The skin of the images

Naran Ja (One Act Orange Dance) 

Commenting on his bold and powerful 12 min. short Once Act Orange Dance Oscar nominated Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Biutiful (2010), Babel (2006)) says about his format choice (VHS):

“We have lost the skin of the images. Cameras reproduce reality much more sharply than my eyes can see and that’s why it looks fake”.

VHS! And it works!

The brilliance of the piece does not relay on technology, but the format choice enhances the dreamy quality of the flow of the dance.

It is somehow liberating to stop carrying so much about whether it should be shot on 2K or 4K when telling a story.

Yesterday I watched a documentary about a poet. It was beautifully shot using the latest HD gear. Carefully staged shots were just breathtaking. Yet, half way through its length the doc simply folded, froze, died and barely crawled to its end. Seems like the physical weight of the technology got the makers down. They run out of steam. They also came up way too close to the poet so that instead of getting to know her soul I was attacked by the imperfections of her skin. Hmmm.

Clearly the sharper is not always the better.  Clearly a filmmaker should respect “the skin of the images”.

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