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Xavier Dolan’s Mommy Was Shot In a New Aspect Ratio


As far as I know, this is a first: Québecois auteur Xavier Dolan’s fifth feature Mommy premiered at Cannes today, and word has trickled out from first viewers that it’s shot in a ratio that’s new to the movies. 1.1 is a perfect square: think a CD cover photo. Dolan shot a music video in the aspect ratio last year, which inspired him to do the same for Mommy — a fact he somehow managed to keep under wraps. In the press kit, Dolan explains his thought process:

“After having shot a music video in 1:1 last year, it dawned on me that this ratio translated in a somewhat unique emotion and simplicity.

The perfect square in which it consists framed faces with such simplicity, and seemed like the ideal structure for ‘portrait’ shots. No distraction, no affectations are possible in such constricted space. The character is our main subject, inescapably at the center of our attention. Our eyes cannot miss him, her.”

More word will surely be coming down the pike about how Dolan pulled this off. Read his full statement from the press kit here. In the meantime, check out the aforementioned video for Indochine’s “College Boy.” Be warned: it’s got bullying and gun violence and is generally heavy stuff.

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