Against The Hype

movies, criticism and their pleasures

Archive for April, 2011

Best Shot: Beauty and the Beast

April 13, 2011 By: Colin Low Category: Capsuled Thoughts

If there’s any doubt what Belle’s life as a princess will be like after the credits have rolled, this shot provides the answer. “Far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise”: she’s been there, and more besides. Is there another movie—an animated children’s film, no less—that has so compellingly explored the complex emotional territories of filial self-sacrifice, mob hysteria, the politics of mental illness, and full-blown romantic despair? One imagines Belle will now be content if everything else were to be found just in books. I know I would be, if I had a library like that.


Best Shot: Heavenly Creatures (The Hills are Alive…)

April 06, 2011 By: Colin Low Category: Capsuled Thoughts

Back in 1994, Peter Jackson already showed a great facility for having his camera swoop around the vistas of New Zealand. The above swirling shot of Heavenly Creatures might well recall the iconic opening of The Sound of Music—until we hear Juliet Hulmes’ bawling seep into the soundtrack. Using a sunny, animated landscape shot to indicate a tormented interior? Yowza! Indeed, no screencap can do justice to the persistence with which Jackson and his editor Jamie Selkirk keep the camera alive and moving throughout Heavenly Creatures, by means of trailing the wild swoops, fancies and injustices in the minds of its adolescent leads. Come back to us, Peter Jackson!