final moments in films can be clever and quotable … Continue reading

Glitch: Pilot

This is the first in a series of pilot analysis, where I review how the pilot works as such. Eventually if there’s enough interest I may pick up a whole series. First up is Glitch. A good pilot establishes; that’s almost its only job. It establishes the main story, the setting, characters, the look and … Continue reading

Title Sequence: Elementary

Elementary‘s title sequence presents us with a Rube Goldberg machine, something both straightforward and convoluted. Like the show itself, the sequence is not all chronological with clear cause-and-effect, but it includes pieces we’re familiar with: mouse wheel, rising bell, pulleys; procedural tropes, situational lying, criminal types, a figure trapped in a cage, etc. The machine includes potential elements of … Continue reading