Looking through the glass onion

Peeling back the layers of Rian Johnson’s ‘Glass Onion.’

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Graphic by Tiger Times staff.

Peeling back the layers of Rian Johnson’s ‘Glass Onion.’

   The story of a murder, a will, a tangled web of clues and red herrings; ‘Knives Out’ the critically acclaimed film featuring a star-studded cast including Daniel Craig and Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the latest examples of film noir and it is finally getting its long-awaited sequel on Nov. 23, 2022. 

   Film noir is a style or genre of film used to classify those classic pessimistic and fatalistic whodunit detective films and thrillers that have become utterly ingrained into American culture and media. Though the way in which we apply the term has shifted slightly, going from specifically referring to films produced in 1944-1954 to almost all films reminiscent of themes presented by films like these. 

   Director Rian Johnson uses humor, blocking, set design and of course, the trademark pessimistic fatalism to make a stand-apart film perfectly reflecting the heart of the film noir style. Something that is sure to be brought into his next film release, the ‘Knives Out’ sequel, Glass Onion ( a name shared with a Beatles song used to highlight looking for hidden meanings) Once again taring Daniel Craig as the renowned southern detective Benoit Blanc, the movie will unravel a brand new mystery while also giving a closer look at who Blanc really is including his yet to be revealed queer relationship, something rather new and unseen so far in a genre like this one. 

Under the direction of Johnson and his crew audiences can expect to see expressive and captivating camera, lighting and editing work used in a unique unison that creates a spellbinding story just as was done with the first film 

   These techniques while they often go unnoticed play an astoundingly important role when it comes to filmmaking. Lighting, camera work and editing almost create a story of their own giving subconscious clues as to the character’s motives and the most important thing of all, whodunit. Techniques like these add nuances and deeper meanings by layering story atop of story allowing them to build off of each other. ‘Knives Out’ makes use of this through flashbacks, showing how they are used to connect the pieces of the puzzle right before the eyes of viewers, each one playing the same scene from a new and different perspective reliant on varying characters. 

   Glass Onion is attempting to breathe new life into a genre of the past. Its director’s use of technique, set design and character building will allow them to accomplish this massive undertaking of paying respect to the past while still adapting to a modern setting.