A natural film critic.
Watching films with Ainan can be an instructive process. He doesn’t just sit there and watch, as most eleven year olds would – he scrutinizes the film in minute detail, tearing it down to its essential components and analyzing just how the Director put it all together.
In a way, it is a bit uncanny how much Ainan sees in a film. It makes me realize that he is finely attuned to what is happening around him. He sees very deeply into things. However, this habit of his does cause problems, for him – and for anyone who is watching, with him.
“How many movie producers are there in the world?”, he asked, whilst viewing Inception, recently.
“Why?”, I wondered.
“ I just want to know how come I have never seen a film that I can’t find flaws in.”
He had spent the first ten or twenty minutes of watching Inception, pointing out little things he had noticed, which he regarded as less than perfect film-making. His observations came so quickly, that I didn’t really have time to absorb them, so I can’t note them here. However, he was very intense, as he spoke and very focused on the slightest minutiae of the work in front of him.
He not only noted flaws, but he did something else very interesting. He compared shots used and techniques deployed, ACROSS films, of Christopher Nolan. He was reviewing, in his mind, all the Christopher Nolan films he had watched and noting where and how similar shots had been used, in each one. I am not sure that many people would be able to do that – that they would be able to recall the films in sufficient detail to compare them, shot for shot, technique for technique in their mind’s eye – but that is what Ainan was doing.
He essentially summarized the habits of Christopher Nolan, the shots and techniques that formed his style, by his on the fly comparison of films. I just listened, not being equipped by similar knowledge of the films to be able to comment.
Rather than give the details of his comments, it is more enlightening to tell you how it feels to listen to him do this. The question that comes to mind, as he rattles on is: “How does he do this?”, “How is it possible?” The only answer that comes to me is that he must have, within himself, a completely searchable, detailed record of each of the films he has watched – and that he is able to scan them for similarities and differences and identify patterns – all with no real apparent effort. There is no other way that he could do what he does, when he watches movies, since he is able to compare existing movies, with movies he watched long ago – and do so with accurate insight and telling comment.
Should he decide not to be a scientist, he could easily be gainfully employed as a devastatingly perceptive film critic. Incidentally, I was once a film critic on my own arts and entertainment magazine – so it is warming to see him to take to the same activity, without prompting. Perhaps, however, the world’s film-makers might be safer were he not to do so – for I am sure of this: Ainan would reveal every problem with their technique, style and choices, that they ever make. Many would, no doubt, rather he didn’t do that – though the wise some, would find it helpful to their future work, to be so examined.
In the meantime, I am quite happy to listen to Ainan show me what he sees in the filmic world. Quite often, he sees things I doubt whether anyone else has ever noticed before. It is refreshing.
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Labels: a natural film critic, a photographic memory, Batman, Christopher Nolan, comparative film-making, directors, In the eyes of a child, Inception, movie producers, visual memory, visual perception