Speed Reads

Movie magic

The lazy directing of modern American cringe comedy, explained

The lazy directing of modern American cringe comedy, explained

In general, I dislike modern comedy cinema in the Judd Aptow/Seth Rogen mold. I suspect part of that is down to simple personality — I find it almost unbearable to watch characters who are being crushingly humiliated. Another reason I hadn't quite appreciated it, though, is the uninspired direction. Modern comedy is too often filmed in a kind of soap-opera style, like something shot for efficiency reasons, with characters mostly just talking to each other in close-up.

Tony Zhou explains this through the work of Edgar Wright, a filmmaker who does use directorial techniques to create humor. It's an interesting look into how thoughtfully composing a shot can do wonders with comedy. --Ryan Cooper