If you're a filmmaker or a camera nerd, you're probably very familiar with Dutch angles. A Dutch angle is created when the camera is tilted to some degree on its horizontal axis. This makes straight lines appear to be askew. So, why would you ever want to do this? When used correctly, a Dutch angle can serve as a very effective way of communicating disorientation, anxiety, and many other feelings. However, when used incorrectly, Dutch angles can be distracting and even annoying. They tend to catch a bad wrap because so many films use them excessively and without good cause. But Danny Boyle has proven that Dutch angles can be wonderful when thoughtfully employed. Boyle doesn't just tilt a shot to tilt a shot. Boyle's Dutch angles tell us something. There is always a motivation behind the adjustment. Even the slightest of tilts can create a subconscious feeling or lend some insight to the inner workings of a character. To put it simply, Danny knows his Dutches. Watch Trainspotting here on Fandor to see Boyle's masterful use of Dutch angles.
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Danny “Dutch” Boyle
How this Oscar winning director excels at employing the “Dutch angle.”
By: Jacob T. Swinney