Over the past handful of years a number of films have turned to unconventional framing techniques to change the way we ingest cinema.
Using examples ranging from Sam Raimi to Xavier Dolan to Wes Anderson and more, Dutch film magazine De Filmkrant has put together the following video essay with the intention of explaining the decisions behind “the box we tell our stories in”.
The aspect ratio of a film literally frames our experience of the entire work, from highlighting what the viewer sees, to focusing on content through a visual constriction of pre-existing boundaries. Whereas real-life exists in 360 degrees, filmmakers must make conscious decisions about what to put inside this box, what to exclude, and how to present it all to the audience.
Mostly, films stick to a few standard widescreen aspect ratios, or, the less common 4:3 aspect ratio. Here, De Filmkrant argues that there has been a rise in non-traditional aspect ratios, including films that change proportions mid-scene or reject the idea of a rectangular frame altogether.
Source: De Filmkrant