Good Scene / Bad Scene
Chosen by Lee Hirsch, the director of 'Amandla!'
Friday 23 January 2004
The Good: Three Colours: Red, Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1994
I like the play on natural elements in the scene. Valentine (Irene Jacob) is a beautiful young model living in Geneva, and she has struck up a strange friendship with a retired judge and at this point they are talking at his home. Suddenly, a gust of wind comes through the window and knocks something over and that changes the dynamics of their interaction. Then, light comes into the room and the entire energy of the scene alters again. These tiny details and natural shifts in atmosphere are like the relationship between the two - they are drawn to each other in all sorts of mystical and even perverse ways. It recognises the great effect that external life passing by can have. A lot of films miss these tiny details, but I think that's missing an important reality that is happening all the time. There's a space for life to happen in this scene. It's so brilliant and subtle that every time I see it my mouth opens in awe.
The Bad: Mulholland Drive, David Lynch, 2001
I dislike about half of the scenes in this movie; I don't think they connect, which is unfair on the audience. In an early scene, one of the main characters is in a restaurant telling his psychotherapist about a dream he has had that's set in a restaurant. In the dream, he sees through walls and spies a face that terrifies him, and then the two men go behind the restaurant and he sees the face and faints. A scene can be surreal, but it should still move the story forward; this just left me confused. I also think it shows a lack of directorial generosity because it didn't give the audience something they can work to understand; instead, I left that scene, and the movie, feeling like my mind had been messed with. I couldn't piece enough of it together. I like to tell stories and think that stories should come together, and that a director should think about the audience.
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