There Was Something About Sidney

The cross-screen filters are a CHOICE, after allThis morning on the AV Club, Mike D’Angelo devotes his Scenic Routes column to an appreciation of Sidney Lumet’s visual style in “Network”.

In addition to being a characteristically astute and engaging appreciation of a fine film — because that’s just how D’Angelo rolls — it serves as a corrective to most of the eulogies and appreciations of the late director, which downplayed Lumet’s adaptive visual approach in favor of his legendary work with actors.

And if you’ll allow me a moment to humblebrag, I made a similar point in my own piece for NOW last week:

He was all about bringing the drama to the fore – finding ways to express the tension and emotions of the story without hectoring the viewer. Lumet’s camera is distinguished by its calm, measured stance; even when he shot handheld, he never got frantic. Watch his great absurdist hostage thriller “Dog Day Afternoon” and you won’t see a single sloppy frame; it’s a film about escalating chaos with a strikingly serene visual sensibility.

So, you know, I got that going for me.