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Why 2011’s Thor Had So Many Dutch Angle Shots

The cinematographer of 2011’s Thor reveals the reason behind the multiple Dutch angle shots in the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster.

Why did Thor have so many Dutch angle shots?

Haris Zambarloukos, the cinematographer who worked under the direction of Kenneth Branagh in the God of Thunder’s MCU debut, discussed the tough creative decision to incorporate so many Dutch angles in the movie.

“It was a hard decision to make,” Zambarloukos explained to The Direct. “But it seemed to be a very simple way of showing kind of the difference between dissonance and harmony in a character or a landscape, and without much, and it seemed to work in that graphic world that the comic books had come from. And it also seemed to trace back to the German expressionist idea of delving deep into the soul and into the psyche.”

Zambarloukos continued by explaining how the mythology of Thor was crucial in making such off-beat creative choices around the look and feel of the movie.

“Thor is a kind of mythological, modern-day interpretation of mythology. And mythology has always delved into the human condition and the human psyche. And it’s dissonant, and it goes back to creating and earning a kind of harmony or dissonance. So that play when you use it, and when you don’t, I think, is a very useful and interesting tool. I think we’ve never used it – we’ve never used it as much with [Kenneth Branagh] as we had in Thor. But it always comes back to us. We always feel like there’s a certain moment in some films that we need to – it has its place.”

As the third installment of the MCU’s Phase 1, the original Thorbroke away from the grounded approach of Iron Man and Hulk by depicting the fantastical world of Asgard. It played as a fish out of water tale for the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) while taking inspiration from the likes of the Lord of the Rings franchise. Released in the summer of 2011, Thor received mostly positive reviews and a worldwide gross of $449 million.

Later entries in the Thor franchise took sharply different creative routes. 2013’s Thor: The Dark World by frequent Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor became more serious and darker than its predecessor. 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder doubled down on the Flash Gordon-esque space opera comedy under the direction of Taika Waititi.

Thor and its sequels are now streaming on Disney+.