November 30, 2014

Shadowcon Mini-Views- Birdman

Just got back from seeing Birdman, a film that I hadn't planned on seeing at all, but then I heard the reviews talking about how great it was, and then because my mom was in town, I got a ride to the theatre and there ya go! So I had heard that this was like some cinematic crazy thing because of the camera work, and I was like "yeah, sure". But no, this thing really is just an amazing and immersive experience just in the camera work alone! It is filmed to seem like one long take and it does a pretty solid job of it; cuts are there (obviously), but they're done unobtrusively and not abruptly. Because the movie feels like it's one shot, you feel more invested in it! You feel like you're really there, and that's really cool to me. I love seeing what filmmakers and directors are able to do with the camera and Birdman really impressed the hell out of me on that front.

The plot here uses the idea of having a play reflect what's actually going on in the main character's life in that Michael Keaton's character used to be the superhero Birdman, but he quit to focus on acting and on trying to be a better more personal actor. And so he's trying to put on this play and it's having a million problems, and basically everyone is saying to him that he's not relevant anymore, that Birdman had his day and now Keaton's character is just some old dude trying to feel relevant again. And the play that he puts on is a reflection of that, and in that this movie just really soars! The characters are in-depth as all hell, and the movie has some great commentary about what's going on in Hollywood today.

The inflation of the superhero genre has been something of a mixed bag for me personally, and Birdman really makes you think about art versus entertainment and how the two subjects intermix. As an art film itself, this movie does a good job of not being totally biased; you don't feel like it's bashing superhero films just for spite, at least I didn't feel that way. It's a nice balance of the two. Keaton's character also has one of the greatest "fuck you" monologues to a critic that I've ever seen! It's great! Like, that's the speech I just want to hurl at some snobby, self-absorbed dick-biscuit bastard and be like "this", because most of the stuff Keaton says is just spot on! It's great!

Basically, see Birdman. It's got a great atmosphere, engaging characters, gorgeous cinematography and camerawork, and above all, fantastic commentary on the modern blockbuster and its relation to art! This is an art film, but it's a grounded art film, and those are the best kind for me personally. I like films with messages that are relevant to today's culture, and this one delivers on that front in spades. Great movie, just excellent!

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