I just saw Limitless [imdb, wikipedia, trailer – though I prefer the shorter one on imdb] and am having a love affair with the cinematography. It was directed by Neil Burger and the DP was Jo Willems. Randomly both are involved in filmed movies I am waiting for: Burger is doing Divergent, and Willems is doing the next Hunger Games. My understanding of whether the director or the DP creates/styles/frames the shot is shaky at best, but however it was decided I love it because the visual basically shows the story in exactly my thought process. Take this clip for example: she gives his keys back and then breaks up with him. The motion and focus on the keys, then the pan up to the face as the character realizes what it implies, and then the pan/cut to her reaction to his reaction. He’s thrown by the gesture and his shot moves a lot, close to disorienting, but her shot is steady as is her resolve. I kind of wish it was a straight pan from his face to her’s, but that’s really only something I thought about after I rewatched the scene a few times.
The whole movie utilizes perspective and moving shots, playing with varied levels of disorientation, to signify how the drug changes perception. The color schemes of the shots also change, but I found that secondary to the physical set up of the shots. I will to make some more gifs and write another post (or two).
Limitless: its journey from novel to movie – by Alan Glynn, the author of The Dark Fields, the book, the movie was based on