My brother says it's basically a trailer

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My brother says it's basically a trailer

Postby CC21106 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:23 am

I finally got him to watch the 2012 musical movie and he says every scene was like a trailer for a real movie. Just too short. He should watch the show on here somewhere and see all the bits that were cut, but I doubt I can rope him into that. He read the book and watched the movie just because I wanted somebody to talk about it with, which is a pretty heavy investment of time and I am grateful to him for doing that. He watched it on my laptop because his isn't playing DVDs for some reason, so I pointed him to my directory of LM art I've been compiling. Phan, I captured your "Napoleon fanboying" sequence in a PDF, hope that's OK, because sometimes I just want a laugh. I hope you do some more like that, or basically any LM cosplay because you are so d*** good at it.
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Re: My brother says it's basically a trailer

Postby deHavilland » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:16 pm

You know, thinking on this, I can see where he would interpret it as more of a trailer than a completed film. I think one of the film's major problems -- or at least one of the major problems I have with the film -- is the extensive use of "quirky" cinematography. In the language of film, there are very specific reasons for why one would choose to use a dutch angle (slanted to convey instability, confusion, uneven footing), an extreme wide shot (establishing a contextual setting, making a character look small against a huge and imposing background: like Scarlett O'Hara standing in the street surrounded by dying Confederate soldiers), a shot looking down from above (to indicate a character is small or powerless), and a shot looking up from below (to indicate a character is imposing or powerful.) but in Les Mis, all of these conventions are ignored in favor of ~coOol~ shots, bro. Cinematography that is meant to inspire a certain emotion is just used because it looks awesome. Why shoot a scene with an establishing wide and then close-up and medium shot coverage where you get to see the context and then be present with the characters when you could put the camera on a crane and make it fly around hither and thither at will or go really, really close on Hugh Jackman's face so we can see the snot in his nose and the saliva on his teeth. Now, admittedly, there are instances where shots are used for a purpose: the camera pulls out and goes wide as Valjean throws his ticket of leave in the air because it reveals how small and tiny he is against the great wide world he's just been released to -- but then the camera follows his floating ticket around in a nonsensical fashion and the scene becomes comical. Lovely Ladies and Look Down are both shot with tons of uncomfortable close-ups and dutch angles to reveal the disorientation Fantine is feeling and to make the audience uncomfortable -- but the close-ups and dutch angles are used to the extent that they start to lose their meaning.

Trailers are made to sell a movie, to create some kind of action-packed thirty seconds to a minute of "come see this film!!!" using mostly the coolest shots, sometimes shots that don't even make it into the final edit of the film because they were so gratuitously cool. Les Mis is shot like one long trailer of "look how great this is, look how cool this is, look how artsy we are" and it's disorienting to the viewer because it doesn't allow you to really get into the scene and experience it without the distraction of "wooooooah, there goes the camera again! Stop it, I'm trying to look at this thing over here."
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