Thursday, 11 September 2008

Conventions of cinema that bother me part 1

By conventions of cinema I mean things like people never paying for taxis, needlessly racking shotguns cos it sounds cool, cars exploding for no reason - the stuff we know isn't realistic but accept anyway. Only this one I have real problems with. So last night I'm watching The Counterfeiters (great film, by the way, and August Diehl is one of my new favourite actors despite only having seen him in this and Tattoo) BUT they did that thing where one of characters coughs fairly early on and you just know he's going to die. I guess that's a spoiler, but what I'm saying is when they do that in films, it's not subtle foreshadowing, it's a spoiler within the film! People don't cough in films unless they're going to die later on. It's like when Nic Cage's dad has a smoke in Ghost Rider then gets cancer in the next scene - these days if a character smokes in a film he has to get cancer the next day. Sorry, back to coughing - I'm sure I've seen this in a dozen films but the only other one I can think of right now is Moulin Rouge - please let me know if you can think of anything else where a character coughs then dies later on, they are out there. The thing is, I understand why it's there, it usually achieves the intended foreshadowing purpose, but it's just so obvious! Come on, people - let's work out a new way to signify illness in the first act!

In other news, I seriously recommend you go to www.cinemadiabolica.com and download their Godzilla podcast (Episode 42) - funniest thing I've heard in ages.

1 comment:

gerdarcy said...

My left foot, Brassed off, How green is my valley. I'm seeing patterns that usually include british films that centre around coal mining communities. It's a staple of gritty social realism. Does the convention extend to being two days away from retirement? snogging in a car? any mention of a sentimental ambition or wishes ("I just want to have babies" -- dead)?
We are currently having an issue with visual exposition being needlessly poignant: Johnny Cash talking with a shoeshine boy, Freida Carlo seeing a suit jacket hanging next to a crumbling wall kind of thing, we get it's a biopic we aint dumbasses: I'm waiting for Einstein the movie which has einstein sitting in his window watching trains hurtle pass his window with someone flashing a torch at him from the carriage, or a movie in which Darwin observes a fish transform into a monkey, for the 'eureka' moment in his eyes. Darwin would be played by Russell Crowe and Einstein by Matt Lucas.