The five Dutchest angles in the trailer for Danny Boyle’s Trance

Friday January 11th 2013


Perhaps the most astounding thing about Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony show Isles of Wonder was not its spectacular scale or painstaking exactitude, but the fact that its director managed to get through the entire thing without once tilting his camera to the side and making everyone all wonky.

Boyle has had a soft spot for Dutch angles ever since his 1994 breakthrough film Shallow Grave. Over the years, his dedication to this unsightliest of cinematographic techniques has waxed and waned (reaching saturation point in 2008’s feel-good-orphan-torture movie Slumdog Millionaire) but from the look of Trance, he’s not ready to let them go just yet. Here are the five Dutchest angles in the film’s angular two-minute trailer:

James sits on a bed at 7° (1:14)

Possible reason for wonkiness: used to convey James’s fractured state of mind.

James gets roughed up at 8° (0:57)

Possible reason for wonkiness: used to convey the discomfort James feels at the hands of his oppressors.

Gas fills an auction house at 9° (0:28)

Possible reason for wonkiness: used to convey the disorientation experienced by the auctiongoers.

James approaches a car at 12° (1:34)

Possible reason for wonkiness: used to convey James’s suspicion of the mysterious car.

A tense meeting goes down at 15° (1:08)

Possible reason for wonkiness: uneven table legs.