22 September 2012

Looper: Time Travel Meets Left Handedness

[Spoilers--but nothing you wouldn't learn from the trailer]

When you mix time travel, assassins, and Bruce Willis (a great leftie), you get a tangled tale of murderous switch hitting--You get Looper. I have no evidence that writer/director Rian Johnson is left handed, but he has to manage both time travel and hand preference, two potentially confusing threads, in this new film.

The plot involves both younger (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and older (played by Bruce Willis) versions of hitperson Joseph Simmons. Since Gordon-Levitt is right handed, some acting and perhaps camera tricks were involved.

Willis as leftie older Joe
Gordon-Levitt as "leftie"(?) younger Joe
In the trailer 1 (here) younger Joe sometimes appears to be left handed, sometimes right handed.

Hand preference issues can lead to continuity problems, as in the shot where Joe reaches into his lap for his pistol, which might have been shot by a second unit. The shot had to be reversed to make it appear he is reaching with his left hand. (See IMFDb.) In the rest of the shots from this diner scene in trailer 2 (here), young Joe handles his weapon right handed. (He also seems to switch from an automatic to a revolver in this clip.) We'll have to wait for the finished film to see if they have gotten all this straightened out.

[Update 2 May 2013--I guess writer/director Rian Johnson didn't try to make anything out of Joe's hand preference. In the film Bruce Willis is mostly left handed, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is mostly right handed. There is no explanation of the apparent change in handedness that happens over the intervening 30 years from Young Joe to Old Joe. And no clever plot elements depend on hand preference. Opportunity wasted? Did Mr. Johnson think we just wouldn't notice? What do you think?]

Older Joe and younger Joe images are from Internet Movie Firearms Database, extracted from trailers for the film.

Bruce Willis's hand preference is revealed in previous posts here and here.

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