Two for the “Cinema” category of “Pet Peeves”:
1) you know the thing where they show you a thing for a second, then fade to back real fast, then show you a thing, then fade to black real soon, over and over? Often times its a really interesting visual — you really want to see it, but they fade to black almost as soon as they show it to you. You know that effect? I hate that effect. Please make them stop doing that. If they think it makes you more curious, it doesn’t. It mainly makes me pissed off. It suggests to me that far from having anything interesting to show, they have nothing interesting to show, so they make uninteresting things seem important by taking them away from you. Sort of creating a scarcity of image, creating a demand by leaving you wanting more. I see it as cliched, uninspired, a trick to deceive you into believing there’s more where that came from, a tease. The more they do it, the more pissed off I become.
2) Really, really dark scenes. Perhaps it’s night time. Perhaps we’re in a dark room. Perhaps its some sort of dreamland or outerspace, but the filmmaker decides what’s really required is a really dimly lit scene. Newsflash: a dimly lit scene does not evoke darkness. It does not create or sustain an illusion of darkness. It diminishes any illusion at all — what I see in a dimly lit scene is my own living room, which is very far from being ominous or suspenseful. I see my own shape on the sofa, my own bowl of potato chips. I see a reminder to do some situps. I don’t care if you are David Lynch or Andrei Tarkovsky or Ingmar Bergman or the Coen brothers: dimly lit, dark scenes absolutely do not achieve the apparently desired effect.