Thursday, March 26, 2009
What I can safely say is that the television screen is much kinder to Twilight than the theatre screen was – but that’s not saying much. I still think my favorite thing about Twilight might be the color palette.
One of the cardinals rules that Catherine Hardwicke broke in her directing of Twilight is one of the biggest no-brainers in the book: when you are trying to convey important or intense emotion you stay on your characters, usually in a close-up or some other way that makes the character front and center – you as an audience member need to feel what they are feeling and you have to SEE the character to do that. During most of the intensely emotional scenes in the film Hardwicke not only decides to edit constantly so you can’t keep a beat on the characters, but she also likes to trail the shots far way from the actors and into the scenery or at such awkward angles that it pulls the audience out of the moment because they have to reorient themselves to what they see. IT robs the film of any chance for the audience to emotionally connect to characters or situations and what’s the saddest is that this happens the most when the two main characters are together.
An advantage to the DVD is that one of the special features is extended scenes; the disadvantage is that Hardwicke decides to introduce these scenes. This is a disadvantage because Hardwicke explains that these scenes were shortened because they hurt the pacing of the film. I watched the extended scenes. What the scenes contained can be explained simply in two words: character development. There was a conversation between Bella and her father that explained more of their relationship as well as revealing that the town folk are wary of the Cullen’s, Bella and Edward discuss his blood thirst for her, and two more scenes that allow more time for the main couple to actually have a reason to fall for each other. Cutting these out is an amateurish move by the director because she felt the movie was moving too slow. I am not a fan of exposition, but what Hardwicke cut can’t even really be considered exposition – it’s moments that help motivate your characters and make them and their world three dimensional.
Though the films sequel New Moon is my favorite book of the series, after Twilight the only thing that can make me excited about the film is the fact that Hardwicke and her entire creative team has been replaced.
Edward Cullen: What did you expect? Coffins and dungeons and moats?
Isabella Swan: No, not the moats.
Edward Cullen: Not the moats.