Archipelago

May 29, 2011

I’m not sure that I can recommend this film to everyone. It is slow paced, the story it tells is largely inconsequential and in many ways it is a difficult watch. From a technical point of view, however, it is well worth dipping in to, especially for a Media Studies student. The control of colour is extremely tight. A very limited palette of washed-out blues and greys predominate, casting a sombre mood over the whole film, reflecting the on screen (in)action perfectly. There is also a subtle vignette effect on all shots, focusing our attention on the centre of the screen. And then there are the camera shots themselves. Every scene in the movie is shot by a stationary camera; there is not a pan, a zoom, a track or a tilt to be found. No shot/reverse shot, no POV. Instead a location is framed and characters move through these frames, drifting in and out of shot as they are drifting in and out of each others lives. All in all a very clever demonstration of the film-makers art, where each aspect of the film comes together to enhance the story; it’s just a pity that this story is so painful.

: Film

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