Monday, December 1, 2008

burn after reading



I put up this clip from the Coen Bros movie, Burn After Reading. As per usual, with the Coen Bros, it doesn't totally add up, but has such moments of genius in it and such great offbeat characters, it's hard not to enjoy it (assuming you like twisted black comedies)

I had new respect for George Clooney in this..the link I posted has no sound, but even without sound look at the power of the reaction shot. This works so well even as pantomime - just watch as he has that moment of realization at 55 seconds in. His entire demeanor changes..from genial, moving his head around, to completely contained. The eye darts and minor facial movements are complex and worth study..

Frances McDormand's somewhat clueless and chatty character provides a heightened contrast to him as well, making his lapse into paranoia even more powerful.

Watch the slow camera move in to emphasize that realization as well as his shoulders showing he's breathing much faster..even in a very close shot those details MATTER.

at around 1.25, look at his barely contained fury..almost a moving hold full of contrasting parts...

Of course, the camera work and cuts support his mental process.

New respect for Clooney!

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