Today is Edgar Wright’s birthday, and to celebrate, TIFF has released a brief video showing some of Wright’s “signature moves”. Some are a bit on the nose like his references to other movies, but there’s some insightful stuff here like Wright’s reliance on the crash zoom montages and his use of sight gags. It’s also fun just to see all of these kind of techniques put together side by side but still know that Wright’s movies never feel same-y or that he’s run out of ideas. The World’s End and Baby Driver are drastically different movies, so while they may share some of the same techniques and personality, Wright is still able to push those films towards separate thematic goals. His stamp is undeniable, but it never dominates the story or the subtext.
Hopefully, TIFF (or someone) will put together a great video of how Wright uses setting to his advantage. That’s one element that’s not really present in this video because it’s not a “move”, but it is an important part to his filmography. For example, Baby Driver could have been set in any major city, but Wright made the effort to emphasize that the action takes place in Atlanta. The same goes for how Scott Pilgrim vs. The World isn’t just “Canadian”; it’s very much a piece of Toronto, which Wright made sure to hold onto when he adapted Bryan Lee O’Malley‘s books.
Check out the video below, and now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Scott Pilgrim vs. The World for the sixth or seventh time.