Friday, February 3, 2012

CHRONICLE - a journal worth reading

Since, like it or not, found footage films are still being made, you are as a movie goer, bound to run into one now and then. I would argue that this one is worth your time.

It all started with Cannibal Holocaust in 1980 and then hugely popularized again by The Blair Witch Project in 1999 and 13 years later we have come to this. Chronicle is not that much unlike Catfish of 2010 in that instead of using found footage, young men are just documenting their surrounding experiences - this may seem a lame reason but in this day and age, ever more popular an idea. Everyone wants to be on film and as Truffaut argued nearly half a century ago - "Is anyone really alive if not on celluloid ?"

The style of found footage films has become it's own aesthetic and a green light phrase for producers that want to make a film on the cheap. I don't think they will be going away anytime soon either, since somehow atrocities like Paranormal Activity 3 and The Devil Inside keep raking in the dough. Every bone in my body screams of loathing for this type of cinema but rarer than I would like to admit I do end up liking the story presented. I also find that the filmmakers are exploring this genre to enth degree and in so doing are really bringing some surprisingly creative ideas for representing reality.

Chronicle has your usual sporadic moments, typical in this type of cinema and purposeful "bad editing." Nothing new here - but other than Cloverfield, no other film of this type has had such intense special effects and for the most part they are done well. The story is preposterous but that doesn't stop you from becoming engaged. I related to the main characters of the story and since I consider myself a pariah of sorts, I became fascinated with the idea presented here - becoming super telepathic like Magneto or like a less polished version of Bradley Cooper in Limitless.

Most of us want to be someone other than who we are OR the best most possible version of ourselves and this movies delivers on that fantasy with dire consequences. I guess filmmakers seem to think that if we get everything we want, no good can come of that.

Recommended Viewing: The Last Exorcism - Cannibal Holocaust - Catfish

              Bob Scale: Objective: 6.8   -   Subjective: 7.0
             MetaCritic: NA
 Rotten Tomatoes: 77
                      IMDB: 7.3

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