On the surface, it may be easy to dismiss Josh Trank’s debut Chronicle as little more than a get-rich-quick mishmash of the two most popular genres of the moment (superhero & found footage flicks); but underneath it’s admittedly franchise friendly exterior, Chronicle seems as fatigued with the inundation of shaky cams and male (always male) heroics as there are films prescribed to the genres. Many critics have bemoaned the use of the found footage conceit in Chronicle, complaining that the movie could exist without and would be better if played “straight”, but these reviewers seem to miss that their objections are exactly the point (the camera being rendered moot about midway through as a meta-textual dismissal of the entire genre). When the picture climaxes literally with a cacophony of cameras and multi-POVs, it’s as if Trank’s putting the entirety of “recorded” films on notice. Just because you shake the camera or shoot a bunch of footage out of focus or chop people’s heads out of frame, doesn’t make your film more “realistic” or a descendent of Cinema Verite; all it means (Chronicle and by proxy Trank implies) – is that you’re a really shitty cinematographer.
In the following interview, director Josh Trank discusses Chronicle’s variations from the typical found footage film, rejects Nietzschean “Superman” philosophy and talks about those pesky Fantastic Four rumors. Hit the jump to watch.
- How much time did he spend looking at found footage films and superhero films during pre-production
- How the camera has its own arc in the film
- How philosophy plays a big part of the film and how two of the characters change
- Update on those Fantastic Four rumors
- Talks about how he is writing other features right now and they’re outside the found footage genre