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Citizenfour – good fun… except that it is a true story. However, the production style of the film did leave me a little disoriented and questioning the truthfulness of the film at times–especially in the beginning (which had to be a reenactment right? and why so many insert shots of the dog?). The cinematography and editing when combined with the cinema verite asthetic read more like a narrative film than a documentary. I wouldn’t say it was of exceptionally high production value that made me feel this way, but it was the asthetic choices that started with the cinematography. A shallow depth of field is something that we don’t typically associate with documentary films. It’s really hasn’t been until the past three to four years that documentary filmmakers have had access to cameras that could produce a shallow DOF like we see in Citizenfour. This look was typically reserved to big budget narratives that could afford and had the time to set up the big cameras capable of this look. Additionally, a shallow DOF is rare in documentary films because it is exponentially more difficult to focus. Instead of your focus puller having a four to five foot safety net, that is reduced to mere centimeters when shooting wide open. Oh yeah, and no autofocus… This cinematic look combined with multiple camera angles and many insert shots also reinforce the asthetic of a narrative film. It all looked nice, but I think these things can become a barrier for the viewer, especially if the main point of the film is convey factual information, and doubly so when it’s on the topic of surveillance.

I was impressed by the way Snowden handled himself and how that he did not want the story to become about him. It reminds me of how Anonymous operates off of the basis of the collective. It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets credit, when there is not individual competitition and the collective is focused on the pursuit of “epic wins.” And while these “transgressions” typically have been aimed against [the other of the government], now presidential candidates are trying to capitalize on them. Rand Paul 2016? When you live outside the rules, there are no rules to bend… aka Anonymous. But Presidents have rules. Or do they?

p.s. anddd why does Anonymous quote The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? “West Philadelphia born and raised” – do they even know what that means? No one with “a level of 9000” knows what that means.