Saturday, June 6, 2015


I'm not a patient man.  Those who know me well won't be surprised by this.  I've actually been known to growl at my building's elevator when it has the audacity to not be waiting in the lobby for me like an obedient puppy dog.

Knowing this raises a question.  If I'm so often in a rush then why am I attracted pop culture art that doesn't just take it's time, some of it actually ruminates & stares off into the distance before making it's point.  Like that mafia guy who use to wander around the village in his bathrobe.  I love stuff movies & TV like that!  Keep in mind I'm not talking about anything too highbrow.  Kubrick, Mad Men, Mr Show, Louis CK, David Lynch, The Cohen Brothers, PT Anderson.  All pretty mainstream stuff by any art school standards.  And We can talk about The Bicycle Thief & Kurasowa at some point.  (Also great). But it's the more contemporary creative people who consciously decide not to follow the frenetic pace of modern media that fascinates me.  And the fascination I have for these artists confounds me, knowing myself as I do.  Or as I think I do.

I'm discovering a thread in a lot of the current movies & TV that I love & hold dear.  The word I keep coming back to is patience.  To be clear, I'm also capable of enjoying a fast cut, to the point, piece of film or comedy.  As an editor I'm more known for my MTV generation montage style editing more than any Barry Lyndon like lingering shots. (Although I can do that too, in case any potential clients are reading this.  Ha!)  It's partly cause I work in the short form world.  (Commercials & Music videos.  Proudly I might add.)  I actually think lots of short form, graphic based work doesn't need to "tell a story" in a traditional sense.  I'm a proponent of 2 frame edits & subliminal action that hits the viewer in a more visceral, almost musical way.  Film, especially non full length stuff, doesn't have to be as plot & story driven as a novel or even a short story.  It's more like pop music.  Rhythmic, flowing, beautiful.  I sincerely feel most short motion work is at it's best when it's doing what a hit song does.  Just making you like & remember it wether you want to or not.

Longer form has a different goal in my opinion.  Obviously of it's a narrative piece it needs a plot & characters.  The usual trappings of drama.  But here's where my tastes get interesting.  Wether it's long or short, I don't think plot or story is what attracts me.  Maybe that's why I like longer pieces that leave time for contemplation.

Take sketch comedy like Mr Show & compare it to something like 30 Rock.  Both hysterical.  But for example Mr Show had skit called "The Audition".  When you first see it you don't even know what the fuck is going on for the first couple of minutes.  And there's never a punch line.  It just gets more & more absurd, but by the end you're laughing so hard you literally start to pass out.  At least I do.

Kubrick & PT Anderson have the same awkward long parts to their films.  Sometimes to a comic effect, inended or not.  Matt Wiener has this with many scenes in Mad Men too.  But even when it's not comedic it effects me in a deep way when it's done right.  It's mystifying.  In a good way.

I'm rewatching Mad Men right now.  (Natch).   There's a scene in season 2 where Don lies to Betty about going to work, then he just goes home & drinks some milk straight from the bottle & stares out the window.  It serves the plot nominally, (showing that Don lied), but it's this elaborate dolly shot where he walks in, goes to the fridge, grabs the milk & stares for what seems like 2 full minutes.  What other TV show would dare do that??!  Is he just brooding?  Thinking about how lonely he really is?  Who the fuck knows!

All I know is that I personally LIVE for moments like this in film.   I just love it.  And I don't know why.  But I want to.  Guess I'll have to be patient.

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