I enjoyed Conversations with other women the other night. Some viewers seem to like the split screen, and others apparently think it gets in the way of the story or are to gimmicky. Personally I liked it, primarily for one reason: I’m fed up with watching what the director wants me to watch. I’m a lot more interested in reaction than performance for instance. That is, if someone is making a speech, the camera is usually on him/her. Problem is, I’ve seen this numerous of times. Even in reality I often watch that person more of politeness than personal interest. What I want to do is watch other peoples reactions. In an ordinary movie I rarely get this. With the split screen approach this could be done without making a point of it. At times I agree the split screen wasn’t necessary in Conversation with other women, but by keeping it throughout, moments where it was adding something didn’t feel forced.
The director argued the use of split-screen made the viewer more of a part in the “editing”, since they could shift focus. Considering what’s happening with story telling media today this actually seems like more of a small step in that direction rather than a revolutionary new way, and most of the time I did try to follow both of the perspectives, since I felt I would otherwise miss out on the vision. I’m convinced that further down the road this idea will reach it’s full potential though, and we wouldn’t get anywhere if it weren’t for small steps.
Just to clarify, so you won’t think I despise the majority of all movies, I do love to watch what the director wants me to watch many times. And I much rather have a movie with only one perspective, than no movies at all. I’m just appreciative that director Hans Canosa tried to give me something different this time.