Monday, May 18, 2009

Flaunt your favorite movie montage

Movies: the Montage

I rented Last Chance Chuck...because I love Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman has given me some of my longest laughing bouts in my life (Watch Meet the Parents and he will service you as well!) Horrible disappointment. Particularly irritating was the montages that signify "passage of time." No, no, no please. Sometimes just two good scenes will do the trip or light changes (night and day you are the one...).

Last time I saw this, the montage done mosly with stills and few actually moving pictures, was just too tacky to believe. But, it was a movie about a cute dog so perhaps I should not have expected too much. Marley & Me, which seems to have spawned new dog food commercials and provided great emotional catharsis to people who steel themselves against human dramas, news that does not involve Mr. Obama and friends' bad days, displayed a montage of stills several minutes long to show how the main character and his dog bonded: Marley jumping on dinner guests, Marley at the dog park, Marley etc etc.

The montage, in my humble opinion, can be done well a la When Harry Met Sally, using only movies pictures: Harry and Sally walking, Harry and Sally posting mail, Harry and Sally getting the Christmas tree. Used sparingly, with good music or excellent dialogue voice-over, this technique can make you feel you have known the character long enough now to invite him/her over for Christmas dinner. Or, a la Fatih Akin's Im Juli (In July). He uses pictures but they are excellent postcard pictures which suits the theme of the sequence: road trip!

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