Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Super 8

I've not used the blog for film reviews but there's always a first time.  I went to see the new JJ Abrams movie, SUPER 8, last night.  My review?  Well, in a pithy one liner, I'd say it's more Standard 8 than Super 8.  That, of course, is an in joke for those of you who might have made your own films as a teenager before the advent of video.

In truth, the movie was okay but it rarely raised itself higher than the sum of its parts.  It borrowed shamelessly from eighties classics like THE GOONIES, ET and even STAND BY ME.  Stephen King's IT was referenced too.  The resultant story was entirely formulaic and the film makers seemed to give up on the nice conceit of the movie within a movie (the kids that form the centre of the story are making their own movie) and resort to explosions and tired cliche's of the town being evacuated, explosions and, naturally, the happy Hollywood ending.

The one thing I did take from SUPER 8 though, and what has stayed with me to this morning, was that it rekindled in me the fires that burned so brightly as a youngster when I first picked up my dad's wind up cine camera and began to make my own movies.  The freedom to experiment, the love of working with your friends, the blissful ignorance of 'rules' governing story and style allowing a totally individual approach to expressing yourself through angles and shot making.  This is the cinema and movie making that I yearned to be a part of and wanted so much to make my career.

I've been lucky (and determined, I guess) that I've managed to do that.  But the freedom of those days has long gone and SUPER 8 reminded me that it's still out there.   Why is it that those of us with experience seem unable to tap into it so freely as those without?

Well, from now on... I'm going to think freely and cease to worry about rules and industry expectations.

Let's see what happens.

1 comment:

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