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Kenneth Branagh Had No Idea How to Shoot 'Thor' So It's All Dutch Angles

Nov 3, 2017


Written by Scott Willson

Making a superhero movie is hard. Making a good superhero movie? You can pretty much forget it. The transition process from comic strip to film strip typically proves to be more arduous than few are willing to bargain for, despite the fact that graphic novels are essentially in film storyboard format already.

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe blasted off with 2008's IRON MAN, it became clear that society needed (and was going to fucking get) a standalone THOR origin picture.

But who the hell could possibly pull this off without making it look sillier than an extremely low-turnout LARPing jamboree in Acton, Ontario?

Kenneth Branagh

KENNETH "SHAKESPEARE" BRANAGH that's god damn who.

In a 2010 interview with Geoff Boucher of Hero Complex, KennyB admits to being a fan of Thor comics as a youngster.

"Inspired by the comic book world both pictorially and compositionally at once, we've tried to find a way to make a virtue and a celebration of the distinction between the worlds that exist in the film but absolutely make them live in the same world.

It's about finding the framing style, the color palette, the texture and the amount of camera movement that helps celebrate and express the differences and the distinctions in those worlds. If it succeeds, it will mark this film as different...."

Here, our boy Kenny mentions "composition" as well as "framing style" in effort to mark his entry into the MCU as unique and different from the other 178,000 films that he surely knew were sliding down the greased up Disney pipeline.

This can only mean one thing: DUTCH ANGLE THE SHIT OUT OF IT boys!


Noun (plural Dutch angles)

A cinematic tactic achieved by tilting the camera off to the side. The shot is composed with the horizon not parallel with the bottom of the frame. The technique is often used to portray the psychological uneasiness of the subject being filmed.  

Simply tilt your camera left or right by about 35 degrees and suddenly your movie is going to slide right off this flat earth we all live on.

Thor Dutch Angle

But you can use it for interior shots too!

Thor Dutch Angle

Or like this!

Thor Dutch Angle

Might as well be a drinking game.

Thor Dutch Angle

In fact, if you consistently keep your eyes peeled for these types of crooked shots, this film skirts dangerously close to parodytown. SNL Digital Shorts really missed the boat on this one.

Can we get a Ryan Gosling skit where he wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, panicking about the overuse of dutch angles in THOR?

Listen, we've all agreed that Kenneth Branagh's first and only foray into superhero filmmaking is ultimately a middling and passable (if forgettable) superhero film. But, part of me feels bad for even chirping it; THOR may perhaps be the most charmingly quaint and harmless of all the Marvel movies.

For a Benny Hill breakdown of all the dutch angles in this crazy damn thing, check out LeftJet's comprehensive video below:


Keep it Vertical kids!