Who’s The Real Problem?

Shout out to @dfregia @nisaajay and @ireesdeelia for the discussion a couple of weeks ago; would not have thought of this post without your help! So my group and I discussed the power of the gun in Chiraq (here’s a link to that discussion). In the end, we agreed that firearms represented the crux of the conflict in the film, characterized by Father Corridan during his sermon in the beginning of the film. To highlight this conclusion, I would like to point to some of the cinematography within that sequence that helped bring us to that conclusion.  Continue reading “Who’s The Real Problem?”

Chiraq Zolly: The Road to Redemption

Next, I want to tackle a scene that confronts Nick Cannon’s Chiraq with his demons, a scene that comes to life through Lee’s careful application of the zolly technique. I spoke at length about this device within the context of Lee’s Inside Man (here’s a link to that discussion).  Continue reading “Chiraq Zolly: The Road to Redemption”

When The Levees Broke: The Walking Dead

The featured image for this blog post does not come from WTLBbut rather from the widely popular television show The Walking Dead. Although I am bringing a fictional, post-apocalyptic series into my consideration of Lee’s documentary, I cannot help but notice the striking similarities between this iconic image and some of the opening and concluding footage of WTLBContinue reading “When The Levees Broke: The Walking Dead”

When the Levees Broke: Dialing Zero

Although I know that the Gulf Coast represents a hotspot for hurricanes and other tropical storms, I did not have any knowledge of Hurricane Betsy in 1965. Although many of the older interviewees detailed their memories of this natural disaster as it ravaged the levees of New Orleans over 50 years ago, I found it striking that the younger generation of subjects chose to reference it with similar detail. Continue reading “When the Levees Broke: Dialing Zero”

When The Levees Broke: Zoom Accents

“Zoom accents” is another term I have come up with to frame Lee’s acute utilization of camera mechanics. Typically, talking head interviews require a static camera that is trained on the subject from a fixed distance — whether that be a medium shot or up close and personal. Much like his early documentary Four Little Girls, Lee allows the intimate moments with his interviewees to explode from the screen with an application of the zoom technique. Continue reading “When The Levees Broke: Zoom Accents”