Thursday, February 15, 2007


Jean-Baptiste Thoret on Miami Vice (2006) in the latest Senses of Cinema (a reminder for me to get to that rewatch) :
The jerky and convulsive narrative unfolds less according to a classical logic of development of sequences (dilation, edited in power and explosion) than of rampant compilation and short-circuits. The speed of the linking of the actions, their extreme compression, thus prevents the emergence of the feeling of a time that disappears, of a length that takes hold, in favour of a constant and monotonous topicality subservient to the law of “the here and now” – “Right now” the characters do not cease repeating throughout the film. But topicality is the opposite of time and the excess (of actions, of characters, of ramifications, of narrative lines, of narrative forks, etc.) is the mask of an omnipresent lack – lack of space, lack of the Other, lack of time, above all. “Time is luck”, says Isabella on several occasions to Sonny: a tragic refrain and curse of all of Mann’s heroes. (...)

The use of HD allows Mann to forge a dense image, often opaque and viscous, which deepens the backgrounds and engulf the foregrounds. Thus, the characters gain in definition what they lose in contour, and thus in identity – visually, they free themselves with difficulty from the background and seem ceaselessly threatened with dissolution. This loss provokes an increased weight of the bodies (watch how they fall in the final shoot out), a constant swaying of space and, for the spectators, the feeling of a hypnotic pitching of shots.

Also on Senses: Tag Gallagher! Olaf Möller! (among others...) Elsewhere, most urgent of all: a conversation with Adrian Martin on Cinemascope.


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