In his most recent ‘Every Frame a Painting‘ video essay, Tony Zhou does a couple of admirable things. One: He takes as his subject Lynne Ramsay, the director of such films as ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin,’ ‘Morvern Callar,’ and ‘Ratcatcher.’ To date, Ramsay has seen very little acute examination of her techniques, though her critical recognition has been substantial. So: it’s good to see such treatment, in watchable form, no less! The other admirable thing: Zhou tries to talk about what makes a film poetic, and succeeds. He talks about the importance of details, of repetition, even of characters’ faces, and how these elements can force viewers to put stories together in their minds, when those stories aren’t spelled out for them on the screen. It can be hard enough to discuss written poetry, let alone poetry on the screen, but Zhou comes as close as anyone could to describing the way we process poetic experience with this beautiful, thoughtful piece about an under-recognized cinema artist.
Watch: What Makes Lynne Ramsay’s Films Poetic? A Video Essay