Mar 082014

I decided to rematch Verhoeven‘s Robocop because I will surely see the remake, especially given how interesting I found the remake of his Total Recall. And when I was done, I was thinking about storytelling.

This film posits an complete world at its outset and develops a clear story with speed and economy. In part this completeness comes from the multiple contrasting points-of-view provided by the many flat, stock characters that populate the film. (This technique reminds me of Henry Fielding’s use of conflicts between what a character wants and what they do to create psychologies.) These multiple points-of-view are kept in check by a story structure that repeats locations such as the factory and the boardroom so as to create order and closure.

This is carefully controlled filmmaking. Even if the subject may not be everybody’s cup of tea.


Aug 102012

Paul Verhoeven‘s film is much better than I remembered. It moves quickly and really highlights how much movies today–however flashy their editing or speedy the fights or violent the action–are too often ponderous bores. Twenty minutes of story is blown up into two hours of movie–or even two movies, or three or more–and all the filler is pure bathos.

Total Recall has no time for bathos. It’s just gets stuff done in an efficient, exciting and entertaining pace.