Sunday, January 20, 2008

CLOVERFIELD

". . . a thunderous rupture is heard. Lights Go Out. The City Darkens. People Yell. News stories conflict, no one knows what is going on. It's Cloverfield."

On Sunday night I watched Cloverfield. I have never suggested anyone see any movie in the time I've had this blog. I still think if people want to see a movie they should see it, why especially would they take the word of a stranger on the internet to go see a movie. Yet with all that I am suggesting people go see Cloverfield, in theatres. I promise this is unlike any movie you have ever seen. The technique in this movie is revolutionary and I am certain it will leave you stunned.

One year ago, I was in a movie theatre, seeing a new release. Before the movie, there was one trailor etched into my memory. It began at a busy loft in New York city, there was no set up, and no details. All that was predicated, all that was put upon the audience, was to accept that they were there too at this loft. The camera technique infused the audience to the scene, and soon was forgotten and with the audience implicitly drawn in, the movie was no longer a movie, you were there.

You are at this gathering and it soon becomes clear that it is some sort of party; there's drinking and laughing, people generally having a good time. It's just as a party should be. People mingling, things happen, and a few people move to the balcony. Looking at a friend discuss a relationship, the nightline background of New York behind him, a thunderous rupture is heard. Lights Go Out. The City Darkens. People Yell. News stories conflict, no one knows what is going on. It's Cloverfield.

Cloverfield was advertised virally, that means through sporadic unspecific ads meant to spread the movie by word of mouth. By teasing the viewers anticipation was meant to build and people were meant to talk about it. This is a risky campaign, as its possible no one talks about it, or if they do, expectations skyrocket.

The audience is brought into this movie not like some omniscient being, watching multiple characters or being able to control time for the benefit of the story; the audience is brought into this movie not by some emotional appeal, cheapening it's lure; the audience is drawn in through the perspective of being there; you are there.

The first person perspective is something I predict will be utilized to a greater extent in the future. It really has been influenced through the video game industry and a few other movies like the Blair Witch Project and the brief interlude in Doom. I should repeat for clarification, Cloverfield is nothing like any other movie.

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