Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Are Not Good People

I just finished reading Jeff Somers We Are Not Good People. It is an absurdly well-written book. He wrote the Electric Church series which is also terrifically good.

I prefer my Jeff Somers in long-form (like novels) because there's this particular rhythm he develops, using a specialized language in the voice of the narrator. And you want to sort of get into that rhythm and sit there for the length of a novel.

I am, unfortunately, a bit too stupid to really understand what I'm supposed to be doing. I started reading We Are Not Good People and found that I'd already read it. Or, somehow, I'd already read the first half. I have no idea how that happened. I believe it may involve witchcraft of some kind.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cat Scratch Fincher

So I was gonna write a non-spoilery review of Gone Girl about how it's really an HBO series packed into a feature film because of the weird episodic structure which doesn't really obey any sort of normal act structure.
Then I was going to write about how the cat in the movie was a cat from some romantic comedy thrown accidentally into a thriller picture and nobody really knew what to do with the cat once it had seemed like a freaking plot point to feed the damn floppy thing.
But that's not what I'm going to write about. No.
Instead I'm going to write about the gratuitous thigh scratching.
Look, I have to sit though tiresome essays like this one. Ooh. Fincher doesn't use closeups when he doesn't have to. Oh yeah? Then explain the thigh scratch to me.
Maybe the whole thing was a goof. Maybe the cat was really Jonesey from Alien. Maybe it's Fincher's apology for ruining the Alien franchise.
Also, this movie just wasn't directed at all. Everything about Gone Girl was on the writer. As a movie it didn't really need a director. Any competent cinematographer with a competent AD could have got all the shots they needed and then sent them to editorial.
But that's not the point. The point is that we cut to the closeup of a thigh. Being scratched.
Why?
That closeup actually makes me angry. I should go lie down.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Exploitation

Exploitation is an odd word because it means both to "use" and to "abuse".

I'm not entirely sure where the line is between the two. One issue is that "exploitation" is actually contractual language. There's the right and obligation to exploit one's image in a motion picture (for instance). The exploitation in all forms throughout the universe (they apparently added "universe" what with satellite transmissions) known and unknown is exactly what you're doing when distributing a motion picture.
In some sort of Marxist universe there'd be a clear idea of the surplus value of labor which one could at some point actually measure. I'm not sure what that is.
So what I don't know is, at what point are you "exploiting" someone, and at what point are you not?
I have a feeling that CG animators and sound mixers are the ones who get exploited the most...