I’m not comparing lens flare jokes to bullying on a grand level or anything here, because morals don’t come into this. From a purely creative standpoint, bullies are aggravating because the things they use to antagonize their victims are repetitive, trite, and stick to the surface. You want to be a more impressive douchebag? Get some better material. The same goes for people who batter J.J. Abrams for his rampant use of lens flares. Most of whom take their residence here on the Internet, usually in comment sections. I seriously doubt anybody is having vocal conversations with other people about this artistic choice more than they are about the subject matter. But that’s just my take on it. Simon Pegg had a lot more to say.
Star Trek Into Darkness finally opened here last night, and it’s already got some positive reviews out there. People will be talking about the film for quite some time because it’s full of action sequences and Benedict Cumberbatch. There are more interesting things to pick apart than lens flares. But for those still hung up on them, Pegg has a few choice words, given in an interview with Collider. Check out the entire quote below, because it’s too good to edit. He’s answering the question, “Who made the first joke about lens flares?”
Probably some film student who wanted to demonstrate his or her knowledge of film terminology, thus elevating themselves to an assumed level of critical superiority, which gave them the kind of smug, knowing smile that indicates a festering sour grape, fizzing in the pit of their own ambition. It’s become a sort of communal stick to have a crack at JJ with, mostly by people who didn’t know what the fuck lens flare was, until someone started sneering the term all over their blog. It demonstrates JJ’s supreme talent as a film maker that the main means of knocking him is to magnify a throw away artistic choice, into some sort of hilarious failing. Lens flare is essentially an anomaly caused by light hitting the lens and creating refracted shapes. Because it draws attention to the fact that we are looking at a filmed event, it actually creates a subliminal sense of documentary realism and makes the moment more vital and immediate. In the same way Spielberg spattered his shots with bloody seawater in Saving Private Ryan, JJ suggests that the moment we are in is so real and alive, there just isn’t time to frame out all the light and activity. The irony is by acknowledging the film’s artifice, you are enhancing the reality of the moment. It’s clever and I love it. On set we call it ‘best in show’ and our amazing director of photography, Dan Mindel has a special technique to achieve it. To the detractors, I offer a polite fuck you and suggest you find a new stick to beat us with, if being a huge, boring neggyballs is necessary for your personal happiness.
Of course, you may not agree with either Pegg or my views, and I’m not calling anyone a huge, boring neggyballs. Let’s just go back to bashing everything but the children in Abrams’ Super 8, can we?