The Cinematography Discussion #2

Discussion in 'Movies' started by JohnRice, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Here we go again. I'm finally tired of waiting and decided to get the second cinematography discussion going. It will be done a little differently this time. I'm starting the thread now, but won't start the discussion for another week or two. I'm doing this to give everyone who wants to participate a chance to see the films. We will also take a break between each film discussed and will be discussing fewer films.



    The films we will be discussing this time around are...



    [c]
    [​IMG]
    In the Bedroom
    Discussion led by John Rice




    [​IMG]
    Oliver Twist
    Discussion led by Agee Bassett




    [​IMG]
    The Exorcist
    Discussion led by PatrickL
    [/c]




    This should be the order that films will be discussed in, but you never know what will change with that.



    I also want to thank Seth Paxton and George Kaplan for participating in the last discussion. I decided to scale back on the number of films this time since participation in the thread seemed to wane on the later films and I don't think it is fair to ask people to do all this work and not have enough participation from others.

    We will be starting with discussion on In the Bedroom sometime in the next couple weeks, so anyone who wants to participate, please make an effort to see these films.
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Oh yeah, go ahead and chat away while we wait for the actual discussion to start. Any comments on the movies we will be discussing are welcome. Once we start the actual discussions though, we will only be discussing one film at a time.


    To keep the server loads reasonable, please turn off your signatures when posting in this thread. We will have a lot of images loading once the real discussion starts.
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Messages:
    6,305
    Likes Received:
    126
    Real Name:
    Adam_S
    woohoo!

    I've seen Oliver Twist, and this may be the impetus to break down and buy it. I'll definitely be grabbing In the Bedroom and The Exorcist on my next visit to the rental place. (I assume the original Exorcist, correct?)

    Adam
     
  4. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    I noticed that you have In The Bedroom listed as one of your favorite films, John. Was it that impressive for a new film?

    Anywho, I'm looking foward to all three presentations, especially Agee's on Oliver Twist. I love David Lean's work, but I've always wondered about this "smaller" works since I'm more familiar with his big three. I purchased Brief Encounter some time ago, and I thought it was really good.
     
  5. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Messages:
    6,305
    Likes Received:
    126
    Real Name:
    Adam_S
    There's an interesting thing about Lean. his 'smaller' films--ie his British films--seem to quite different from the extravagant American financed epics of his later career. I think this is because Lean began his career as an editor, and his first pictures reflect his incredible ability with editing a taut and breathtakingingly dense narrative. His adaptations of Dickens have absolutely never been matched. More than a large part of this is because of his ability with Mese-en-scene and staging shots, scenes, and sequences--in fact I believe it was Roger Ebert (in one of his great movie reviews) that said that Lean began his career as a director with an editors sensibilities, and that he ended his career with a cinematographer's sensibilities. In fact the 'transistion' film between these two era, his first American Epic Bridge on the River Kwai is perhaps the best melding of these two sensibilities--I consider it to be one of the shortest three hour films ever made (second only to the Great Escape).
    Don't be misled by this though, his early films are all exquisitely photographed--icons of black and white cinematography, I just watched Brief encounter for the first time earlier today, and the photography is simply stunning. one moment that really struck me was just before their first kiss. The long shot is staged from further up the ramp leading to the platform, their shadows lead them into the frame as they turn from the subway onto the ramp, backlit, silhouettes. there's a brief inset for the dialouge and then a return to the previous shot as they embrace and kiss for the first time. A beautifully done scene that really needs to be seen to get its impact (I wish this computer had a dvd player and powerdvd, but it doesn't).

    Anyway I'm looking forward to all three of these discussions, and I'll probably rent the movies from the first discussion and reread and perhaps post to the original thread in the interim.

    Adam
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Go for it! I'll point out that most Blockbusters have several used copies of In the Bedroom in stock, priced at $10. There are no sales going on right now, but there may be one coming. They have them pretty regularly. The Man in the Moon is also readily available for $10 and has been on sale for as low as $6. The Exorcist and Klute are both available for $15 or less and I think Out of Sight is as well. Of course, the most expensive ones are Vertigo and Oliver Twist. Any of them is worth a purchase.
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    I watched In the Bedroom last Year and liked it a lot, but any remarkable cinematography it contained must have gone right over my head. EIther I haven't the eye for these things, or it's just somethign you have to really look for. Perhaps a bit of both. In any case, I will follow this discussion with interest, just like last one [​IMG].

    --
    Holadem
     
  8. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1998
    Messages:
    5,845
    Likes Received:
    628
    I started to watch In The Bedroom yesterday, but decided to hold off until closer to the start of the official discussion so that it would be fresher in my mind. Based on the opening minutes of the film, and some of titles that John holds in high esteem, I can see why John would like this film's cinematography. ( BTW, that's not directed at you Holadem. )

    There is one shot early in the film that I felt communicated a lot about the family, but perhaps I should wait until the discussion. If you must know what I'm talking about:

    The shot of the hall, when Marisa Tomei enters the house, with the pictures seen through the window frame. The word that sprung into my mind regarding the family was 'compartmentalized' with the frames speaking to the emotional constraints of the family. This is based on word of mouth and reviews of the film, as it has, sadly, been in my to watch pile for a long, long time.

    - Walter.
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    I'm in a real mood for subtlety lately, which is a big reason I picked In the Bedroom. I want to discuss cinematography almost completely from the perspective of how it enhances the story. So many films who's cinematography is highly regarded are very obvious. They usually jump out at you. In the Bedroom is quite the opposite. It is so unassuming, most of the time it isn't even noticed. I think most people will be absolutely amazed what was done with it, though. I see new things every time I watch it.

    Walter, I hadn't actually noticed what you are talking about. I'll probably just leave that theme for you to add during the discussion, since you brought it up first. You are right also, that it might not be too surprising I like this film so much. In fact, it grabbed my eye from the very first frame. The first minute shows you how the story will be told.....but that needs to be saved for later. [​IMG]


    I also plan on doing something different for my discussion. I will be including mp3 audio excerpts from some scenes to help illustrate my points. Most folks should already be equipped to play these files live through their browsers using Quicktime or some other application. Hopefully we won't run into problems with people being able to hear the files.
     
  10. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Messages:
    6,305
    Likes Received:
    126
    Real Name:
    Adam_S
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Whao! What happened!?!


    There are several posts missing from this thread.




    That's all I need, to put the thing together and have it disappear.......
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    OK, I guess there was a database problem and some posts have vanished. No word yet on whether they will be returning. I know SteveGon had made some comments about the films, but I don't have that post anymore. Mike Broadman made a post. which I still have, so I'm going to re-post it now.

    ________________________________________________

    Originally posted by Mike Broadman

     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    This should be fun and instructive—thanks for organizing this John. I have not seen The Exorcist[ for many years—this will be a good opportunity to revisit. Oliver Twist should provide a very good discussion and although I’ve seen this fairly recently, it will be well worth watching a few more times.

    I am less enthused about In the Bedroom, but to be fair to the film, the only time I saw it was on a flight from Seoul to Sydney, so it is certainty possible that it is a better film than I judged at the time. For sure I did not pay much attention to the cinematography on that occasion.
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    You saw In the Bedroom on an airplane?



    I think you better give it another watch. :p)
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    :b That is also my single viewing of The Ice Storm. At least I watched these up front with my own personal screen—so it was not quite so bad as looking at the drop down screens in the back.

    Normally I never watch the movies—I just sleep on the plane.
     
  16. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Thanks for the sale info, Jon. They just finished a used sale about 3 weeks ago and it is usually longer between them. My local store has several copies of ITB available, so you might try another location if you don't find any. You can potentially get it 3 for $20 if you find 2 more $9.99 titles you want.
     
  18. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    John, although your focus is on the photography, I hope you will incorporate some of the editing choices that bind shots together for In The Bedroom. It was very good for the film.

    Cool thread.
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Kirk, I couldn't agree more. I normally don't notice editing that much, but it sure jumped out at me here. My purpose is to discuss the entire visual side of the film, though I will even be using some audio clips as well.

    I will delve into it a bit, but remember, this isn't a monologue. Once I do the main post, I hope to see lots of input from others. There is no way I will see everything there is worth commenting on.


    It will be just a bit longer than I expected for the main post. In the Bedroom has some weird copyguard on it and I can't use my normal software to capture stills. I probably shouldn't say how I will actually do it, since it would violate forum rules.
     
  20. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Messages:
    6,305
    Likes Received:
    126
    Real Name:
    Adam_S
    I've now watched both In the Bedroom and the Exorcist, both are worthy of purchase, and will eventually make their way into my collection.

    While there were many moments I noticed (since I was intent on it anyway) that were definitely excellent, I'm sure I"ll see more on subsequent viewings. However what really impressed me on the first viewing was the editing, the very first sequence (grass/kissing) I was a bit taken a back at the 360 degree cross cutting. It starts out on one side of them in a medium shot kissing, than jumps to the 180degree opposite angle for a close up, then moves to another angle different from the first and second for a long shot. Eventually there's a slow fade to a semi-graphic match of an extreme long shot of the tree they're under. the one editing technique I really miss in modern film after watching so many classics is fades and dissolves (wipes are often distracting. So I was delighted at how well fades were used here. The lack of fades is actually probably used to better effect today, but for the filmmakers within and influenced by the various European new waves (the films of which couldn't afford the opticals for dissolves) are often nothing but cut, cut, cut (like The Graduate), which I just don't find as compelling as a variety of methods used in a way that best enhances the story and the quality of the film. Editing (and cinematography) was definitely very interesting in In the Bedroom, I look forward to seeing it again (and probably realizing how wrong I am about everything I just said [​IMG]).

    The Exorcist was incredible. An Experience to watch, but around the 45 min mark hit I forgot about everything else but the film. [​IMG]

    Looking forward to this challenge.

    Adam
     

Share This Page