• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

169. 1917 – This Just In (#49)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, The 250 is a fortnightly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users.

This time, Sam Mendes’ 1917.

It’s April 1917. Lance Corporal Blake and Lance Corporal Schofeld are tasked with a dangerous assignment. They must cross no man’s land and deliver orders to stop a doomed advance against the retreating German forces. As time runs out, Blake and Schofeld venture further and further into the insanity of war.

At time of recording, it was ranked 49th on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

Continue reading

New Escapist Column! On the Use of Long Takes in “1917”…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine a little while ago, looking at the use of long takes within 1917.

The long take is an interesting cinematic technique. Most obviously, it’s a dazzling display of craft and technical proficiency. It’s a power move that exists largely so a director can flex their muscles. However, it also serves a compelling paradoxical purpose. The longer that a director holds a take, the more that the audience drifts away from reality. Cuts allow the audience to ground themselves, to process what they have seen. Removing cuts forces the audience to hold a single long gaze. In 1917, Sam Mendes uses that gaze to collapse time and space. In doing so, he captures some of the insanity of war.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

The X-Files – Triangle (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

There are a lot of reasons to celebrate Triangle.

The episode gets a lot of attention for its wonderful use of long tracking shots. According to Chris Carter’s commentary, there are only twenty-four individual shots stitched together to produce the forty-five-minute episode. Considering the amount of split-screen action at the climax, that is not a lot. Triangle is an artistic tour de force for writer and director Chris Carter. The success that both Birdman and True Detective enjoyed in 2014 due to their extended takes suggests that Carter was significantly ahead of the curve.

Dragging up the past...

Dragging up the past…

There are other aspects to note. Triangle also ushers in a new mood and tone for the sixth season of The X-Files. The show had moved to Los Angeles, and would struggle with how to retain its identity in the new (and bright) surroundings of California. The Beginning and Drive had both answered the question in their own way, but Triangle ushers in a whole new approach to storytelling. Triangle is the first of a series of light and breezy episodes in the early stretch of the sixth season where The X-Files almost turns into a paranormal sitcom.

However, there is one other reason to celebrate Triangle. It is an extended forty-five minute pun on the word “ship.”

Cigarette-Smoking Nazi...

Cigarette-Smoking Nazi…

Continue reading