Visually Stunning Movies: A Whole Other Reality

Jun 3, 2011 by

Visually Stunning Movies:  A Whole Other Reality

How does a movie wow me? Well aside from being well written, well acted, and well directed, what really grabs my attention and holds it, are the visuals. A visually striking movie can catch my attention and hold me captive from beginning to end, no matter how preposterous or confusing the storyline.

Take Yimou Zhang’s films for example, specifically Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and Curse of the Golden Flower. These films were ripe with bold colours, high contrast filming, and scenes that were directed and choreographed, specifically to play to the sets they were acted on. It would be difficult for anybody to watch these films and not be in awe of the beauty of the sets and videography. I have in fact, known many people who have had to watch, and re-watch these movies in order to follow the storyline completely. Yet they were in love with the movies before they had made it an hour in.

Another great example of this would be the movie The Fall, which is set in a hospital where a crippled actor is creating a story to entertain a little girl with a broken arm. The story he tells is seen though her mind’s eye, with incredible backdrops, and wild costumes on all of the people she knows from her life at the hospital. A magical world as seen through a child’s eyes, truly magnificent!

Other movies which come to mind and easily fall into this category are The Cell, The Matrix, Pans Labyrinth, American Beauty, Moulin Rouge, What Dreams May Come, Chicago, Titus, Big Fish, Donnie Darko, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Crow, Requiem for a Dream, Kill Bill, and Sin City. In all of these films the videography and special effects play a huge part in setting the tone of the film, in some cases you might go 10+ minutes with no dialogue and not even realize it. How many films can get away with that?

Maybe it’s just because I am an artist at heart, but for me, it is all about the visuals. Even in films that are as nonsensical as Lost Highway, or The Fountain have a special place in my heart for being able to transport me into another world, if only for a while.

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