Up, up and away


Director Gonzalez Inarritu does something new with each film and always goes all out. Birdman seems to be filmed in one long continuous take. Simulated, of course, but a bravura technical achievement and a great way of immersing us in the frenetic problems of Michael Keaton’s character as things lurch from bad to worse. Add the inner demons which torment the ex-superstar, relentless drums in the musical score, constant surprises including magic realism, and it becomes a heady brew. But underneath the razzamatazz, is the material rather banal (mainstream cinema dismissed as childish, Broadway theatre as effete)? Do we care enough about the main character? Or perhaps, given it’s a comedy, are we made to care too much? I wondered whether Inarritu quite knew how to bring the roller coaster ride to a satisfactory end. For some this is a film that is easier to admire than to like. What do you think? Share a comment about the film as a whole or some aspect of it.

4 Responses to Up, up and away

  1. Lorraine & Peter Duffy August 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    The masks we wear and how easily they crumble. It’s quite a while since i saw Birdman but I remember it really well. It was a film about loss & prestige and how that mask is so easily damaged.I remember a line that goes something like this “Your’e not an actor, your’e a celebrity” and Michael Keaton was devastated. I loved it dark and different.

  2. Jill Dent August 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    Amazing trackings by cameras down the dark subterranean passageways of a Broadway theatre, as circuitous and claustrophobic as the mind – exploding into scenes impossible to access: yes, more to admire than to love in the intricate repetitions of what amounted to a very slight script in the play-within-a-play. I had no sense of unfairness in the suffering of an over-ambitious bereft playwright. The daughter carried the message of sense: just be content with being ordinary…but she did admire her father for being able to really escape. Naomi Watts as suffering support actress has the knack of being dramatic, honest and ordinary at the same time. .

  3. Tamara August 3, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    I found Birdman deeply thought-provoking as well as very funny. It expressed almost Buddhist concepts about the nature of human suffering – the attachment to ego and ambition and how our need to gain self-esteem via the praise and acceptance of others dooms us to misery – yet we are all capable of flight if we could just accept our own ordinariness as well as our own unique greatness (the Birdman superhero who is also merely a blockbuster celebrity, not a true “artist”). Absolutely loved this film and found it unexpectedly poetic.

  4. Deborah Yffer August 13, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    I thought it was AWFUL! Unintelligible dialogue, unpleasant characters (who cares what happens to them?), unrelenting anger …….pointless. We walked out. We should have done so earlier. I’d rather do housework than sit through it. And I hate housework. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF IT?!

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