As any seasoned movie lover will tell you, proper framing counts for an awful lot. For good or for ill, the exact placing of a shot within the boundary of a frame can dramatically alter the thematic purpose of any given scene. Some of last year’s more memorable films played with visual language in radical, engaging ways, employing unique framing devices to often astonishing effect. A new video essay courtesy of Fandor examines some of the more noteworthy examples of creative framing to be seen in 2015’s cinematic landscape.
Looking at the selections presented in this particular video, it’s tough to dispute just how crucial the right framing can be in communicating a particular film’s sense of emotional weight and overall purpose. Of course, the video makes special reference to George Miller’s hellzapoppin’ “Mad Max: Fury Road,” where even the most chaotic assemblage of images belies the unmistakable imprint of complete directorial control. Another notably unusual example of peculiar framing can be found in Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy,” where the boxed-in aspect ratio of the film’s first act eventually blooms and expands —to the sounds of ebullient ’90s alt-rock, of course— thus mirroring the emotional growth of the characters (incidentally, I found Dolan’s gimmickry with respect to the frame to be more irritating than inventive). This video essay is an enlightening and informative (and brief!) watch for students of cinema.
Check out the video below.