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April 8th, 2011 by Michael Stanton · Uncategorized

I think what made this move so effective and easy to connect with, had to do with the influence of the documentary style. But this was more than just the camerawork and the partially improvised dialogue. It also I think had to do with how the narrative presented the characters. For example, Wexler intentionally left gaps in the romances, allowing the audience to fill in what happened. This is unavoidable in documentaries because we have a tendency to imagine what kind of people the subjects were, when we are often only presented with some facts about what they did and said. This restraint I think is an effective tool because it uses our imaginations to harness interest.

-Michael Stanton

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March 16th, 2011 by Michael Stanton · Uncategorized

My favorite – though perhaps favorite is not the right word – was Eslie’s disappearance. Particularly, when there was a series of shots – Elsie’s empty place at the table, the balloon hanging from the telephone wire etc. I don’t recall any music or sound during this part which I thought it was very tasteful and chilling. This is how I would characterize the camera work and editing of the entire film, but I feel this part is a good representation.

As for the script, Im not so sure. There were some interesting ideas in the plot, but I didn’t like the ending. It felt to me like a very strong “AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS…” I don’t necessarily dislike morals, or parallels to relevant issues in society but with fiction it has to be organic and sort of incidental. Like in “Shadows” there were racial issues that played an important role in the plot, but dialogue didn’t seem to be written around those issues. In “M” on the other hand it felt to me like the death penalty thing was sort of injected into the plot- although it was done well – as a result I did not feel a very strong effect.

-Mike Stanton

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