Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s ‘Birdman‘ is a curious film in that it thrives on both orientation and disorientation. As we move (literally) through the film along with Riggan Thompson, we become acquainted with his mind, if not sympathetic with his personality–he orients us, in that our view of the events on screen, even those which do not involve him directly, become filtered through his world view. However, paradoxically enough, as we become oriented in relation to Thompson, we become progressively disoriented in relation to the rest of the world. What are for Thompson wholly routine skitterings through the theater where his Raymond Carver drama is being performed become for us ramblings through an increasingly complex and dizzying maze. As the film moves forward, little discrepancies occur: a path that should lead back to the main stage leads elsewhere; Thompson in his skivvies makes a turn that should send him into the depths of Times Square but instead returns him to the theater; and so on. This well-arranged and articulate video essay by de Filmkrant takes a look at these inconsistencies, and argues convincingly that, far from detracting from the effect of the the film, they are very important to the film’s achievement, which is to describe the rise out of chaos of an utterly troubled, tortured artist.
Watch: How the Visual Gaffes in Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ Make It a Better Film