Sunday, September 6, 2015


Last night I watched Birdman, starring Michael Keaton. I found it sort of mesmerizing and interesting, and it took my a while after it was over to decide whether or not I liked it. I decided that I did not.

Birdman is filmed in a sweeping, fast, yet somehow claustrophobic style that seems like one long camera shot. This is amazing, but it's also dizzying, and distorting. Add to that a score of a seemingly unending drum performance, and I found myself on edge and uncomfortable throughout.

But these effects weren't really the problem. The drama is self is over-wrought and heavy handed. Way overly emotional and all at a very high pitch. The characters are constantly giving too-well-written dramatic speeches and screaming in everyone's face in a stage-y confrontational manner. The stage-yness is part of Birdman's conceit. It's about a Hollywood actor once famous for playing a movie superhero, tries to establish himself as an artist by adapting a Raymond Carver story and directing and starring in it on Broadway. The theme of entertainment vs. real art is a cliche that kind of bores me. And the crisis of the performer coming to terms with his demons has been done before, and better, most notably in All That Jazz, based on Bob Fosse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i totally agree--it was pretentious pap mislabelled a comedy, altho edward nortyon was sort of funny--michael keaton had one expression, that of someone who smelled something rotten--yes, go see all that jazz again and skim birdman!