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March 26, 2019, 07:59:23 AM

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Messages - Novecento

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Orson Welles
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:00:25 PM »
Let me rephrase: technique is craft, to me. There is craft in every execution. The line is sometimes hard to draw. A few examples of things that aren’t in it:

- ambition
- intention
- message
- some of the things we put under acting (Bronson shows little to no acting ability in OUATITW, but his charisma and his face sell the job... partly thank to the crew’s technique. Many French actors of the 60’s and 70’s has no technique at all, but their personality was more than enough)
- happy accidents (although you often need some technique to know how to create an environment prone to accidents)
- great scenery (although it’s somebody’s job to find it and somebody’s job to make it look good, one you said you are gonna shoot in front of Mount Everest you don’t need a lot of technique to get it mostly right)
- ...

So for me "technique" is about all the things that make cinema a distinct art form. Therefore, it is not about acting (go watch a play), nor screenplays/writing (go read a book) and only partially about set-design. It is about cinematography in which I include camera placement and movement, and editing. When I'm thinking about movies, the first three things I want to know are who the director, editor and cinematographer are. In short, any of the visual techniques that rely upon film as the medium are what constitutes technique for me.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Roma (2018) - Alfonso Cuarón
« on: March 20, 2019, 05:47:31 PM »
Yeh you did and no not yet. I will eventually...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Roma (2018) - Alfonso Cuarón
« on: March 20, 2019, 11:28:22 AM »
I think the only thing I had seen by Cuarón before this was "Y tu mamá también" which was a very long time ago when released. Roma just confirms again what I've said before:  along with the works of Larraín and Iñárritu, and also del Toro although I'm not a fan of the fantasy genre, Latin America is really where it's at these days in terms of directorial talent.

Off-Topic Discussion / Roma (2018) - Alfonso Cuarón
« on: March 20, 2019, 11:20:02 AM »
Roma (2018) - 8.5/10

Can you imagine Tarkowski at the top of his game doing a (almost) mainstream movie, grounded in the extremely detailed reality of Mexico in the 70's? This is what you get here and this is objectively a masterpiece that is both intimate and epic, comic and tragic, social and metaphysical. It's been released 3 days ago and saying it's pure cinema is already a cliché. In a non absurd world it would be nominated at the academy awards in most categories, and win all the major ones. Now I'm only giving it 8.5 because it's a subjective rating and I have problems with this kind of main characters.


Cinematography: 15/10
Performances: 9/10
Screenplay: 10/10
World creation: 12/10
Ambition: 10/10


I was tearing my hair out halfway through waiting for this shit to end.

I agree that the performances, cinematography and world creation are great. But I find nothing interesting about this story. This movie gets a 5.5/10

I've noticed that lately, you're throwing words "objectively" into your comments, to try to throw extra weight behind supporting shit, like this movie and Orson Welles  :P

Oh, that dramatic beach scene is done (as I recall) in one take, and that is indeed great.


I knew you would never like it.

And I know i’ve been using “objectively”, because film reviewing has to (try to) be from time to time. When a movie is an influential masterpiece, nobody (and I mean it) cares if you liked it or not , if it’s your thing or not. And very few care if it’s flawed (they usually are because ambition and radicality tend to lead to bypassing stuff you aren’t supposed to). It changes history and opens a new path for filmmakers so why the hell am I going to waste my time listening to people - like me - who didn’t like the main character?

Now, it’s easier to call Citizen Kane an influential masterpiece than a movie like Roma, because for the later I don’t have decades of clearly influenced (for the better) films to show. But if there was mone at stake, that’s where I would place my bet, pretty confidently.

I may totally be wrong, though. For instance I sometimes wonder wether I have somehow overstated There Will Be Blood’s influence. Maybe it was already part of a starting trend and not the only big milestone.

So please don’t read my use of “objectively” as “i’m right and you’re wrong” but more as “you’re totally off topic”  >:D

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Orson Welles
« on: March 20, 2019, 11:10:41 AM »
I put script and acting inside "technique".

So what don't you put under the rubric of "technique" then?

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Orson Welles
« on: March 19, 2019, 08:26:44 AM »
It's a great film in terms of technique.

Yes - that's the sole reason I love it. Whenever I read a review that lauds much of anything else, most especially without mentioning technique, I tend to just roll my eyes and sigh at the state of film criticism...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Orson Welles
« on: March 18, 2019, 07:33:01 PM »
"Touch of Evil" and "The Lady from Shanghai" are masterpieces.

As for "The Other Side of the Wind"...

Now it comes a few years after Hollywood finally gave up with the "fast cutting, shaky cam" trend...

Exactly. To shamelessly quote myself...

Yeh - even just focusing on the famous scene when John Huston makes his entrance that we know Welles had already (had) edited (i.e. was not done by Murawski later who incidentally did a great job overall trying to retain Welles' supposed desired approach), the editing really did stand out for a non-action scene of that nature. Had I been watching back when it was edited I would undoubtedly have been really impressed even if it did not perhaps always have the fluidity of some of the best editing being done around that time by the likes of Dede Allen or her followers or those working under the directorial auspices of Sam Peckinpah. The problem however is that from today's perspective it reminded me of how such brilliant editing back then has devolved into the ultra-fast jump cuts we often find in shoddy action scenes nowadays as if just by fast cutting something should be exciting. As such I think the impact was unfortunately unfairly dampened on me, but nonetheless the fact that it occurred in a "non-action" scene still really made an impression and was very different.

For a Few Dollars More / Re: New 4K Restoration Blu-Ray (March 2019)
« on: March 12, 2019, 06:06:18 PM »
But the German Blu has the uncut version?

Yeh - I bought the German DVD several years back which claimed the beating scene was complete....

Other Films / Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)
« on: March 12, 2019, 06:03:57 PM »
I just saw "The Proposition" for the first time. As a (Aussie) Western-style role for Guy Pearce, it was not "The Rover" (one of the best movies of the last decade), but it was really great, albeit a tad gratuitous in points.

The "Sisters Brothers" had completely passed me by. I'm going to have to check it now...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Bogdanovich interview March 2019
« on: March 11, 2019, 07:25:28 PM »
We all know that in 1969 when Leone called P. Bogdanovich to Rome as a possible candidate for directing DYS, after a short while they didn't get along at all and eventually  Leone told him to pack his suitcase and leave. According to many interviews, P.B. always claimed that one of the reasons for the disagreement was that SL would always talk about close ups, whereas P.B. by his own admission didn't like close ups at all.
Yet in this interview 50 years later, he states that he shot a lot of close ups of Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon and when asked "Can you create an award winning performance with close ups?" he replies "Oh yes you can. I did it a number of times"... 8) 8) :) :)

That's a really good point!

For a Few Dollars More / Re: New 4K Restoration Blu-Ray (March 2019)
« on: March 11, 2019, 07:24:41 PM »
hurrah for obsessive Leone fans  :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Yeh - thanks Jordan. This was great.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Top 100 Photographed Films of 20th Cent.
« on: February 19, 2019, 05:06:08 PM »
Yes it all comes back to the fact that cinematography is so interconnected with the director’s job that it’s very difficult to decide who did what afterwards.

The best method, to me, is to compare the films done by a given filmmaker and a given cinematographer together and those they haven’t done together. Hence my theory that Delli Colli is Leone’s most underrated key collaborator.

Good theory. Although sometimes the magic only happens when two people come together such that neither of them is quite as good without the other.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Top 100 Photographed Films of 20th Cent.
« on: February 17, 2019, 05:50:24 AM »
...  The Long Good Bye (which used flashing better AND employed Altman's The Camera Never Stops Moving technique).

An outstandingly shot film with incredible camera movement. Although, you are now introducing a separate element here. That is to say, cinematography is not just about looking nice in stills but also about motion. Having said that, the desire to use motion may come as much, if not more, from the director than the cinematographer...

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Top 100 Photographed Films of 20th Cent.
« on: February 15, 2019, 08:41:09 PM »
At least Vilmos Zsigmond garnered three entries. "Heaven's Gate" should have made it four.

I'd like to have seen Lajos Koltai in the list as well.

Storaro got five and probably deserves the lot.

...but how did they not include a single John Alton shot movie?

Absolutely unbelievable!

At least Kazuo Miyagawa was included once.

I don't think the list included any Michael Mann movies either.

Yeh - how does Dante Spinotti get in for "L.A. Confidential" and yet nothing with Michael Mann?

Sergio Leone News / Re: New LEONE documentary 2018
« on: December 20, 2018, 06:47:47 PM »
Yes - thanks. I'll watch it over the holidays

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