Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy, 2019)

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Re: Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy, 2019)

#26 Post by Persona » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:29 pm

Going to kind of echo mfunk here but maybe in a slightly more positive way?

For a film that's ostensibly about visuals and art and vision and yadda yadda yadda--the very flat, day-bright look of the film just completely fails to do what it needs to do to sell the experience. This is something that should have been shot like a Friedkin or Argento and instead it looks like, well, your average Netflix movie. I almost have to feel like maybe Elswit--who has done such incredible-looking films with great depth of shadow and texture--must have made some sort of intentional choice here to make everything look, uh, shallow and garish and two-dimensional? I don't know. I'm also with Monterey Jack; I too was reminded of the disappointing look of, say, MAPS TO THE STARS where it seems like the superficiality of what the film is trying to portray is carried over into the look of the film itself (though MAPS TO THE STARS is still far uglier than this film). There are some shots I really liked in this one (the night shots fare much better, some of the close-ups are good, shots of Morf's eyes when he first sees the cursed art and is "ensorcelled," Piers reaching for a painting out-of-focus) but yeah, not nearly what you would expect from the guy who shot THERE WILL BE BLOOD or NIGHTCRAWLER.

Despite the film's bland aesthetic, I did enjoy this high-low schlock pulp thing that the film does with its context-genre mashing and its performances; I found it far more interesting and watchable than the other reference points that have been mentioned here like MAPS or ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL. It is a long ways off from what I'd call a good movie, but it is one I still personally enjoyed watching, somehow. I just wish the aesthetic (not just the cinematography, but also the editing and sound design) had really tapped into the spirit of the story, because then at least it would have been an intoxicating mess as opposed to just a stilted one.

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Re: Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy, 2019)

#27 Post by dda1996a » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:36 pm

Honestly I rated all three the same and my opinion is rather the same regarding all three. Decent idea, trashy but captivating execution.
mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:08 pm
dda1996a wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:07 pm
I couldn't believe this was shit by the great Elswit!
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Re: Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy, 2019)

#28 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:23 pm

I didn't watch Goosebumps as a kid, but I did see Are You Afraid of the Dark a lot, and so many moments here are right out of that show's playbook. The woman trapped in the mural, the hand coming out of the ceiling, the art installations changing shape. When the painting in the lab started to leak blood, there was an ominous noise followed by a cut to black as if for all the world we were cutting to commercial and I was ten years old again, watching YTV on the couch.

The flat and cheery aesthetics, YTV-scary-story-for-kids tone, campy performances, outdated object of the satire, the way it courts badness deliberately. It's all so bizarre. I'm tempted to think Gilroy knows what he's doing and the movie is itself a weird piece of performance art. It's hard to know what else it's going for. It was amusing for about an hour, but after that I was just waiting around for the inevitable conclusion.

And we can add John Malkovitch as the only restrained, understated performance in the film to the list of oddities. His character was a nice relief from the endless pomposity of everyone else and the only real human of the bunch, Natalia Dyer's character excepted.

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