Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl is one of the best indie movies I've seen this year. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon makes some brilliant choices with the way he uses the camera and it creates a sort of visual poetry. In one scene he gives us -- the audience -- the same feeling that our characters have while they're on drugs. Let's check it out.
The magic of this scene comes from the way Gomez-Rejon decides to spin the camera back and forth between each character as they start speaking. By doing this, Gomez-Rejon gives us the same feeling Earl and Greg do as soon as they walk into the room.
Not that I have ever known what it feels like to be on drugs, the way that the camera moves left and right throughout the scene gives audience the same "spinning room" feeling that one would have if they were on drugs. Again, I have never had this feeling personally but friends tell me it's pretty accurate.
The next thing that's important to take note of is when the camera starts cutting between each actor in the scene. Gomez-Rejon only starts cutting once the characters admit that they are on drugs. This is immediately noticeable in comparison to the rest of the scene.
It's as if the Earl and Greg had control of the camera when they went into the room but once Rachel finds out that they're high, she gains control of the camera. Since she's sober, the camera becomes "sober" as well and it's such an interesting way to portray the feeling of all of the characters in the room during the same scene.
In this scene, Gomez-Rejon (pictured above) creates a visual poem on what it feels like to be on drugs. The movement at the beginning of the scene versus the sudden stop of movement act as bookends for two different physical feelings that exist on the spectrum of doing drugs (being high v. being sober).
The rest of the movie is filled with little visual poems within each scene and if you still haven't seen Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, you should catch in the theater as soon as you can.