The second part of my exclusive interview with Wally Pfister in which he talks about his first film as director, the forthcoming Transcendence. 

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by FoolishBoy

    on 15 Apr 2014 16:50

    You know something, anniemouse, the marketing people are probably thinking of the glass being half-empty and you're seeing it as half-full. Alternatively, you can always go and play some contemporary computer chess to get a taste of just how AI really works. That should put you fully in the picture.

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by anniemouse

    on 15 Apr 2014 10:12

    At the risk of getting shouted at; am I alone in worrying about this new trend from the marketing people to almost give the entire plot away for Transcendence/other movies in the trailer.

    After watching the two trailers the ending is the only mystery.

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  • Comment number 12. Posted by FoolishBoy

    on 14 Apr 2014 11:10

    A mite unfair, Berba. Looking at the trailers posted by WSV I can see the underlying point being made. There's Brainstorm, The Lawnmower Man, Hollow Man, Eagle Eye and Her (which I haven't yet seen; though the implications are there) all come to mind in the run throughs. Much of the challege in thrillers boils down to maintaining momentum in the style of Day Of The Jackal. And nothing more.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by Berba_Was_King

    on 14 Apr 2014 10:55

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 10. Posted by FoolishBoy

    on 14 Apr 2014 10:43

    You state a good case WSV. Filmakers have to somehow tread the tightrope between commercial bankability (mass appeal) and alienation of said commercial audience by introduction of considered intellectual ideas. The last film I saw that put a smile on my face with a thunderous twist was Shawshank Redemption. I do sympathise.

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by WSV

    on 14 Apr 2014 10:15

    @8.Touchfinder
    I see a large number of films each year to the point where patterns in trend and genre become obvious. I also, some months ago, read the plot synopsis and saw two official trailers for this particular film that, to me, showed that it is, what I term, a ‘glossy American potboiler’. The look and feel of these films far outweighs the quality of their scripts. This, to me, is disappointing, especially considering the skill, effort and money that has been lavished on the films’ image. This is, I suppose, a backhanded compliment to DPs like Pfister.

    The most obvious common fault with these films is without doubt the dialogue. Dialogue is the most difficult element of any script to write because well conceived screen plays require very little of it. That is, the strength of a screen play is in what it shows; not what it tells. Excessive and / or clumsy dialogue destroys both plot and character. However, for instance, when a script attempts to stretch science for dramatic effect it becomes increasingly necessary to inform the audience as to exactly what is supposedly going on as it departs from reality. In these cases the dialogue tends to become a simplistic running commentary and the art of the screenplay falls apart. ‘Inception’ (a previous Pfister work) is a classic example of a film constantly ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’ an audience a story, and everything I’ve read and heard about ‘Transcendence’ has firmly put it in the same camp. You can see what I mean by viewing the trailers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hP9D6kZseM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCTen3-B8GU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sxs4uXn7xA

    I am, however, addicted to film, watching on average two to three releases a week, and so will undoubtedly see ‘Transcendence’. I hope that I am pleasantly surprised by it, but there has been nothing to indicate that I will. Anyway, I also hope that you see that I am not dismissing the film out of hand and so not being patronising – just expressing an informed opinion that you might well not agree with.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Touchfinder

    on 14 Apr 2014 07:11

    @WSV - I'd suggest actually seeing the film first before you dismiss it so patronisingly.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by WSV

    on 13 Apr 2014 23:45

    It’s always great to hear intelligent people talking nobly about what they care about. However, it’s equally a heart-sink to find that these kind of projects require the audience to turn their brains off in order to appreciate the results. Ironic, in this case, for a film about artificial intelligence. It seems time and again the most difficult element of producing a film is the writing of a meaningful script. For me, it seems that people like Wally spend their lives and talents polishing Richards. It’s difficult to get truly exciting about yet another glossy American potboiler.

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Guy Trinder

    on 13 Apr 2014 20:14

    Humble dude!

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by FoolishBoy

    on 12 Apr 2014 13:49

    Film can do what digital cannot. It can both capture intricate detail and softness of colour, especially when light blends into shadow. I assume the film will be projected from a digital source? Even so, capturing the film literally on celluloid is much the better option because I think if shot in a digital format, the course grained consistency of digital to digital pixellation is telling. When film is digitised, it still retains 99% or more of its inherently smooth character. It's almost impossibly difficult to explain, however, I'm thrilled to see filmakers out there are taking care of body and soul. The ensemble cast for Transcendence is ace.

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