This video essay uses Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom in order to talk about the synthesis of story and style in movies. Michael (the author of this video essay) argues that Wes Anderson’s story feels “believable” because of how he implements style in the movie. One important aspect that Michael brings up, is that Wes Anderson’s film style directly alerts viewers that they are watching a film. The shots aren’t designed to make viewers forget they are watching a movie. Even the dialogue in Moonrise Kingdom is “unusual” because it is direct and delivered almost emotionlessly. Michael argues though that this fits with the theme of Moonrise Kingdom because the viewer is working to understand the world, just like the two protagonists trying to understand their place in the world as they transition into adulthood.
I think that the idea of fitting style to story is really important to consider when making and analyzing movies. While considering these ideas, I think it is also important to know that filmmakers don’t have to follow traditional story telling styles. Wes Anderson is a great example because he purposely breaks lots of film “rules” in order to create a unique style that fits with his stories. Essentially this video essay made me think about film style, and what makes things seem coherent. Films don’t have to be “invisible” in order to be effective. Rather a filmmaker should choose a style that they think fits their film, and then be consistent with that theme throughout the movie. This consistency will allow the viewer to begin to understand the world and how it works, which will help the story to feel believable.
In terms of the video essay as a medium, I would consider this video essay pretty “traditional” in most senses (at least for a YouTube style video essay). Michael’s video is designed for a large target audience. There are two specific aspects that stood out to me. Michael’s YouTube channel, “Lessons from the Screenplay,” uses a similar style for all of his videos. Instead of looking just directly at the films themselves, these video essays examine the actual scripts of the movies, using on screen text to display different parts of the script while Michael discusses them. This video had its own unique elements too. Towards the end of the video, while discussing Wes Anderson’s style of alerting the viewer to the film, the video essay uses behind the scene shots from Moonrise Kingdom of people working the cameras. This gives viewers a look at exactly how Wes Anderson creates the unconventional shots that the video is discussing. I think that including behind the scenes footage was really effective for this video in particular because it directly reinforced the argument that Michael was making.