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December 13, 2018, 02:32:53 AM

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Messages - Novecento

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Other Films / Re: Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« on: December 03, 2018, 09:48:12 AM »
What he gets on set is just the base upon which he’ll build in postproduction.

Ah interesting. No wonder I didn't like it much then - it just looked so artificial to me. I've never seen "Inside Llewyn Davis" but am curious to see whether I would appreciate its look or not.

Other Films / Re: Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« on: December 02, 2018, 04:10:46 AM »
So you thought the film looked good? I only enjoyed the cinematography (more precisely, the lights and colors) in 2 segments (3 and 5... maybe I just like prime numbers) and found it distracting and cheap looking the rest of the time.

I only watched the first three parts and completely agree - even as far as finding the cinematography to be a step-up in part 3. I think it probably largely results from the digital photography with its lack of noise and limitless (to the extent of cartoon-like) possibilities, although it was indeed the lighting/colors that I appreciated more in part 3 as opposed to having any specific digital issues.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
« on: November 27, 2018, 11:23:39 AM »
It's worth watching for the amazing scene transitions alone.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Nick Roeg Gone at 90
« on: November 26, 2018, 06:44:59 PM »
"Walkabout" was a great film - very innovative. However I found "The Man who Fell to Earth" to be practically unwatchable.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Bernardo Bertolucci R.I.P.
« on: November 26, 2018, 07:28:23 AM »
I really liked a lot of his work - particularly when he worked with Storaro. One of those perfect combinations like Bill Walsh & Joe Montana (or for the current generation of American Football fans Bill Belichick & Tom Brady).

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
« on: November 26, 2018, 02:31:28 AM »
I watched this simply because of how much I enjoyed "Baby Driver" otherwise I would probably never have gone near it. Perhaps snobbishly, it just didn't seem to be the kind of thing I would enjoy. So what can I say....

... Wow - it was like watching the work of a seriously talented director as he did his very best to make sure you did not take him seriously. High art with absolutely zero pretension. Edgar Wright is a talented man indeed and as a result I am now forced to give up even more of my precious time to seek out some of his other offerings.

It's a shame it did not do so well at the box-office. I wonder how much poor marketing came into play there? It certainly bypassed me.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Orson Welles
« on: November 21, 2018, 08:05:46 AM »
There might be more cuts in this than any other movie. By the end, I was exhausted.

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.

In Murawski's words: "I wanted to really try to understand his style and what he was going for in that period of his career. He wasn’t editing for the sake of editing. He was trying to create movement that he could no longer create with the camera because he didn’t have access to Gregg Tolland and those incredible professional crews of technicians and crane shots. He had to figure out a new way to create that feeling of movement."

As for the film itself, it was indeed weird and I personally found all the softcore porn elements (sorry, I mean "art house") to be unnecessary. It was of course hugely bipgraphical even down to the mentioning of the altercation with Hemingway. I should probably re-watch it before writiing anything else.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Peckinpah's CROSS OF IRON plus documentary
« on: November 17, 2018, 04:17:13 AM »
:Novecento: No,no and no (again :) ). Of course Peckinpah tried to get a certain look in post-production, and CROSS could have
used a little color grading here and there - now that it's possible, but the BD-look is just impossible. The images are all flat, no debth, nothing...
I understand why some like the new look, it certainly has its kind of atmosphere, but the loss of contrast and depth is just terrible.
Anyway. We might play around with it next year. I saw a test which could result in a great-looking compromise...

Sounds good. Looking forward to seeing the compromise.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
« on: November 16, 2018, 08:53:45 AM »
To be a very good bad movie it should have disposed completely of dialogues and let the action run...

Yeh - good point and it might then have had a point to make too.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Peckinpah's CROSS OF IRON plus documentary
« on: November 16, 2018, 08:51:54 AM »
Usually I would agree, but in this case it worked pretty well IMO. Not saying you're wrong since you have the 35mm print to show, but just that I liked the color scheme.

I remember there was some good input by someone over on regarding the attempt to get a desaturated look:

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Peckinpah's CROSS OF IRON plus documentary
« on: November 14, 2018, 10:43:07 AM »
"Coquillon and the rest of the creative team created a nearly monochromatic image from the dark earth tones of the battlefields, the dusty soldiers' uniforms and the faces routinely covered in mud. When bright hues sometimes intrude—usually red from blood or the incongruous Nazi flag at the hospital where Steiner recovers or the blanket stretched across his hospital bed—they seem almost out of place."

Personally I really like this color scheme and find it works great. Having said that I remember Mike saying that this was not actually how Coquillon intended it to be seen.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018)
« on: November 13, 2018, 08:46:43 PM »
It's probably more impressive in the cinemas especially when it breaks into widescreen. I saw it last night on TV. Unbelievable. I've rated in 9/10 but I feel mean for not voting it a full 10.

I'm jealous. I'm keeping an eye out for when I can get to see it over here. I'm sure there will be a blu-ray soon at least.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
« on: November 04, 2018, 05:13:06 AM »
Thanks, N_L actually shared that earlier. Cimino was so visually talented. Undoubtedly one of the greatest IMO

By the way, for those who have't seen it, the short clip from Sunchaser at the 29 second mark occurs here:

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Touch of Evil (1958)
« on: October 31, 2018, 08:37:29 AM »
Yes, but this is probably only about anamorphic systems, for the 1,85:1 of Touch of Evil he could use the same cameras and lenses as before.

I agree. So it doesn't confirm things either way since he could simply mask it to 1.85:1 (as he was most likely preparing for whether he preferred it or not), but his comment regarding "visual conventions" does hint toward a preference for 1.37:1 unless he's talking about the effect of these "new" cameras on depth of image or anamorphic distortion or the like.

I’ve heard people say it was shot for 1,37:1...

Probably as a result of the letter by Welles above, but as Stanton rightly points out, it's not conclusive but merely suggestive.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Touch of Evil (1958)
« on: October 30, 2018, 07:23:35 PM »

May 24, 1958


Without being quite so foolish as to set my name to that odious thing, a 'reply to the critic', perhaps I may add a few oddments of information to Mr. Whitebait's brief reference to my picture TOUCH OF EVIL (what a silly title, by the way; it's the first time I've heard it). Most serious film reviewers appear to be quite without knowledge of the hard facts involved in manufacturing and, especially, merchandising a motion picture. Such innocence, I'm sure, is very proper to their position; it is, therefore, not your critic I venture to set straight, but my own record. As author-director I was not and normally would not be-consulted on the matter of the 'release' of my film without a press showing. That this is an 'odd subterfuge', I agree; but there can be no speculation as to the responsibility for such a decision.

As to the reason, one can only assume that the distributor was so terrified of what the critics might write about it that a rash attempt was made to evade them altogether and smuggle TOUCH OF EVIL directly to the public. This is understandable in the light of the wholesale re-editing of the film by the executive producer, a process of re-hashing in which I was forbidden to participate. Confusion was further confounded by several added scenes which I did not write and was not invited to direct. No wonder Mr. Whitebait speaks of muddle. He is kind enough to say that 'Like Graham Greene' I have 'two levels'. To his charge that I have 'let the higher slip' I plead not guilty. When Mr. Greene finishes one of his 'entertainment's' he is immediately free to set his hand to more challenging enterprises. His typewriter is always available; my camera is not. A typewriter needs only paper; a camera uses film, requires subsidiary equipment by the truck-load and several hundreds of technicians. That is always the central fact about the film-maker as opposed to any other artist: he can never afford to own his own tools. The minimum kit is incredibly expensive; and one's opportunities to work with it are rarer less numerous than might be supposed. In my case, I've. been given the use of my tools exactly eight times in 20 years. Just once my own editing of the film has been the version put into release; and (excepting the Shakespearean experiments) I have only twice been given any voice at all as to the 'level' of my, subject matter. In my trunks stuffed with unproduced films scripts, there are no thrillers. When I make this sort of picture -- for which I can pretend to no special interest or aptitude -- it is not 'for the money' (I support myself as an actor), but because of a greedy need to exercise, in some way, the function of my choice: the function of director. Quite baldly, this is my only choice. I have to take whatever comes along from time to time, or accept, the alternative, which is not working.

Mr. Whitebait revives my own distress at the shapeless poverty of Macbeth's castle. The paper mache' stagy effect in my film was dictated by a 'B-Minus' budget with a 'quickie' shooting schedule of 20 days.. Returning to the current picture, since he comments on the richness of the urban scenery of the Mexican border' perhaps Mr. Whitebait will be amused to learn that all shooting was in Hollywood. There was no attempt to approximate reality; the film's entire 'world' being the director's invention. Finally, while the style of TOUCH OF EVIL may be somewhat overly baroque, there are positively no camera tricks. Nowadays the eye is tamed, I think, by the new wide screens. These 'systems' with their rigid technical limitations are in such monopoly that any vigorous use of the old black -and-white, normal aperture camera runs the risk of seeming tricky by comparison. The old camera permits use of a range of visual conventions as removed from 'realism' as grand opera. This is a language not a bag of tricks. If it is now a dead language, as a candid partisan of the old eloquence, I must face the likelihood that I shall not again be able to put it to the service of any theme of my own choosing.


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