Mr. Reindeer wrote:I think the distancing composition is a logical extension of the fact that this is by its nature an expansive work, almost the antithesis of DKL's prior mission statement that he only likes to do "neighborhood stories." I think the style will grow on me on repeat viewings, just as IE's "messiness" did. I agree that a lot of the shots kept us at arm's length, and I'm not quite sure what to make of that, even while I did find many of the compositions beautiful. But one scene really keyed me in on this: the Steven/Gersten scene is played almost entirely in a tight claustrophobic medium shot of the two of them, then abruptly cuts without warning to one of those patented wide wide shots of the woods, showing us how tiny these two are in the expanse of the woods. That use of the technique was anything but distancing, and I wonder if some of the other wide compositions will similarly resonate with me and others on repeat viewings where we can settle into this work on its own terms without being distracted by concerns about where the story is going.
I loved that scene for that contrast as well -- and you're right in that while it's emotionally charged, the wide shot certainly isn't from either character's perspective.
But we rarely get such power out of the wide shots. That's a little different than just seeing Mr. C., Cole, Diane, Ray, the sherrif's station crew, etc., neatly arranged in indoor spaces (and not, like, off-kilter medium-shot neat arrangements something like Lanthimos' Dogtooth runs on). I'm not sure what to make of those yet or if they'll ever grow on me -- at this point I find them considerably less interesting than the filmaking in Lynch's previous work -- but if not, oh well; it's hardly ruinous.