Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by亚博主页Nathaniel R.Gemini,Cinephile,Actressexual.All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member ofour teamas noted.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!

"Great Moments in Horror Actressing"SIGOURNEY WEAVER in COPYCAT

Comment Fun


"AbsoluteYES!Queen Saoirse is coming for her Oscar!"-Wesley

"Look,I understand what Gerwig is trying to do but this is much moreNOthan "yes"for me.Much more."-H

"MAYBE SOI think I would have preferred Gerwig's take on a modern retelling."-Pam

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for500...no461 Patron Saints!If you read us daily,please be one.Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference.Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience亚博主页



Directors ofFor Sama

Lulu Wang(The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra(Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes(Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu(Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke(Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
« Podcast: Gone Girl,Whiplash,and Kathleen Turner Sightings| Main| Threads: "Know your place.Accept your place.Be a shoe"»
Oct 29 2014

'Nightcrawler' and L.A.in the Digital Age

Glennhere to offer a rebuttal to my own work.

When I reviewed David Cronenberg'sMaps to the Starsat the New York Film Festival,I washighly criticalof the film's look.It's the ugliest film of 2014 so far and will likely remain a recurring staple of my anti-digital rants for some time to come.Fair is fair,however,and lest I get the reputation of somebody who is strictly against digital,I wanted to sing the praises of Robert Elswit's work onNightcrawler.Neither a horror film as befitting its Halloween release date,nor a superhero film like many people have thought due to its title.Yet,in spite it this,the film works as both an unsettling work of urban and moral decay and a portrait of a man who,in his own eyes,is a bit of a hero.

Nightcrawleris a film that has a visual point of view,finding interesting compositions to tell a story that in the grand scheme of things is fairly conventional in its narrative beats and structure.It takes the familiar image of Los Angeles and twists it into a city where at night it becomes a muddy-skied haze.This is a film that is both gorgeous to look at and repugnant to the eye at the same time.The Los Angeles ofNightcrawlerseethes and creeps and Elswit's camera shows just what can be achieved with the medium.

Directed by Dan Gilroy - not to be confused with brothers Tony Gilroy (the film's producer and director ofMichael Clayton) or John Gilroy (the editor) - it's certainly very much inspired by the form-pushing work of Dion Beebe (Team Film Experience'sTop Ten Greatest Working Cinematographers) and Paul Cameron on Michael Mann'sCollateral.I don't consider this much of an issue given that film had perhaps my favourite cinematography of the '00s,and what's the point of groundbreaking work in the industry if it can't be adapted and played with by future filmmakers?In a way it's the same as how another Jake Gyllenhaal film,End of Watch,appropriated the look made famous by found footage horror and supplanted it onto the streets of gangland L.A.

Despite what some people may think,I am very much capable of falling head over heels for digital camerawork.I just appreciate it when filmmakers do something with the format that you otherwise can't with film.What's the point of the conversion if not to do something unique that sets it apart?I have no doubt celluloid would have worked amazingly for Gilroy's film,and in fact he did film the daytime sequences on 35mm highlighting how different the two mediums can be.I enjoyed watching that disparity taken advantage of,an aesthetic choice that entirely works forNightcrawleras it captures Gyllenhaal's sunken face as he films the aftermath of the city's violence,pawning his footage to bottom-of-the-barrel TV networks.Leaving my screening and I couldn't help but think of whatMaps to the Starscould've been if they'd had anything close to resemblingNightcrawler'skeen sense of craft.That the film is partially about the alarming ease that we can capture the world within which we exist,it makes it incredibly relevant piece of work,too.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (3)

so excited for people to see this one.So much worth recommending about it even if i'm not sure about it as a whole film.but you're right.it sure does look good and the performances are just on fire

October 29,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

"What's the point of the conversion if not to do something unique that sets it apart?"Amen to that,Glenn!

I also really liked this.The visuals are not only great but so absorbing and appropriate for the theme of the movie.And the performances are fantastic.Not only Gyllenhaal and Ahmed which are great,but also Ruso,who I'd never thought much of as an actress defends her character quite well - I thought she had to walk a fine balance to make her dynamics with Gylenhaal's character somewhat "believable"(not the right word,I know,but at least to keep it from being blatantly preposterous) and I think she got that.I wonder if the fact her husband's the director (plus maybe she's trying to stage some sort of comeback?) pushed her over her usual mediocre range.

October 30,2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

If I'd gone into more of the film's acting and story mechanics and themes I could've talked for ages.Russo is indeed fantastic.Hopefully good enough to remind some casting agents.

October 30,2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: