photographer | filmmaker

STUDY YOUR CRAFT

Added on by Vinoth Varatharajan.

I think the more I get older, the less I’m interested in the banal. I feel like my taste in films is getting refined as if I’m shopping for an haute couture designer coat. The difference between the coat and a film is that, I can appreciate the material and the craftsmanship and fully understand the theme behind a creation of a motion picture. The coat? Well, it’s just too damn expensive and I couldn’t care less of its components.

I’m more interested in a filmmaker’s journey as an individual rather than their technique and artistry. Any filmmaker’s body of work consists of certain trademarks. Fincher shoots locked down, Greengrass shoots handheld, Mani Ratnam uses a train to separate key characters and the list goes on. All are techniques/style to advance the plot but what makes them take those decisions? More specifically, what’s the psyche behind that ruling?

These days I’m more into solid story telling. I’m into studying a filmmaker’s work without sound. You can watch Hitchcock’s Psycho on mute and still grasp the film's suspense. I’m still trying to figure out the false advertisement behind Nightcrawler as I did not see Jake Gyllenhall in it. Could a man be that calm while his world is crumbling on the other end of a series of phone conversations in Locke? The spirituality behind Interstellar? The virtue of ignorance in Birdman? The escalating pressure of a working class single mother in Babadook? The 12 year documented footage of boyhood? MI6 homosexual code-breaker in second WW? Humanity under inquest in Apes? In simpler term, what makes a great film? I’m interested in that.

Below are 21 films that I'll be studying individually in terms of narration and editing in the upcoming months. The film below Nightcrawler is an Indian film called Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum [The Wolf & The Lamb]. Click for a larger view.