Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oscar Season: The Visible Edges of Hollywood Reflexivity


There is something disturbing about War Horse. Unsurprisingly, I find I was not the first to note the direct influence of John Ford's How Green Was My Valley; early on in the film, the village setting for an auction scene appears to be that monochrome Welsh mining town resurrected. The family home, meanwhile, seems to have reclaimed the hill Scarlett O'Hara was so fond of wandering over. Much of War Horse was filmed on location, and although I've no idea which locations are pre-existent and which studio, there's not really any excuse for the way the actors appear to pop off the backgrounds like cardboard cutouts. None of the locations in War Horse seem particularly real, and while this rankled with me in the early stages, by the end, having choked back some tears so ashamedly I ended up audibly gasping for emotionless air, I came to realise it didn't matter. Or I didn't care.

There often seems to be a critical tendency towards valuing realism in modern cinema above everything else. I would certainly admit that it's something I personally tend towards, although mainly because it's the most straightforward route towards delivering emotional truth (though the best two films from last year, Margaret and Melancholia, take diversely unreal structural and conceptual approaches towards a much greater clarity of emotional truth). At absolutely no point did I find realism or even emotional truth in War Horse, because it isn't there. By being so deliberately - and, though the mounting of it can be a bit shaky, I think it is deliberate - fantastical, War Horse delivers a different kind of cinematic emotionality, one hardly ever projected or indeed aimed at since Hollywood's Golden Age faded over half a century ago. The film gallops past even the most nostalgic of Spielberg's previous films, never achieving the warmth or upholstered buoyancy of his best work, but rolling in the green green grass of Hollywood's fetish for fake English hills and getting a bit of mud in my eye.
Joey (unconfirmed number of horses) races through No Man's Land
There's safety in those very visible edges to a world. It's a quality so obvious in the classics that its reemergence in War Horse is difficult to re-acclimatize yourself to, but the consistency in the empty or merely unseen boundaries of nearly every scene eventually catches the eye, so to contradict. The painted fakery of something like How Green Was My Valley is a past foible, but War Horse hermetically seals you off all the same, following the fabled journey of Joey through a variety of pastoral or desolate landscapes. In this, despite the obviousness of a cinematic inflection to such a large story, we can see the after-effects of War Horse's success as a play. Locations such as Niels Arestrup's farm play as disconnected locales, where invasions of army regiments suddenly wave through, and the war exists as sound not heard, but discussed. Even the wider, starker design of No Man's Land, which we travel through twice in very different moods, seem lost in a stagy mist beneath a black ceiling, reminiscent not of the startling realism of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, but the battlefield which the heroes of Blackadder memorably charged onto.

It never plays as particularly stagy - the camera gets too close, and the shifting connection to the horse as a character gives the whole thing an odd elasticity - and so instead this visible falseness feels antiquated even before Janusz Kaminski floods the final scene in vivid sunset orange. War Horse does explore the darkness of war, using the pressure of the unreal locations to bolster the emotions of particular scenes to the same kind of dramatic pitch of Hollywood's Golden Age - the acting style is larger, more direct (although it could have done without the alarming shots of Joey's bloodshot eye), and the narrative constructs itself in fragments that build up to a variety of dramatic climaxes, each of which sustain piquant emotional pitches.


Two stronger contenders this awards season appropriate similar styles. Hugo, Martin Scorsese's love letter to silent cinema, is compiled in a similar set of climaxing vignettes, although its clockwork MacGuffin and caricatured secondary characters are less supportable in terms of their contribution to any overall narrative thrust or emotional clarity. Like War Horse, Hugo's production design creates a sealed off world, though the snowy enchantment of the edges of this one are less John Ford than Robert Zemeckis. Hugo has to manifest the dreams of its titular character, as well as its farcical chases, inside this world, and combined with the 3D, it sets a flexibility to a world where the narrative is suggesting the problems of restriction for Hugo. Better, in every sense, are the scenes where we flashback to George Melies' studio - shot with less glow and mist, their isolated existence - nothing in the skylines beyond - quietly evokes the magic revolution going on inside the glass walls, without having to visibly romanticise them.

The Artist's Kinograph production studios are similarly shot - no industrialised skyscrapers surrounding the stage hangers and dressing rooms - and its public locales, like the cinemas and residential streets, echo the kind of recreations made for Singin' in the Rain. The most interesting scene from a production design standpoint, though, is the pivotal scene where Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) and George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) physically enact the narrative trajectory of their characters - Peppy going upwards, George down. Most of this scene is shot in romantic mid-shot, but, after they part ways, director Michel Hazanavicius cuts to a square long shot of the entire staircase. It looks like an opened dollhouse, with such minute historical detail recreated for this one moment in order to visualise the largess of the movie business and the shifting power within it.

It seems, in a general sense, to be a year of looking back. The Help resurrects and somewhat updates the social issues pictures that were all the rage in the late 1950s and 1960s, while Midnight in Paris is besotted with the liberté and decadence of the Parisian past. War Horse seems to be less en vogue than these similarly nostalgic films because its animal hero is inconsistently characterised, the human surrogates are (excepting Jeremy Irvine, who induced my misty eyes) summarily dismissed with little feeling, and it never digs too deeply into anything. But, finally, I think that's what worked for me. What Spielberg gets right, and what perhaps awards voters want to firmly leave behind, is the rosy pastoral warmth of Hollywood's Golden Age. The free expression of the silent era mined by The Artist and Hugo, a skim away from the sexual liberté of 1920s Paris, mixes nostalgia with the modern relevance we suspect the Academy so desperately desires. War Horse brushes itself down to deliver a certain inescapable emotional claustrophobia, but the dust still lingers on the chisels and hammers the crew left behind, and I'm not sure dirt is in this season. (Except maybe Minny's.)

3 comments:

Angelina Brown said...


Indian sexy Sunny Leone Getting Fucked
@
@
Desi Indian aunties pussy photo gellary
$
$
Sexy Sunny Leone sexy hot xxx videos latest 2014
!
!
Sunny Leone latest hot topless photo shoot
@
@
Indian girls aunties boobs pussy photo gallery
$
$
Hot sexy pictures photos girls without dress, showing her nudu
!
!
Indian girl showing nude boobs ass photo after drink
@
@
Desi womans nudu photos, sexy indian actors nudu
$
$
Pakistani sexy & hot ACTRESS WITH WET SAREE
!
!
sexy Pakistani & indian school Girls nudu photos














--- --- ---
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
----! !---- ---! !---- ----! !----
--- --- --- --- --- ---
-- -- -- -- -- --
- - - - - -
- - - - - -
- - -
CLICK ANY LINK OF BELOW TO SEE MORE HOT & SEXY PHOTO



**Sunny Leone's Reaped Pussy In Her Bedroom**
*
*
**Fucking Pussy of Katrina Kaif in Night Club**
!
!
**Newly Married Indian Wife Naked In Hotel Room**
#
#
**Cute And Sexy Wet Indian College Girl In Swimming Pool**
*
*
**Hot Katrina Kaif's Boob Press In Party Shocking Real Photo**
!
!
**Big Boobs Indian Aunty Nipple Slip Photo**
#
#
**Tamil Actress Kajal Agarwal Group Sex Photo**
*
*
**Before Doing First Sex Girls Pussy Photos**
!
!
**Indian Bhabhi Self Nude Boobs Pussy Photo**
#
#
**Nude Bengali Actress Subhashree Ganguly Boobs And Pussy Pics-**
*
*
**Beautiful Pakistani Girl Nude Bathing**
!
!
**Village Girl Show Boobs Pussy In Jungle**
#
#
**Desi Nude Aunty Caught on Hidden Cam**
!
!
**How to Lose Your Virginity Without Pain (Girls)**










………… /´¯/) click any link For Hot Photo
……….,/¯../ /
………/…./ /
…./´¯/’…’/´¯¯.`•¸
/’/…/…./…..:^.¨¯\
(‘(…´…´…. ¯_/’…’/
\……………..’…../
..\’…\………. _.•´
…\…………..(
….\…………..\.

Lota Sorma said...

Indian sexy Village School Girl Getting Fucked
!!
!!
Desi Indian aunties pussy photo gellary
^^
^^
Sexy Village School Girl sexy hot xxx videos latest 2014
!!
!!
Sunny Leone latest hot topless photo shoot
^^
^^
Indian girls aunties boobs pussy photo gallery
!!
!!
Desi womans nudu photos, sexy indian actors nudu
!
!
***Village Girl Show Boobs Pussy In Jungle***
^^
^^
sexy Pakistani & indian school Girls nudu photos






::click any link For New Hot Photo::
………… /´¯/)
……….,/¯../ /
………/…./ /
…./´¯/’…’/´¯¯.`•¸
/’/…/…./…..:^.¨¯\
(‘(…´…´…. ¯_/’…’/
\……………..’…../
..\’…\………. _.•´
…\…………..(
….\…………..\.











::^^^:: ::^^^:: ::^^^::



::CLICK ANY LINK OF BELOW TO SEE MORE HOT & SEXY PHOTO::



**Village School Girl's Reaped Pussy In Her Bedroom**
!!
^^
**Fucking Pussy of Katrina Kaif in Night Club**
!!
!!
***Newly Married Indian Wife Naked In Hotel Room***
^^
##
**Cute And Sexy Wet Indian College Girl In Swimming Pool**
!!
!!
**Indian Bhabhi Self Nude Boobs Pussy Photo**
!
!
**Nude Bengali Actress Subhashree Ganguly Boobs And Pussy Pics-**
!!
^^
**Desi Nude Aunty Caught on Hidden Cam**
!!
!!
**How to Lose Your Virginity Without Pain (Girls)**



::click any link For New Hot Photo::

Ayesha Magi said...



Desi Teen Girl Nude and Fucking pussy Pics


Tamil Horny Aunty Strips Her Clothes And Exposes Hairy Pussy


Cute Pakistani Girl Fucking With Her Colleague In Office


Rajkot Village Girl Ishita Removing Her Dress And Press Big Boobs


Indian Desi Village Aunty Big Tits And Pussy Photo


Indian Aunty Fucking His Nephew In Doggy Style


Hot North Indian Busty Aunty Fucking With Servant In BathRoom


Pakistani College Girl Getting Fucked By An Old Man


Gorgeous Amateur Pakistani Girl Fucked By Black Guy


Indonesian girl gets fucked in the ass By Pakistani


Cutest Pakistani College Babe Fucked Hard By Teacher


Indian Princess Hard Fucked By Arab Sheik In Dessert


Homemade Hotty Indian GF Fucked Hard


Indian Aunty gets Fucked Hard by Her Boss while at Work


Young Indian Boyfriend And Girlfriend Homemade Video


Indian Hindu Girl Getting Fucked By Pakistani Muslim Scholar


Muslim girls sucking uncut hindu boys dick


Muslim girl nisha khan fucking with Indian Hindu Boy


Irani woman fucked by hindu cock


Desi Girls drink Sperm from Tiny Uncut Desi Hindu Dicks


Indian Hindu girl sucking black african cock


Desi indian college students fucking recorded by hidden cam


Hidden Cam Sex Tape Of Desi Indian Teen Couple Leaked


Mallu Aunty Hot Wet Shower Bath full Skin Naked Scene