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June 1994


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 12 Jun 1994 08:20:06 -0600
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In reference to the recent discussion of anamorphic/wide-screen vs. "flat"
Has anyone seen Spike Lee's CROOKLYN yet?  There is a whole sequence in that
film in which Troy (sp?), the daughter, does to live with relatives in a
middle-class suburban "normal" hell-hole; the whole episode is shot with
an anamorphic lens but left "squeezed".
I assume that the process is meant to convey a subjective sense of Troy's
being "squeezed" by the restrictive lifestyle of the household.  It's a
cute idea--and in line with other "subjective" bits in the film (Troy's
nightmares, the glueheads walking upside down, et al.)--but I don't think
the sequence really works.  For one thing, it's much too long and gets
to be merely annoying after a while.  Secondly, until quite late into the
sequence, when the scenes are crosscut with scenes in Brooklyn, there's
nothing to confirm that it is in fact a subjective effect.  I was tempted
to run out and complain to the theater management, but waited, knowing it
was in Lee's style to do something like that on purpose.  I really had
to restrain myself, though.  (Aside from that and the rather obsessive
soundtrack, I like the film--it's one of Lee's lightest and maybe his most