Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Christmas reflection on the significance of continuity.

Christmas having been with us for nearly three months now and showing no signs of going away, I have retreated to my bunker, the approaching red, muzak-wielding Nicholine hordes nearly inaudible down here, to consider why, even in multi-billion dollar films and with the power of CGI and modern editing techniques at the fingertips of highly observant and gifted men and women, the continuity between one shot and the next is so often absolutely shocking

I invite those likewise disposed this Christmas eve to peruse, as only two of many pieces of supporting evidence, the opening scene of 'The Sound Of Music', in which Julie Andrews runs up a hill in bright sunshine to belt out the most famous opening line of any film beneath a sullen, grey sky, and the one on the snowy mountainside in 'The Fellowship Of The Ring' in which Boromir spies and covets the Ring in a blaze of sunlit colour and Aragorn promptly intervenes in ghoulish twilight.

Shocking. Just shocking. Do any more spring to mind?

And while I'm on the subject, why, in 'Calendar Girls', after shooting the whole film on location in lime- and gritstone-built Yorkshire, is a dispensable part of the final scene - supposedly taking place in the same village - shot in the very red-brick and southern hamlet of Turville in Buckinghamshire? OK, Pinewood is nearby, but if they'd forgotten something why set the conversation outside?

It really gets me and it threatens to ruin my Christmas. And because this is a time for sharing, here is a final thing that, if you have a beard, I hope will ruin yours too: do you sleep with it inside or outside the bed covers?

I know: it's Christmas and all I do is moan, moan, moan.


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