Saturday, November 27, 2010

High Fidelity, an analysis of some proportions

High Fidelity is a pretty good movie. Actually, it's probably the best John Cusak movie ever. Except for maybe 2012, because that movie was awesome and not way too long and stupid at all.

So here we go. The opening of 2012 High Fidelity:

XCU of a record spinning on a turntable while music plays. Music is an insanely big part of this movie as you probably already know. Luckily, it's free of hipsters. Thank God, right?

In case you've forgotten the movie title since reading it a few words ago.

Cut to the controls for the player, then a surprisingly long pan along the headphone cables.

And it stops on the back of Rob Gordon's head as the music lowers in quality until it sounds like it's just spilling out of the headphones. Everything is out of focus beyond Rob. Like all those facebook "about me" sections say, music puts him in his own little world.

Rob looks up and, with one of the reasons I like this movie so much, talks directly to the audience.

"Which came first? The music or the misery?"

The frame is very tight on his face, with what little of the background you can see is still out of focus.

Laura walks up behind him, a neat little rimlight on the side of her face. I'm assuming it's moonlight. It makes her look "half angelic".

CU of Laura's hand yanking out the headphones.

Rob pulls them off his head unusually quick, giving Laura his best OH HI MARK face. The background is a little sharper, showing Rob's crapfully dingy apartment. Is that stretched out underwear?

I think Laura sees it too. Funny how prominent the music behind her is throughout the entire scene. Keep an eye on it.

Rob tilts his head slightly. I think that underwear is laying on a snuggie.

After Rob's awful last ditch attempt to get her to stay, Laura walks away. Again, there's the music in the background. Do you think this has any thing to do with Rob having to make a choice? Pfff. NO.


Rob goes after her, and watches her walk out the door. The music frame left shows some nice depth.

Cut to outside his apartment as laura walks down the stairs. The light facing Rob seems to be out. HMMMMM.

Rob slams the door. The movie starts.

Rob walks towards us in silence. Count how many times his music collection (or something music related) isn't in the frame. (Hint: It's like...never)

Rob starts talking about his top 5 all time breakups. The music comes in much sharper focus behind him.

But as he finishes up the list and becomes more self reflective, it falls back out of focus. The whole idea of the movie is Rob viewing his entire life in terms of "top fives". It's a brief moment, but you can see that Rob has figured this out right from the get go.

"Do you see yourself on that list? LAURA?! Maybe you'd SNEAK into the top ten!"

Note the music still in the frame.

He turns around and runs back to his record player in all his medium shot glory.

CU of Rob cranking it up to eleven.

Imagine if it was on some really happy song.
It's not.

Rob, with an excited little hop, darts over to his window. He blends in with the room at this point. If I liked sounding really "intelligent about films", I'd say something along the lines of "The music fills the room like an all healing liquid, blending him into the world as he aimlessly continues to live in his independent life" or something like that.

He leans out his window in a wide shot and screams at Laura. It's a super cheesy line that I can totally see a guy trying to use. I won't spoil it for you if you've never seen it.

XWS of Laura getting into her car. Strangely enough, it cuts before the door closes. I guess if there was finality to it, there wouldn't be much of a movie after this.

Rob totally realizes what he just said sounded really dumb.

He slams the dirty window, sealing himself back in his elitist music cave.

And here we are. The shot that sums up everything. Rob sits down in his older than time, but super comfy looking chair in silence. One light completely missing him, spilling onto the floor. Everything beyond that is in darkness. Exactly how he likes it. For a time, anyway. Everything is an uphill battle from here. How does Rob figure out everything he did wrong, and become a better person while maintaining his...

High Fidelity

Oh my god that was the lamest thing I've ever typed sober.