Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★

Another big swing from Snyder. Has its moments of joy but Snyder’s aesthetic choices here left me completely baffled, opting for Canon 35mm & 50mm lenses with insanely wide apertures (f/1.5 & f/0.95 respectively) that cause his subjects to fall in and out of focus with simple movements and gestures. I am legitimately fascinated as to why someone would choose to shoot anything like this. Snyder, who served as his own DP, actually had to request a special mount for his cameras so he could use these lenses. There’s certainly a lot of room for interesting compositions with this approach, some of which are even explored here, and no discredit to Snyder for being a man who realizes his vision, but you’d have to be the most skilled photographer in the world to pull off this lens choice. Snyder just can’t do it, and this too frequently *ahem* blurs the line between "shallow depth of field" and "out of focus," alternating between interesting and frustrating as frequently as the the subjects move in and out of the focal plane. But like most things Snyder, and perhaps much like the movie itself, despite the obvious shortcomings, I admire the attempt.

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