The Pestle


Ep 63: “Birdman”

December 19, 2018

We fly through Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s oner “Birdman” and discuss:

  • cinematography, mirror shots, motivated camera moves, upstage lighting;
  • themes and story;
  • acting;
  • we are joined by special guest badass WETA Digital programmer, and actor Joe Howes(!!!);
  • and other such stuff and things and stuff.

Life and death matters, yes. And the question of how to behave in this world, how to go in the face of everything. Time is short and the water is rising. – Raymond Carver

Notes & References:
VFX of Birdman
More VFX of Birdman

This Week’s Recommendations:



  1. Marc Israel says:

    That an amazing episode. Birdman has so much going on and yet it was an audience insulting experience without a clear agenda. Glad you three were so passionate in your corners of expertise!

    Only had recently watched so am looking forward to next viewing, sorry, Wes, if reoeat viewing is too jarring, but I get it. Formerly in mortgage sales when GlenGarry Glen Ross appeared on my radar and I just couldn’t take it. So close to the truth! Now it’s an annual pilgrimage like Die Hard, (nice tie in, no?)

    I do want to point out about the one shot in my personal NYC 3year existence. You are always afraid to close your eyes and let your guard down. It takes a while to trust what you can’t see in “The City” and that’s how I felt watching for the first time. The hallways, corridors and nooks of New York. They are a character in the story

    And that guy in the drums!!!!!!

    1. Marc Israel says:

      Wasn’t an audience insulting experience!!! I need to proof read my replies here, sorry!

    2. wes says:

      Totally! This is probably one of my favorite episodes we’ve done, really loved hearing Todd & Joe’s thoughts.

      haha, I wouldn’t say ‘jarring’ per se, it’s just so good, intense, and with the unblinking nature of an uninterrupted edit it’s just really exhausting for me to watch because I simply cannot look away. A good problem if ever there was one, lol.

      Great point about New York being a character in the story! How can you possibly discuss theater without talking about Broadway and New York City? Now that you’ve said it I cannot help but love how tightly they wove in New York’s fabric, both the importance of Broadway (as stated by the NYT critic) and the faceless crowds all add so much to the context of the story and I never would’ve understood what it means to put on a play in that environment without it.

      1. Marc Israel says:

        All three of you made it the best episode with letting yourselves enjoy what was oresebmnted and then reviewing it. Certainly the most entertaining episode!

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