With multiplexes ruling the cinematic world the most innovative ideas are brought by those thinking inside the box. Sounds counter-cliché, doesn’t it?
The box referred to here is one defined by the passing of an era and sealed as tightly as events of the past century. This is a box that contains the invaluable antiquities that made classic cinematography into what it stands for: a legacy of exceptional masterworks in the cinematic industry.
The contemporary film industry has been marked by a wave of digital modernism that has swept away relics of the past which offered audiences refuge from graphic stunts and extravagant shots crowding the big screen. What thinking inside the box allows cinematographers today to do is offer the viewers something different from just superheroes displaying extraordinary stunts and visuals saturated with CGI technology.
The modern film industry reflects a discontinuity in the trajectory of productions that trace back to the classics. While on one end are high-budget blockbusters that do not go a day without being ‘sold out’, on the other are the classics and a scarce collection of indies that have been out of sight long enough to be covered under the dust. What the industry lacks today is the need to have something in between. This would help follow a transition from the past to the present and assist movie buffs in returning to a collection that they long cherished.
However, not everything is as gloomy as it might seem. There are some figures who are working exceptionally beyond their normal capacity to bring back the loss from a land long abandoned. Here is what is being done to revive the loss.
The Three Musketeers
While technology, graphics, digital, and shooting are terms that have aesthetic-averse connotations attached to them, there are directors who are striving to bridge the gap between the polar ends of the industry. In order to literally make ends meet revolutionaries like Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh, and Wes Anderson are producing films that do not have to pick between budget and quality.
Without hopping on the bandwagon of producing what Tarantino calls “television in public,” they have anchored a place for themselves and earned appreciation for their work. They are living examples of how plot, direction, and cinematography don’t need to be compromised in the name of digital filmmaking.
What Changed For Them
Even though each director has a unique style and taste in cinema, a streak found aligning between all three is their tendency to revert back to what was once known as classics of the golden era.
The disjunction in the style followed in modern cinema discussed earlier is not only making things go haywire in the present but also making the future riddled with adversities and uncertainties.
The modern tragedy of cinema is that there is no legacy that is emblematic of 21st Century film productions for times to come.
Learning from old school ways, Nolan is determined to produce films single-handedly. From sound recording to editing, he is his own one-man army.
Building on from where his predecessors left off, he has also made a code of shooting with a single camera and religiously abides by it. This not only adds a seamless continuity to his films but also makes them more real because of the lack of needless computer-generated imagery.
Soderbergh on the other hand acquires his expertise from his remarkable editing skills. This exceptional cinematographer takes on the risky task of directing across genres and transcending all bounds of restraint. This is why he has been able to produce works like Magic Mike and The Knick.
Contrary to Soderbergh, Anderson tethers his plots to a locus that is considered to be a hermetic space in order to maintain discipline and control.
After making the ground from where he decides to work, he draws inspiration from past movies and drives his plot with precision and calculation. As a result, what we see is a world true to the eccentricities that Anderson stands for!
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