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Silver City -- 16 mm (1 Viewer)

Haggai

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Nov 3, 2003
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I saw this yesterday, and I enjoyed it, John Sayles' writing and great ensemble casting almost always work for me. But as I was watching it, I thought, a lot of these scenes look lousy, is there something wrong with the projection? Maybe there was, but then I got home and looked it up on-line, and I found out that it wasn't shot on 35mm. Here's what it says in the production notes (PDF link here), on page 22:


I did see Casa in the theaters as well, along with Secaucus Seven in a revival run, but I wasn't paying attention to different film formats or much of anything involving image quality until very recently. But this time, I definitely noticed lack of detail in a lot of places, especially long shots of crowd scenes, which show up in several political speeches and press conferences sprinkled throughout this movie.
 

Brook K

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Feb 22, 2000
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I did notice the film didn't look very good. Also I thought several times that the camera angles/compositions were awkward and looked much rougher/haphazard than one would expect coming from Haskell Wexler.
 

Haggai

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Nov 3, 2003
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I probably agree with your grade for this one, Brook, about a B-. Lone Star is still the best Sayles film I've seen, a solid A, and among his efforts since then, I also thought Limbo was quite good. Hombres Armados and Sunshine State were OK, not great, and Casa had a few good scenes (Maggie Gylenhaal on the phone with her husband was great) but wasn't too hot overall. Still, I think he's an interesting director, one whose movies I'll always go to see. But if this 16mm trend keeps up, maybe I'll start waiting for the DVDs. Silver City might even look somewhat better there than it did when blown up onto 35mm.
 

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