Category Archives: Film studies

Short Film ‘The Listener’

I’m curious if everyone who spends time looking at movies the way that do ends up wanting to make them the way I do. It never fails. I spend a few months watching movies and then have a deep longing to make a film for myself. Don’t be surprised if you start to see more things here about formal analysis and cool film techniques. I may even put some ideas up to see if they stick. I’ll probably start with a short film or concept.

This type of short film is kind of what I have in mind. Cool concept, great execution. In this short by Michael Gilhooly we are placed in a dystopian future where everyone is constantly under surveillance. This film has a great little story that will get you very involved in its 22 minute runtime. Take a look below.

Description from the official site: In a society where everyone is monitored, Jeremy is an ambitious young Listener on the brink of a promotion who suddenly finds his loyalty challenged with the arrival of a beguiling new colleague. The Listener is directed and edited by Michael Gilhooly (@m_gilhooly), from a script written by Oliver Lyttelton. The cast includes Amit Shah, Harriet Walter, Guy Henry, Joanna Horton, Cameron Johnson and Katie Scarfe. What did you think? Who wants to help me with my dream to write and direct a short?

Nerdwriter says DC’s Flaw Is Not Lack of Comedy

I’m a huge fan of YouTube creator Evan Puschak a.k.a. Nerdwriter1 and his video essays on everything from film and culture, to politics and economics. He does a great job  of saying the things that I am thinking better than I could have if I tried. He releases videos every Wednesday and I would strongly encourage you to support him on Patreon if you like his work.


In his latest video, he talks about the apparent course correction that DC is making with Suicide Squad and Justice League and why he doesn’t believe that more comedy is the solution to the problems that people really had with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I talked about this in my review of Batman v Superman, and I talked about levity as one of several things that DC needed to change. But as usual, he discussed it with more polish and finesse than me and really got to the core of the problem which is more than the lack of comedy but is an overemphasis on movie moments at the expense of rich scenes. Watch his latest episode below.

I really agree with his discussion of the various locations within Batman v Superman. The usage of medium to close-up shots throughout keeps us disconnected from the setting. I would contrast that with the iconic fight between Iron Man and Captain America in Civil War. There were definitely moments in that film that were meant to play to our nostalgia and evoke memories of the comics, but they were so organically placed within their respective scenes that nothing felt forced. The plot and camera were allowed to move in and around those moments so they took us deeper than a simple two dimensional frame of reference into a dynamic world in motion.