Joseph Gordon-Levitt

REVIEW: ‘Looper’ Stuns, Over and Over, and Back Again

When I was discussing my review for The Master with PFC contributor Chris Cramer the other day, he said, “Paul Thomas Anderson is the Truffaut of American cinema, and Tarantino is the Goddard.”  I mention this because there is something vaguely Tarantino-as-Goddardian about Looper, although I’ll be damned if I can put my finger on exactly what that is.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper

Trailer Trashing 3: Return to Limbo

You’ll note that there isn’t a sudden jolt from summer movies into the more adult fare of the awards season.  It’s more like a shift in perspective, like pulled focus from a foreground character to someone in the background, which is a camera technique I am personally allergic to as a director; it always makes me slightly seasick, and I think it’s lazy filmmaking, like you’re giving into the cinematographer because she’s jetlagged and hungover and can’t be bothered moving the camera and lighting another setup just for a different perspective on dialogue she feels you’ve already covered.  (I have never had this experience.  Really.  I’m just imagining.)

Indeed, it’s not like children’s films or fanboy fare go away after Labor Day, you just don’t get Hollywood’s best efforts, not until the holiday season, when Studio Crap and Award Contenders go head to head at the theaters… and Crap still wins.  Likewise, there were still “specialty” releases (a.k.a., films for people who feel special) over the summer, just nothing you were aching to see.  Unless it was Magic Mike, in which case you were not just special, you were horny, too.

Easing us into the pulled focus from the Crap Tsunami to the Gentler Waves of Watchable Mediocrity will be the first film I’ll review solely based on its trailer: