Monday, March 1, 2010

CGI...does it rule the cinema

Yes, I have been mentioning the new Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland for a multiplicity of reasons. I have not seen the film but some of the reviews and comments yield the information that the film relies heavily on computer generated images [CGI]. This has been a trend for a couple of decades and I am not entirely pleased with the trend. Sure, it can provided complicated and sophisticated imagery and for the film industry it is inexpensive compared to actor's salaries. After all the function of the business is to make a film in the most economical manner and thus reap a higher profit. But one becomes disappointed when the focal point of a film relies on CGI and I am not so sure that is necessarily a good thing for Alice in Wonderland. Existential ideas are difficult to achieve.

I am reminded of a musical by Busby Berkeley...42nd Street [1933] staring Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell. Below is a clip of the film and note that the sets were physical entities of paint, cardboard, and lumber and interplay was genuine between humans. Also note the use of true dolly shots [no zoom lenses] and the fluidity of the camera's movement from scene to scene.

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