As much as streaming services have fully impacted the studio landscape in recent years, the true depth and breadth of their libraries and their focus on making movies available that speak to the history of movies and shows in the over the decades have been . .. lacking, to say the least. It’s as if these subscription services are all too happy to take advantage of our natural instincts to seek out quality and entertaining storytelling, but fail to do their part to further educate the general public and keep that flame burning to help inspire a whole new generation of filmmakers. Maybe that’s finally starting to change. Netflix and director David Fincher’s “See” has brought together some of the most insightful and knowledgeable minds in the industry to shed some light on the history of cinema. Now it’s HBO Max’s turn to do something similar.
“One Perfect Shot” will feature filmmakers Jon Chu, Kasi Lemmons, Patty Jenkins, Malcolm Lee, Michael Mann and Aaron Sorkin talking about specific shots and sequences and moments from recent films like “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Heat” , “Wonder Woman”, “Girls Trip”, “Harriet”, and “The Trial of the Chicago 7”. Granted, not all of these seemingly randomly selected films are representative of what the art form has to offer (there are a lot more films made before the 1990s, people!) and not all of these filmmakers are particularly known for their visual strengths (isn’t there a good reason why most people tend to familiarize themselves with Sorkin for his screenwriting?), but I guess we’re operating on a curve that takes small steps into account.
But don’t let me put you down completely on this! Any effort to raise awareness of the technical merits that lie beneath the surface of the movies we watch is worth paying attention to. At a time when so many cinephiles will insist that any criticism of fundamental aspects of filmmaking like lighting or cinematography is little more than a “tattoo” (check out some of the replies to this tweet if you want to lose faith in humanity a bit), we could use more of these types of promotions, not less.
“One Perfect Shot” will begin airing on HBO Max on March 24, 2022.