Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Quintessentials: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here (Version 2)
Directed by Marc Webb, United States, 2009, 4 Minutes.
Source: YouTube
Originally Posted by Haley Schattner (

This is a story about a boy and a girl.  They dance in banks.

Haley's original post tries very hard to add some narrative, character interpretation, and purpose to this music video (Is this technically a music video?  A promo bit for 500 Days of Summer?  Both?)  And I say there is nothing here. It is Joseph Gordon-Levitt being his same old dapper self and the always stunning Zooey Deschanel just being a little hipster temptress and shaking her hips.  It is an obvious throwback to the 50s musical, and falls in line with JGL's obsession with being the next Fred Astaire or Donald O'Connor around this time (See his opening monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live.)  It's shot very wide, with very few cuts, allowing the actors to show off their moves.  It's set design is even 50s, incorporating existing, old school LA architecture from the 30s that still rests in its downtown district (This, too, is an incorporated aspect to 500 Days of Summer.)

I'll lead the topic into this: This isn't a short film.  This is a set piece; something to grab your attention.  Just because it meets the time parameters of a short film, or has an "ending" (he successfully robs the banks in the final 5 seconds, no questions asked.)  This is a test in style from director Marc Webb.  Unless we're just going to go back to the basic definition of a short film, which in the U.S. is any moving image under, what, 45 minutes?  60?

We talked in class about Chapter 2 of Inglourious Basterds; the scene introducing the basterds.  Many in class argued it was a short film, and I argued otherwise.  Something that can simply stand by itself and be short does not qualify it as a short film.  No one goes to the theatre to watch the first act of Glengarry Glen Ross, and if they were to only see that, they'd then think it was a A Death of a Salesman all over again--a statement on the plight of the everyday salesman--and not a story that turns into a mystery.  As filmmakers, critics, historians, or audiences, we have to be critical of this difference between the arc of a scene, and the beginning, middle, and end of an actual story.


haley schattner said...

As much as I love "Inglorious Basterds", I agree with you that the second chapter is not a short film but a sequence that leads to character development.
I have to disagree with you about "Why Don't You Let Me Stay Here". Yes, I agree that it is really just showing off the talents of two young actors, but what video isn't promoting something, even if it is just an idea? That said, I think this film does have a narrative. It has character development, not a lot, but enough, and an event happens. I qualify that as something, in addition to the nice look of the film.

mamungt3 said...

I think la architecture will be great.

Equisite Forest said...

Daima güncel film izleyebileceğiniz en iyi adrestesiniz.En iyi yerli filmlerin hd kalitede bulabileceğiniz ve türkçe dublaj film izleyerek keyifli zaman geçirebileceğiniz bir film sitesi üzerinde çalıştığımızı ve sizler için en iyi aksiyon filmleri izleyebileceğiniz güzel bir site yapmaya çalıştığımızı belirtmek isterim. Kaliteli animasyon filmleri izleyebileceğiniz ve en önemlisi tek part film izleyebileceğiniz bir sistem kurmanın gururunu yaşadığımızın bilincindeyiz. Keyifli zamanlar geçirmeniz dileğiyle.