Chaos Cinema: A video essay detailing the decline and fall of action filmmaking

You learn something new every day! I love that there are people out there who do this kind of thing for a living.

Chaos Cinema is a two part video essay by Matthias Stork analysing well constructed action sequences and techniques; the recent Hollywood trend of faster, overstuffed, hyperactive action filmmaking; how sound design has improved dramatically to compensate; its effects on dialogue, and the rare occasion where it is used well.

Chaos cinema apes the illiteracy of the modern movie trailer. It consists of a barrage of high-voltage scenes. Every single frame runs on adrenaline. Every shot feels like the hysterical climax of a scene which an earlier movie might have spent several minutes building toward. Chaos cinema is a never-ending crescendo of flair and spectacle. It’s a shotgun aesthetic, firing a wide swath of sensationalistic technique that tears the old classical filmmaking style to bits.  Directors who work in this mode aren’t interested in spatial clarity. It doesn’t matter where you are, and it barely matters if you know what’s happening onscreen. The new action films are fast, florid, volatile audiovisual war zones.

I feel like I do enjoy the sheer madness that Hollywood produces sometimes, case in point Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but that overwhelming sensory overload that leaves you tired by the end of the film, yeh, I guess that is rather chaotic, and mostly what I’ve become accustomed to. There’s probably a parallel to the terrible attention span I, and others of today have, in why this has become the norm.

Part 1

Part 2

The transcript and original source of this is up on Press Play


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