FarCryss wrote:Film is a visual medium.
I have never understood this commonly-espoused notion: in addition to sound and image, the dramatic elements (dialogue, acting, narrative, etc.) seem more than a little significant. Filmmakers who excel at the construction of imagery but neglect these other aspects often end up with mediocre movies. In my view Gravity
was obviously visually impressive but poor in all other respects.
If Bergman, on the other hand, is often considered one of the all-time great film directors (in my view this is, if anything, to understate the case), does it not seem likely that his extensive theatrical work, both before and during his filmmaking career, has something to do with it (not that he neglects the "visual" aspects of film: quite the contrary)? One problem with filmmaking in the twenty-first century is that filmmakers have deficient understanding and ability in the non-visual aspects of cinema: this is not just a criticism of generic Hollywood filmmaking – so-called arthouse cinema, too, often seems to display great visual talent but little dramatic skill (audiences and critics too often mistaking the latter for artistic profundity).
To distil some "essence" of cinema down to being a "visual medium" seems rather reductive.
Well, what I mean is, the visual aspects of film are intertwined with the dramatic elements you mention and in many ways I consider them inseparable. Gravity is a very intimate and immediate movie, shot with intimacy and immediacy, and the camera work reflects those elements much stronger than the dialogue does, unfortunately. That doesn't mean those elements aren't substantial because the dialogue sucks. When I look at Lubezki's camera movements and photography, other than their pleasing-to-the-eye nature, it appears he's saying something with how he handles the camera; in much of his work, the images are flowing, uninterrupted, mimicking a biological eye's sustained viewing and cadence, rather than trying to frame a still shot like a photographer (or Ozu) would. I wish more films were shot with this kind of meaningful presentation. I eat it up.
This film, from what I've read, is also much closer to animation than real-time photography, and I highly enjoy animated films - even if the "dramatic elements" are lacking. The artistry of the picture alone deserves praise, in many circumstances.
Now, you could call me shallow, which is fine, I am in some instances, but when an artist handles the visual medium with such dexterity and craft, I'm almost always going to give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm shallow and an optimist, too.
PS: I think the film's only real flaw (and it's a massive one) is the dialouge. I have no problems with the acting or the narrative arc.