A Black Comedy? The BIRDMAN Text Message Review

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful to watch and listen to with an amazing cast. It was the movie equivalent of the perfect outfit. Good looking, tailored to perfection and composed of the best quality fabric. 
– My friend AK on her reactions to seeing Birdman

Matthew Toffolo to WB: Did you like the Bird?

WB: I had a complicated response to it. I know it was a comedy but I found it sad and unsettling.

MT: That’s not a bad thing. I guess it’s categorized as a comedy, but I don’t think when people talk about the movie the first thing they are going to say it how funny it was! There are 10 others things they’ll say first before they say that it was funny.

WB: But it’s a satire and it was a bit broad for my taste. For example, I thought the critic was over the top.

MT: Perhaps because you are a successful actor yourself that it was too close to home.

WB: No. It did get under my skin though. The actors were great.

MT: There are definitely a lot of moving parts to this film. The drum only soundtrack. The constant stylized moving camera. The fantasy elements. The intense drama. The themes of who are you more: The person you pretend to be, OR, the person who really are inside of yourself. And of course the theme of attempting to connect with others so you can see yourself. Really yourself! As that’s perhaps the only way you can. And being shined on stages with 100s watching you, you’re trying to connect with many all at the same time.

Friend AM: The film made you feel many things all at the same time. It’s great.

MT: I guess there’s something different in it for everyone.

AM: It’s hard for me to imagine someone not liking this film. The director is great.

MT to AM and WB: Remember we saw his (Alejandro González Iñárritu) first film Amores Perros (aka – the Dog trilogy movie). I think Birdman is his film linear film.

AM: It is. Loved Amores Perros. Also loved 21 Grams. Think this is his best film. What a great director!

WB: He’s definitely that.

MT: Give any director in the world this script and it won’t come close to this movie. He’s got an unique point of view. Birdman is a great movie.

But, have you checked out the DP of this film Emmanuel Lubezki? The guy is brilliant. He’s the personal DP for Alfonso Cuarón (he won Oscar for Gravity last year), Terence Malick, and Inarritu. WOW! He’s also DP’d for the Coen Brothers, Mike Nichols, and Tim Burton. PLUS, Gen-X blast from the past – he was the Cinematographer on Reality Bites! What are career! Love to have a chat with him.

AM: He’s going to win back to back Cinematography Oscars because Birdman will win hands down.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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