Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister calls The Avengers ‘Appalling’

Pfister, speaking with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Q: What’s most important in shooting a film?

A: What’s really important is storytelling. None of it matters if it doesn’t support the story. I thought “The Avengers” was an appalling film. They’d shoot from some odd angle and I’d think, why is the camera there? Oh, I see, because they spent half a million on the set and they have to show it off. It took me completely out of the movie. I was driven bonkers by that illogical form of storytelling.

In conclusion…

Actually, I made a similar complaint in my Avengers review, that there were certain shots, especially in the beginning, that just had random detritus (leaves, bushes, etc) framed in the foreground that were only there so they could show off the depth of the 3D. It didn’t ruin the movie, but it was still lame. Nonetheless, I’m excited for the inevitable pissing contest between humorless Dark Knight Rises apologists and humorless Avengers apologists. I bet it will be humorless!

Okay, so that was the blatant link bait, here’s a more interesting bit:

Q: How do you feel about today’s technology and the switch to digital?

A: “Moneyball” was the last outpost of my battle for shooting on Kodak film. I said, “That’s no problem for me, you’ll just have to find another guy.” They finally said OK, but added “We need you to cut your salary.” I said, “If you didn’t get the (expletive) on the last call, get it now.”

I hate when publications just use (expletive) without any clue as to which expletive they mean. “If you didn’t get COCKS*CKER on the last call, get it now.” Dude, I have no idea what that means.

What’s troubling to me is that digital has eclipsed film before it has eclipsed it artistically. I will be accepting of digital when it is the equal of film; there’s something wrong with technology that moves you backward rather than forward.

There are a lot of knee-jerk “GRRR, DIGITAL SUCKS!” people out there, and I’m sure digital did used to suck (and as always, hipsters tend to idealize the oldest method of creating art), but it seems like we have the technology to produce some amazing looking digital nowadays. That said, by far the best-looking films I’ve seen this year have been Argo, The Master, and The Dark Knight Rises, all of which were shot on film.

And with all the technology we have, some of the best porn comes from couples filming themselves wallypfisting in the Mervyn’s changing room on their iPhones. It goes to show you never can tell, you know?

[hat tip: ThePlaylist]