Monday, January 21, 2008

There are Giants in the Sky

"I have a dream...A wonderful dream, Papa. All about June in the Orpheum Circuit. Give me a chance and I know I can work it."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963

What powerful words. It's been something like 10 years since Reverend King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. And today we celebrate his determination and hope for a brighter tomorrow. Happy MLK Day, Bloggities. I would love to be celebrating right now by having a few dreams of my own in my bed, but unfortunately had to brave the arctic temperatures to come to work today. I tried calling in "black", but there's only so many times they'll fall for that one without a signed note from my dermatologist.

This weekend I saw the new film Cloverfield. I thought it was brrrilliant, and cannot stop thinking about it! Like most, I went into the theatre not knowing what the hell I was about to see: the result of a somewhat secretive marketing campaign. I am a chronic fan of horror/monster movies, and this was the best I've seen in a long time. The entire thing is shot through the lens of a civilian's camcorder, similar to the turbulent style of The Blair Witch Project, and follows a group of young New York hipsters whose home video of a friend's Going Away party soon becomes a terrifying documentary of their escape from Manhattan, which has fallen under attack by an unknown creature (and it's a good one).

Unlike The Blair Witch Project, which never actually reveals a physical manifestation of its antagonist (although I've always pictured Charlotte Rae from The Facts of Life), here we experience the monster completely and in a perfect dosage, through the eyes of its prey. Such seemingly amateur cinematography combined with first-rate Hollywood Movie Magic gives it something of a 3D effect, almost making the audience feel as though they are in the first car on a theme park ride version of the film. Think Spielberg on a digicam. Because there is only the one viewpoint, the villain has no back story and its origin is never justified which makes its sudden ambush even creepier. It is absolute pandemonium and there are no explanations and no score; just the raw experience.

I will warn you that 90 minutes of the quick and spinning camera motions can be a little nauseating. I was popping Dramamine like they were Sour Patch Kids, and left with a splitting migraine. But suck it up, and go see this one! Especially if you live in Man-ha-eh! It's worth the price of admission and the small risk of a partial seizure.


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