Cinematic truth lies in the close-up

In the current rejection of the close-up in mainstream cinema, filmmakers seem to have learnt nothing from the past. The 1950s epics now seem stolid, and most of DeMille is unwatchable. In a few years’ time, The Phantom Menace, George Lucas’s first Star Wars prequel – which was filmed almost entirely in medium and wide shot – will look like one of the most boring movies ever made. Entranced by his ability to show Hieronymus Bosch-like scenes of myriad complexity, why would Lucas do anything as boring as bring the camera close to the faces of his actors? Future audiences will be un-impressed by such CGI showreeling and will be perplexed by the film’s lack of foreground. —Mark CousinsCinematic truth lies in the close-up (Prospect Magazine)

While Jar Jar was painful to watch, I completely lost interest in Star Wars the moment rockets popped out of Artoo Detoo’s legs and he flew around the droid factory.

Okay, okay, maybe his rockets don’t work underwater, which is why he didn’t use them to get out of the swamp on Degobah, and maybe there was too much sand on Tatooine, which is why he didn’t use them to fly to Obi Wan Kenobi.

I’m sure someone has retconned this oversight somewhere.