Thoughts on Ebert
The article about films by Ebert was very enlightening and eye-opening. I liked how he emphasized that most of the ‘rules’ or ‘laws’ of filmmaking are made to be broken. Not following these basic laws will not make the scene/film less creative or professional if deviating from these rules actually increases the emotional impact of the viewers. It really depends on what emotions the filmmaker is trying to convey in the scene.
When reading the paragraph about what having characters on the right or left side of the scene signifies, I immediately thought of the main trailer for the movie La La Land, which came out in 2016. In this trailer, there is a shot of the main character (played by Ryan Gosling) looking into a mirror. The scene is shot in a way to look as if he is moving into the past, while his reflection is in a future he can’t seem to catch up to. To add to the effect, you have the character played by John Legend saying in this in the background, “How are you going to be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You’re holding on to the past, but jazz is about the future”.
Here is the trailer if you want to see what I’m talking about:
The fact that I remembered a specific scene from a movie trailer while reading this article is crazy to me because I literally haven’t thought about the movie (La La Land) since I saw it in theaters four years ago. But, since this was the first thing I thought of, it really makes me believe that we are all subconsciously aware of little tricks like this to highlight the symbolism of certain scenes. Most of us don’t become acutely aware of these hidden connotations until we watch a video on YouTube where someone breaks down and further explains the deeper meaning of certain small details throughout the movie.
These symbolisms that increase our experience of the movie without us consciously realizing is how we end up categorizing a great movie from an average movie, and an average movie from a bad movie. If you look at most videos explaining the significance and deeper meaning behind 1999s The Matrix, they are all almost 30 minutes long. The Matrix is not just recognized as one of the greatest action/sci-fi movies of all time, but also one of the greatest movies of all time in general. You don’t find too many movies with high acclaim with short analysis videos on YouTube.
Here is an analysis of the Matrix that is about 28 minutes long:
When you start catching these tricks used by the director to enhance or symbolize someone/something in a movie, I believe this is a good indication that you will also incorporate them into your own film creations (if you ever invest the time and effort to do so). Overall I think Ebert’s article will change how I watch movies, mainly by paying more attention to small details and possible hidden meanings rather than just the overall plot and bigger theme/picture of the movie.