Behold the visual language of cinema.
Cinema is a language of a thousand dialects. Voices from all over the world and from all walks of life contribute to its lexicon, but despite this sweeping disparity there is a common tongue that all fans and practitioners of cinema speak. This tongue, ironically enough, manifests visually in the frames between the words, in the image-based representations of themes, tropes, ideas, and emotions.
As such there are overlaps. Moonlight has imagery that conjures La La Land and vice versa, 20th Century Women reflects moments of Sing Street, scenes in Hacksaw Ridge harken to those from Manchester by the Sea. This isn’t an act of homage nor it is wholly coincidental. All filmmakers, whatever their origins or intentions, draw from the same language of cinema, each in their unique ways, yes, but all from the same virtual well of image-based storytelling. This, rather than homogenizing film as an art form, makes it more interpretive, it shows us, in crude parlance, that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, though the end result is the same.
As evidence of this, observe the following montage from editor Tobie who has taken reflective images from a handful of 2016 films (list below the embed) to show both their common traits and the various ways in which these traits are demonstrated on screen. What they teach is that despite film’s many voices, there is always a shared current of understanding.
20th Century Women
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Related Topics: Moonlight