Hit Me With Your Best Shot!: “Ghostbusters”

 

The Film Experience’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot is back! Perfectly timed to the release of the reboot trailer, the kick off for the series’ seventh season is comedy classic Ghostbusters. I was positively giddy over the trailer, so this made for an exciting revisit.

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Once of my favorite visual elements of Ghostbusters is the way cinematographer László Kovács captures Manhattan. There’s a certain scale that New York City gives the film that’s uncommon for a comedy, even with the monster movie pieces in play. The city is often portrayed on film as alive and bursting with innovation, but here it’s the kind of ancient tome where ghouls can run amok. It’s among my favorite New York movies.

Alternately, not all of its Manhattan panorama is authentic. The film balances a large number of constructed sets against the natural city streets to heighten the scope, with underpraised work from production designer John DeCuir. Leading up to the best shot of the film, I also have to bring up one of Ghostbusters primary sets.

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We Need to Talk About Dana Barrett’s Apartment. She is a cellist and can somehow afford that view and square footage? Her home is basically a penthouse palace, featured throughout Zuul’s demonic takeover of Sigourney Weaver’s Dana. It’s our view over the gorgeous city but also into the heart of the monster. It also has hilarious couches.

So what is the best shot?

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The demon waits, with the city behind. Those couches deserved it.

The possession sequence features Weaver at her silliest and sexiest, but here she’s actually somewhat terrifying. Having Dana Only Zuul not facing the gorgeous city below suggests a claimed domain – don’t fight me, this already is mine. The shot is an exquisite balance of intimate and expansive, again the kind of sumptuous visual rarely afford to a comedy.

Are you the keymaster? *door slam*

Join us for the rest of the season’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot!

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