Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

Biological classic: The Andromeda Strain.


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
49 replies to this topic

#1 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 02 2006 - 10:53 AM

Directed by Robert Wise and from novelist Michel Crichton “The Andromeda Strain” is a terrifying science fiction drama which tells the story of a biological virus that as wiped out a small American community, with only two survivors a man and baby, now the “wildfire” team, have to find what killed the town and isolate the deadly virus before it could destroy mankind!

So no spoilers hear will be giving away, as this film still works even today, having seen it now for first time presented in “Panavision scope 2.35:1” which truly remarkable, the use of the cinematography by “Richard H. Kline” shows one type of photography that caught my eye “Slit Lens Dioptre” where two images remain focused one in the foreground and the other in the background area, the process and its technical usage gives the film an edge.


Richard H. Kline
http://www.cinematog...sDoPh/kline.htm


Sound mix is monaural, thou the recording techniques back in these days where still good standards, but the 70mm six-track mag process would have really been in order for this type of DVD, it’s mostly dialogue orientated throughout the films running time, music is used sparingly by composer “Gil Melle.”

Final thoughts, I have found this film very inspirational of ideas, ideas for Sci-Fi story that I’m working on myself, thou it’s a very slow process, this film as some very well written lines.


Year of release 1971

Panavision 2.35:1 Anamorphic 16:9

Running time 125 minutes 17 seconds

Rating image 9/10

Sound monaural 7//10

Overall rating for film 9/10


So what does everyone else think about this film and its technical key aspects excreta?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066769/

#2 of 50 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

Lord Dalek

    Screenwriter



  • 2,168 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 04 2005

Posted June 02 2006 - 05:03 PM

It's in mono because the US prints were all mono. Also the 70mm mix has likely been junked.

#3 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 02 2006 - 06:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Henderson
It's in mono because the US prints were all mono. Also the 70mm mix has likely been junked.

Joel

Junked, well I guess a restoration version is out of the question then!?

Well that explains it than, cheers mate.

#4 of 50 OFFLINE   Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony

    Second Unit



  • 446 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 25 2001

Posted June 02 2006 - 09:55 PM

amended

#5 of 50 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

Joe Karlosi

    Producer



  • 6,001 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 05 2003

Posted June 02 2006 - 10:32 PM

Well, I'll just say it's one of my very favorite films and I think it's great.

#6 of 50 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

Robert Crawford

    Studio Mogul



  • 25,077 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 1998
  • Real Name:Robert
  • LocationMichigan

Posted June 02 2006 - 11:47 PM

Andy and David,
Enough already with the personal comments.




Crawdaddy

Crawdaddy

 

Blu-ray Preorder Listing

 


#7 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 03 2006 - 12:24 AM

Robert

I apologies for that remake, it was uncalled for.



I have seen The Andromeda Stain” many times before, in aspect ratio close to 1.85:1, that’s when the TV network station zooms in slightly after the opening credits, and cropping the sides is a little distracting form what the cinematography by “Richard H. Kline” filmed.

But seeing it last presented in 2.35:1 was grand, thou its petty that the 70mm blow-up prints have been junked, so I can just imagine its got a lot of dialogue panning in it, with sound effects placed all over the fronts, and some surround effects.

But still its great film, or idea from “Michel Crichton” I have seen many of his works now, on film and I’m very impressed with his works, what a talented mind.

#8 of 50 OFFLINE   SteveJKo

SteveJKo

    Second Unit



  • 374 posts
  • Join Date: May 05 2005

Posted June 03 2006 - 04:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
Well, I'll just say it's one of my very favorite films and I think it's great.

Same here! Finally saw it widescreen on TCM about a year ago. It's one of those films I always mean to pick up when I'm out shopping, but it's never in stock. Amazon.com, here I come! Am I correct in assuming the DVD is anamorphic?
You're In The Show With Todd-AO!

#9 of 50 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Nelson

Jeffrey Nelson

    Screenwriter



  • 1,066 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 04 2003
  • Real Name:Jeffrey Nelson
  • LocationSeattle, WA

Posted June 03 2006 - 05:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by andySu
Robert I apologies for that remake, it was uncalled for.

If only the people responsible would apologize for the thoroughly uncalled-for remake of HOUSE OF WAX...

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. You may now hurl all sorts of deadly objects at me. Posted Image

#10 of 50 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

Joe Karlosi

    Producer



  • 6,001 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 05 2003

Posted June 03 2006 - 07:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey Nelson
If only the people responsible would apologize for the thoroughly uncalled-for remake of HOUSE OF WAX...

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. You may now hurl all sorts of deadly objects at me. Posted Image

Nobody's sicker of new remakes than I am, but I actually enjoyed this film. It wasn't a HOUSE OF WAX remake at all, except in name only (and that's something that needs to stop too).

#11 of 50 OFFLINE   Dick

Dick

    Producer



  • 4,259 posts
  • Join Date: May 22 1999
  • Real Name:Rick

Posted June 03 2006 - 11:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveJKo
Am I correct in assuming the DVD is anamorphic?

It is. the current DVD is the best video presentation of the movie so far. It eliminates all that horrid distortion in the reds found of one level of the base, so distracting on the laser discs. The ratio is much closer to the intended 2.35 (the laser was about 2.1). The sound, while mono, is cleaner by far. Plus, there is a making-of doc and a trailer. Their SILENT RUNNING reissue is decent, too.

Wish Universal had so treated its DVD's of COLOSSUS THE FORBIN PROJECT and ICEMAN.

#12 of 50 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

Gordon McMurphy

    Producer



  • 3,530 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2002

Posted June 03 2006 - 12:43 PM

What an interesting coincidence - yesterday I was reading as much as I could about split diopters, after seeing De Palma's, Dressed to Kill for the first time in its 2.35:1 Panavison framing. This film, as with many of De Palma's films, is teeming with split diopter shots, as well 'hard' split-screen and soft optical split-screen flashbacks. From what I can gather, split diopters (sometimes called bi-focal lenses) have been around for a hundred years, though they were used only in still photography. The Technirama process apparently was when they were brought into use in cinematography - King of Kings (1961, Nicholas Ray) has some shots, apparently, though I'd have to look at the film again to see where they are used. Wise and De Palma used them extensively in the 70s. Wise's, Star Trek: The Motion Picture seems to have the most diopter shots in any movie that I have ever seen. This was due to the brdige of the Enterprise having such depth, with many of the characters talking to each other from far away, so deep-focus cinematography was desired, but as the film was to be shot in anamorphic Panavision, it was impossible to achieve this, so diopters had to be used. Richard Kline had a lot of experience with them (the previous year, he had shot De Palma's, The Fury, incidentally) and with split-screen (he shot The Boston Strangler in 1968) and was, of course, one of the best DPs of the day. The monitors on the Enterprise were from played back from 16mm and would have looked blurred and fuzzy without the diopters. Unfortunately, Star Trek has some pretty ugly diopter shots - the rail on the bridge often gets smudged and disjointed by the parting line of the two lenses; De Palma's compositions were always better thought out to compensate with this defect, like the edge of the fish tank in Body Double or the darkness in shot in Blow Out with the owl on the right foreground and Travolta on the left background - or is that shot a post-production optical?

The Andromeda Strain has some great diopter shots. As does, The Hindenburg. Wise fell in love with deep-focus while editing Citizen Kane, but he also loved the 2.35:1 widescreen, so he had to chose one or the other until the early 70s (does The Sand Pebbles or Star! have diopter shots?).

Mike Nichols', Catch 22 has a great diopter shot, where Milo Minderbinder (Jon Voight) holds up the egg to Cathcart (Martin Balsam) and everything is on focus on the Panavision frame. Amazing cinematography by the great David Watkin (The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968); Out of Africa; Chariots of Fire; The Devils) and well worth studying if you are interesting in daring filmmaking and cinematography.

Gordon Willis used diopters in All the President's Men - the shot with Redford in focus and the group of men watching the TV in the background is amazing. But that's Willis for you!

#13 of 50 OFFLINE   Stan

Stan

    Screenwriter



  • 2,252 posts
  • Join Date: May 18 1999

Posted June 03 2006 - 12:46 PM

Have always liked this film. Bought it a year or two ago on DVD and was very pleased to finally see it in its OAR.

Although it's obviously a little bit dated with the technology it portrays, it's so well done, you're so "in the moment", you almost don't notice.

Even though it's a lazy Hollywood habit, this is one I wouldn't mind seeing remade, as long as Crichton were involved and it was done well.
Stan

#14 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 03 2006 - 02:24 PM

Gordon

I have noticed the use of the “split dioptre” in most of the above films that you mentioned, didn’t know the optical lens was around for a hundred years, wow, I’m still learning something new everyday, cheers mate.

Not sure if there are many directors of photography still using it, the last film I have seen it used in, was “Snake Eyes” which I have on NTSC laserdisc1998.

Can this proscess be used with “super35” I cant say I have seen a film with it in, “Born on the fourth of July” used this technique of the “split dioptre” in several shots in the film, but where using anamorphic lenses.

I’m rather chuffed now that I have a good looking version of, “The Andromeda Strain” on DVD, and it makes for relaxing viewing while I’m online sometimes, at the moment it’s not playing, but that doesn’t mean I might be playing it tomorrow.


Stan

LOL

No, no, no mate no more remakes we have had just about enough of them inn last ew years, with faster edits plagued with CGI and Dolby Digital sound that basically looks awful, I have one such remake “Flight of the Phoenix” 2005, have only watched it once, and that was in 2005, it sucked, have watched, “The Andromeda Strain” countless times, just goes to show.

#15 of 50 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

Gordon McMurphy

    Producer



  • 3,530 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2002

Posted June 03 2006 - 03:04 PM

Yeah, De Palma still uses diopters, although I have not seen Snake Eyes or Femme Fatale and it will remain to be seen if he used them on The Black Dahlia.

Diopters are available for all film-camera formats, I believe, but it is with anamorphic lense formats that they are most frequently used, as it was and more or less still is, very difficult to achieve deep-focus with anamorphic lenses. All the President's Men was spherical 1.85, but as the men in the background were so far away, a diopter had to be used. Actually, I believe that Willis had some kind of special rig built for that shot that allowed for better focusing when the camera moved. De Palma's, Carrie is also spherical 1.85 - the shot in the classroom where Carrie and Tommy are both in tight focus, etc.

Now that we have digital tools, it is easier to manipulate an image and composite two seperate images.

BTW: The diopter can also be fitted so that the split is horizontal. It isn't used often, but De Palma used it for the shot in Dressed to Kill where the killer picks up Angie Dickenson's glove as she gets into the cab.

Spielberg used to use diopters when he shot in Panavision. The interiors of the car scenes in The Sugarland Express utilise them magnificently (cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond) and there's that landmark 360-degree shot inside the car. Jaws has diopters, but I can't recall where they are - the Brody household?

#16 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 03 2006 - 04:13 PM

Gordon

Most of the films that I have seen with the “split lens dioptre” have been in scope!

I was going say Jaws earlier, I have seen it “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” I can’t really comment on “The Sugarland Express” as I have only seen a P&S version of the film some 20 years ago on TV, TV sucks!

So besides most of the big Hollywood mavericks that have used this process, and few of the veterans of Hollywood, I’m looking at the cluster of films on DVD and Laserdisc some 850, and trying to place how many films that I have with this type of optical process.

I have a few Brain De Palma films “Casualties of War” uses the “split lens dioptre” and cluster of Spielberg films, and many other famous directors, but isn’t it the DP discussion about how he or she is going to light it and shot it?

#17 of 50 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

Simon Howson

    Screenwriter



  • 1,779 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 18 2004

Posted June 03 2006 - 04:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
Yeah, De Palma still uses diopters, although I have not seen Snake Eyes or Femme Fatale and it will remain to be seen if he used them on The Black Dahlia.
I hope Black Dahlia is shot in anamorphic. De Palma directed his first anamorphic film with Zsigmond as cinematographer -Obsession (1976) - there are diopter shots all over that film as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
Spielberg used to use diopters when he shot in Panavision. The interiors of the car scenes in The Sugarland Express utilise them magnificently (cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond) and there's that landmark 360-degree shot inside the car.
I'm not sure that 360 degree pan was a diopter shot. I think they just used a very wide angle anamorphic lens, perhaps 35mm or 40mm.

There are a heap of dopter shots in the John Frankenhiemers film I Walk the Line, which was recently released on DVD. The image below possibly features two diopters, that end just in front of the foreground actors' noses. The unexposed section of the lens focuses Gregory Peck normally, way off in the background plane.

Posted Image

Frankenhiemer also used them extensively in The Horsmen, which I think was filmed in 65mm (I'm not totally sure, because there is no photographic credit, but it looks like other 65mm films).

#18 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 03 2006 - 05:06 PM

Simon

Is that Gregory Peck in the centre there?

I like that image mate, that is Gregory Peck, wait a second, was there “split lens dioptre” shot in The Omen?

Can you buy these optical lenses for normal 35mm camera photography?

#19 of 50 OFFLINE   Vincent-P

Vincent-P

    Second Unit



  • 334 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 19 2004

Posted June 03 2006 - 06:02 PM

Final Destination 3 had a split dioptre shot (or at least a shot digitally composited to look like a split dioptre) when Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character is at her computer in the extreme foreground and her sister is in her doorway in the extreme background. I was impressed that they used a shot like that. Split dioptres are one of my favorite types of shots. I first noticed them in Scorsese's "Cape Fear" remake, but didn't know what it was called for a long time until I listened to the John Carpenter/Kurt Russell commentary for "The Thing."

#20 of 50 OFFLINE   andySu

andySu

    Screenwriter



  • 1,930 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2006

Posted June 03 2006 - 06:17 PM

Vincent

Cape Fear and The Thing are two that I have, the first time I have ever heard the technical term “split lens dioptre” was on the audio commentary track with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell, but I guess the first time I would have ever see this type of effect was in Jaws 1974.

So they can do this with the use do this with the computer, well that doesn’t surprise me.


Back to DVD



Forum Nav Content I Follow