Stream

My Stream is an almost daily dump of observations, quotes, travels, and culture.

20th Dec 2019 11:05 am

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker poster

Forty-two years after Darth Vader scared me to tears in the long-gone Odeon, we watched the concluding chapter, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, at the Cineworld or Cineplex or whatever it is. I won't spoiler you or offer a snap review.

I will say that we were both frustrated by the relentless pacing and endless exploding of everything. It's a style of filmmaking J. J. Abrams admits he uses to keep audiences moving onto the next thing, lest they start asking questions about each implausible scene or device. There's a lot to love about the texture and mood of this film, but still, we wished for a little more breathing space between scenes; time to absorb emotions and environments. George Lucas was far from perfect, but at least he knew how to pace a story.

All my career, I've learned to strip away the extraneous and simplify the message, as all good designers, artists, filmmakers and musicians do. But today's cinema-goers expect to be pummelled by a deafening wave of everything all at once, over and over. And so, Hollywood gives them what they want.

These days, I tend to enjoy slower movies (we're both fans of Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, for example) and found ourselves again discussing a film that has stayed with us and continued to reveal its layers; something totally at odds with these Disney sequels. I'm referring to The Irishman, a deeply cinematic and quietly rewarding movie that pays back what you invest. Scorcese definitely has a point about modern cinema.

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