1000 Things We Hate #234: Extended Car Shots

18 03 2012

This scene from Adaptation, of an extended car shot, frightens me:

I suppose this has been a recent development in my life.  Ever since I got in a car accident 6 months ago, the whole idea of a car crash terrifies me.  Mind you, my car crash wasn’t terrible… I just finished with physical therapy, but I still totaled Lillian’s car and almost got T-boned.

You can imagine, then, that extended car shots make me anxious.  I fully expect for a car to come and slam into the one the camera is currently focused on.  Whether the camera is positioned outside the car and looking in (like through the front windshield) or inside the car looking at the passengers like Adaptation, I get woozy.

An example of how startling this type of shot can be for me, I watched my favorite movie Me and You and Everyone We Know for the tenth-fifteenth time a couple of nights ago.  I know this film really well.  To the point that I started freaking out when the DVD skipped the first couple of scenes when I wasn’t in the room.  I thought, “we shouldn’t be here yet…”  Anyway, there’s a couple scenes when either Christine or Richard is driving for a long period of time.  Like I said, I KNOW there’s not going to be a car crash or a sudden blindside hit.  Nevertheless, I almost had to look away because the shot was upsetting me.

I understand that filmmakers need to make car crashes seem unexpected because that’s how many of them are in real life.  But, I hate that these long shots leading up to a car crash (or not like in Me and You) make me feel so upset.  It’s the anxiety of leading up to it that really gets to me.  Knowing that something bad seems to be on the cusp of happening.

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