Horror-fantasy master Guillermo del Toro, took to Twitter to praise his fellow filmmakers
It was Steven Spielberg who made history with multiple records at this year’s Academy Award nominations. He created blockbusters like ‘Jurassic Park’ and in small films like ‘Bridge of Spies’.
From a whole series of films by Steven Spielberg, del Toro selects a scene from the remake of the musical West Side Story, and pinpoints why the camera “dance” with the scene and why this is such an important aspect.
The scene shot in one take was already discussed by Spielberg himself, who called it “very difficult” to pull off. Of course, we all know that one-shot scenes are very difficult to film and are often praised.
“It is very difficult to execute. Pure, incredible clockwork precision and much more complex than a steadyicam to get a ‘relay’ shot. Confusingly, there are so many shots that the camera “dance” with every piece of music. There are some dance number shots that are very (impossible) to decipher and almost all of them require a high degree of precision.
Del Toro then compared Spielberg’s work with other cinema legends such as Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, John Ford’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, Max Ophüls’ ‘La Ronde’, Douglas Sirk’s ‘Written on the Wind’, Mikhail Kalatozov’s ‘The Cranes Are Flying’ , and others.
He stresses the importance of dramaturgy but reminds readers that this is only 50% of a film. He also references Breaking Bad for good measure.
“West Side Story is heady, pure Heisenberg-level cinema that hasn’t been cut. And this is why every skill needs to be respected. Because directors can only deliver perfect parts – there are several solos in our work. We need to talk about cinema and celebrate those who are in it.”
Del Toro recommends that people worry less about rankings and more about refining and learning a craft because, at the end of the day, this is what makes cinema timeless.
‘West Side Story’ was nominated in seven categories at this year’s Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Direction (for Spielberg), and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (for newcomer Ariana DeBose). Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley was nominated in four categories: Best Picture, Production Design, Costume Design, and Cinematography.
So we’ll just have to wait and see who will be the winner.
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