Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Bling Ring (2013)

When Sidney Lumet made Network, he and cinematographer Owen Roizman used lighting to enhance their story. Since the film was about corruption, they decided to have the camera become corrupt as well. In the early scenes they used very little light and a hand-held, documentary approach. By the end, everything is lit "like a commercial". That's the lighting that The Bling Ring begins with. The world of slick commercialism is this film's baseline. It's not a film about "good" kids getting seduced by fame. These kids were born into that world and know no other. Aesthetically, this is the cinematic equivalent of a selfie. Does this film glamorize its subjects? It sure as hell does. But no more than the reality television they were raised on. Just try to not be chilled by Emma Watson's interview at the end. The only place to go from here is the absolute anarchy of Spring Breakers.

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