Indy 4 director Steven Spielberg recently told N.Y. Times contributor Terrence Rafferty that “he tries to cut as little as possible” in the Indy action sequences because “every time the camera changes dynamic angles, you feel there’s something wrong, that there’s some cheating going on.” Precisely. Too many movies feel like visual cheats from the get-go. So Spielberg’s goal is “to do the shots the way Chaplin or Keaton would, everything happening before the eyes of the audience, without a cut.”
Sounding a little bit like Werner Herzog, Spielberg explained that “the idea is, there’s no illusion; what you see is what you get. My movies have never been frenetically cut, the way a lot of action is done today. That’s not a put-down; some of that quick cutting, like in The Bourne Ultimatum is fantastic, just takes my breath away. But to get the comedy I want in the Indy films, you have to be old-fashioned. I’ve studied a lot of the old movies that made me laugh, and you’ve got to stage things in full shots and let the audience be the editor. It’s like every shot is a circus act.” Brilliant. I love this. No more Spielberg bashing until further notice.