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Chaos Cinema: A video essay on the death of coherence in modern action filmmaking

08.24.2011

"The only art here is the art of confusion."

So says Los Angeles scholar and filmmaker Matthias Stork, whose two-part video essay "Chaos Cinema" examines the artistic decline of the action sequence in modern movies. This is something many of us have been saying for years now. And generally speaking Stork is absolutely right, citing such spot-on examples as the films of Tony Scott, CLOVERFIELD, and TRANSFORMERS to name just a few.

What Stork doesn't really delve into, though, is the why. Movies from any given period are reflections of their era. This extends far beyond simply subject matter and theme, but also in how and why movies are presented to us in the manner that they are. If the movies of the past decade, generally speaking, have become devoid of clear coherence, is that not a reflection of the sociocultural time in which they spawned? Or is it something much simpler, like the fact that more and more creatively bankrupt filmmakers are simply aping styles that at one point or another seemed "cool" to them? Maybe that in of itself is a reflection of our current culture, what with remakes, reboots, and all manner of regurgitation we're constantly seeing.

While I don't fully agree with many of Stork's implications or assertions, his essays are great food for thought. Give the videos a whirl and let us know what you think about the subject in our comments below.



Extra Tidbit: Which films would you say are the worst culprits of Stork's so-called "Chaos Cinema"?
Source: Press Play

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