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The Oxford English Dictionary has added a bunch of nerdy words for film critics

This is very Tarantinoesque. Are we using that right?
Photo: Express (Getty Images)

Do you ever wonder what somebody actually means when they say something is “Tarantinoesque?” Have you ever seen a movie where someone heard a “diegetic” sound, but you don’t know what that means? Do you attend a lot of artsy film festivals and wish you knew what “mumblecore” really was? Well, the Oxford English Dictionary has your back, because it has added a handful of nerdy-ass words that film critics use, thereby robbing them of their power and returning language back to the common man where it belongs. Take that, critics!

Some of the film words are fairly obvious if you have a standard familiarity with, you know, films. “Tarantinoesque” is used to refer to a film that has a lot of violence, snappy dialogue, and satirical themes, while “Kubrickian” refers to a film with “meticulous perfectionism” and deeply buried metaphors about faking the moon landing. “Sword-and-sandal” is a term used to describe movies set in an ancient world where characters use bladed weapons and wear strappy shoes.


Others might not be as well-known, like the aforementioned “diagetic,” which is when a sound or music occurs within a scene (like if the characters are listening to the radio when a song plays). There’s also “shaky cam,” which is when it looks like the camera was hand-held, and “walla,” which describes the indistinct murmur you’ll hear in a shot of a big crowd. “Mumblecore,” of course, is a low-budget film with a naturalistic style that’s all about talking. IndieWire has more movie words, and you can see the massive list of new words at Oxford’s website.

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