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Old 09-04-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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Yea or Nay? Can you think of times when it's worked? When it hasn't?
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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The whispered VOs in Tree of Life were intrusive and overdone, IMO. In contrast, minimal use of it worked well in To Kill a Mockingbird.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Narration as a part of telling the story? Sure
Princess Bride, A River Runs Through It, etc

Voice over usually in lieu of actual on screen dialogue, character or plot development? No way.
---

The really awful is what Peter Falk calls "Moshe the Explainer"
Below from an interview with Terry Gross

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterFalk
And the other thing that used to bother me about the early scripts - not the early scripts, any of the scripts - was in the final scene, if you had what actors used to refer to as Moshe(ph), Moshe the Explainer Scene.

(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. FALK: And that's when the detective, he takes two pages - he talks for two pages, and he explains everything that happened. And as the actor, you can hear the people snoring. You know the audience is tuned out. They're not interested.

So the trick is to have that final scene remain a scene and have the cat and mouse going back and forth and the audience plus the villain, they don't know what in the hell this guy's driving at, but they're interested. You show them just enough to keep them interested, keep them guessing. What is he going to do? And when you finally nail the guy, that should be the end of the show. There should be about three lines after that, and that's it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I tend to like v.o., usually b/c emphasis is placed on the voice. Of course, it only works if the person doing the v.o. does it well and has a distinctive voice.

Some films that have memorable v.o.'s: Stand By Me, Watchmen, Seabiscuit (more narration than v.o. but I love David McCullough's narration), The Civil War--the series by Ken Burns; it has some great voice overs from Morgan Freeman, Sam Waterston, Jason Robards, among others. Speaking of Sam Waterston, I thought that the v.o. in The Great Gatsby was just okay.

That said, it seems like the majority of v.o.'s exist b/c the film is adapted from a book whose narrative voice and/or comments is so essential that a v.o. is necessary to maintain the book's tone and effect.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toosie View Post
The whispered VOs in Tree of Life were intrusive and overdone, IMO. In contrast, minimal use of it worked well in To Kill a Mockingbird.
I haven't seen this.. did the whispering V.O.s belong to a young Brad Pitt, as he tries to sort out his abusive childhood? When you say intrusive and over done, do you mean they came too often, ran too long, and gave away too much?


The Tree of Life Movie Trailer Official (HD) - YouTube
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Narration as a part of telling the story? Sure
Princess Bride, A River Runs Through It, etc

Voice over usually in lieu of actual on screen dialogue, character or plot development? No way.
---

The really awful is what Peter Falk calls "Moshe the Explainer"
Below from an interview with Terry Gross
Great call on A River Runs Through It; the v.o. was great in that film!
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:54 AM
 
2,179 posts, read 2,811,905 times
Reputation: 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Narration as a part of telling the story? Sure
Princess Bride, A River Runs Through It, etc

Voice over usually in lieu of actual on screen dialogue, character or plot development? No way.
---

The really awful is what Peter Falk calls "Moshe the Explainer"
Below from an interview with Terry Gross
I understand. Definitely! Thank you..
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:55 AM
 
2,179 posts, read 2,811,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
I tend to like v.o., usually b/c emphasis is placed on the voice. Of course, it only works if the person doing the v.o. does it well and has a distinctive voice.

Some films that have memorable v.o.'s: Stand By Me, Watchmen, Seabiscuit (more narration than v.o. but I love David McCullough's narration), The Civil War--the series by Ken Burns; it has some great voice overs from Morgan Freeman, Sam Waterston, Jason Robards, among others. Speaking of Sam Waterston, I thought that the v.o. in The Great Gatsby was just okay.

That said, it seems like the majority of v.o.'s exist b/c the film is adapted from a book whose narrative voice and/or comments is so essential that a v.o. is necessary to maintain the book's tone and effect.
I see what you mean. Also, a good novel has so many entanglements that are difficult to "show" in a movie.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:56 AM
 
2,179 posts, read 2,811,905 times
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How 'bout when a V.O. is not a character at all? Little Children has some of that, right? And what about what they call, "unreliable narrator"? Anyone able to explain that concisely?
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:05 AM
 
15,616 posts, read 9,158,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Humble View Post
did the whispering V.O.s belong to a young Brad Pitt, as he tries to sort out his abusive childhood?
No
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Humble View Post
When you say intrusive and over done, do you mean they came too often
Yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Humble View Post
ran too long
They're ultra brief but insistent. There isn't much dialogue at all in this film and these whispers account for over half the spoken word.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Humble View Post
gave away too much?
The words don't give away much of anything. The intention/meaning is evident after the first utterance. All it reveals, IMO, is that Malick loves that particular device and underestimates his audience's ability to get his message.
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