Tag Archives: 2001
On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss the movies that got us into movies, and were our gateway into obsession. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and then close the show with questions from our mailbag.
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Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
The following is a rebuttal to a recent Smug Film review, ‘Gravity: A Lifetime Movie in Space‘. Mild spoilers.
Gotta disagree on all counts.
Let’s go through it. The 3D diorama effect was kind of essential here, because it’s a film in a setting where people are literally thin slices floating on a plane of nothingness. It created strong contrasts between Bullock and the stars, debris and earth, and even the thumb-printed glass of the helmet and the actor’s faces. There’s one moment where a space station, a person, and the Earth are all in frame, separated by hundreds of miles, and all perfectly in focus because of a lack of atmospheric distortion. The 3D made that distance come alive in a way it can’t in 2D. It’s about gulfs, impossible blank gulfs, and that’s why it’s one of the only truly essential uses of 3D I’ve seen yet. About the only other one I can think of is Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which used it to bring out distances of millimeters of depth on a wall. Seems like 3D is at its best when it’s working with the very small or the very large.
There’s a small moment in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation that’s stuck with me more than the rest of the movie (a movie which is little else besides small memorable moments). It’s the morning when Bill Murray’s character Bob is supposed to leave Tokyo, but he’s all tore up because he’s fallen for the young, idle Charlotte, who’ll stay in Tokyo after he’s gone. Whomever that group of Japanese suits is that’s been hauling from him from job to job wants a picture with him (because he’s a movie star I guess) so they all line up. But when they go to take the photo, Murray’s smile fades and his gaze wanders to watch Charlotte walk to the elevator. The look on his face is packed with enough longing and conflict and anguish to fill a sushi boat—yet his expression is pretty bare. It’s kind of a frown, but not exactly. He looks more tired than anything. It calls to mind the zombie mimicking instructions from Shaun of the Dead: “Vacant, with a hint of sadness. Like a drunk who’s lost a bet.” It’s also sad as hell. It’s not the realization that they’ll never see each other again that gets to me, it’s that damned stare.