After the wave of special effects movies spawned by new digital tools, film-makers are beginning to stake out new ground for movie-making. David Denby in this week’s New Yorker, picks out Rise of the Planet of the Apes as the stand-out blockbuster of the summer for its innovative use of digital tools for dramatic characterization rather than explosions. Running for approximately a month, the film has already grossed $312 million worldwide.
Caesar, the central character of this ‘prequel’ to 1968’s Planet of the Apes is played by Andy Serkis (Gollum in Lord Of The Rings). Directed by Rupert Wyatt the story revolves around a serum which may help cure Alzheimer’s that has been tested on an ape who subsequently goes mad. The ape’s baby, Caesar, who has developed an uncanny intelligence, is taken home by Will, the research scientist working on the project.
Denby says that “the filmmakers have pulled off a stunning paradox”, the digitized Caesar is more human than a completely computer-generated figure and more ape-like than a real ape. “Digitized acting (if that’s the right phrase)”, writes Denby, “should be as warmly recognized as any other kind of acting. When Will arrives at the pen, intending to take Caesar home, the ape sees the leash in Will’s hands and sorrowfully but firmly closes the door of the cell—staying behind with his own kind forever. To register the moment, Serkis lengthens his jaw in sullen resolve, turns his back, and gives Caesar a regretful shudder—the scene is almost tragic.”
Blending the human and digital technology to create something truly expressive is an art form that seems to have been extended
Would love to hear the thoughts from anyone who has seen the movie.