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: Phantom Thread (2017)  ( 2372 )
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« #45 : March 01, 2018, 07:31:02 PM »

I really expected the film to be boring, especially given the lack of enthusiasm of the PTA lovers. It wasn't at all. I even found it pretty easy to watch, which isn't something I expect from a PTA film these days. I mean I totally get how some (terrible) people can find The Master, Inherent Vice or There Will Be Blood "excruciating", but Phantom Thread? What kind of shit do you find entertaining?


There Will Be Blood is a very good movie


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« #46 : March 01, 2018, 08:19:54 PM »

The real surprise is how terrific it sounds and the extent sound is used as the main storytelling tool here.

Excluding the amusing use of accentuated natural sound during moments when DDL wants silence over breakfast etc, can you give some other examples?

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« #47 : March 02, 2018, 03:53:56 AM »

There Will Be Blood is a very good movie

It's a masterpiece you philistine!

Excluding the amusing use of accentuated natural sound during moments when DDL wants silence over breakfast etc, can you give some other examples?

There is a good possibility that I'm overthinking and what follows wasn't fully intented that way by the filmmakers but this is definitely what I got from my first viewing. It doesn't really matters as the sound is what it is because it is what sounded "right" for the movie, no matter how well thought or just felt it was by PTA.

Reynold is all about full control so the sounds that surround him are mostly soft and "comfie". Like many said, he is a childish character and in a way the sounds in his house are the ones that could surround and protect a baby in his carriage. When we first meet him, the whole sequence is about the house "waking up" and all his little ladies running around the place in a very quiet way. They all look and act like nannies, by the way. That doesn't mean he hasn't secret urges in him (like every proper PTA character), which may be why I found all these soft and quiet sounds way more sensual than they should be. To me, some part of Reynold, deep inside, is very similar to Alma. It is true that we see very little physical contact between them, but I'm pretty confident they have an agitated and wild sex life when things are good between them.

Raw, rough, creaking, aggressive and let's say it, almost Leonian sounds such as the breakfast ones are the sounds associated with Alma and what she brings to the table. Remember how she is introduced to us more by sound (Alma enters the dining room and noisily stumbles on a table). She likes places with a lot of noise (the big party, for instance, even if she isn't shown really interacting with anyone here). There are many instances in the movie where either the plot implies or a character explicitly states that she disrupts Reynold's universe and life, and the sound design is all about that.

I don't remember about the sound design or the exact timing of the couple of driving scenes. I know one of them is when Alma and Reynold go on their first date. The first one is probably when Reynold goes to the place where he meets Alma first? Anyway the shots are (voluntarily) unstable and either the music or the sound design is loud and agitated. These are the first clues that DDL's character actually needs disruption, aka Alma. The ending of the movie makes that very explicit: as a human being, he needs Alma, as a creator, he needs Alma.

« : March 02, 2018, 03:56:44 AM noodles_leone »


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« #48 : March 02, 2018, 09:54:00 AM »

Raw, rough, creaking, aggressive and let's say it, almost Leonian sounds such as the breakfast ones are the sounds associated with Alma and what she brings to the table. Remember how she is introduced to us more by sound (Alma enters the dining room and noisily stumbles on a table).

True, and while it was done well, it was nonetheless a very predictable approach. Reynolds likes his silence and Alma disrupts it - what better/other way to show it? Leone's use of sound was less automatic - there was nothing in the plot or characters dictating that he had to do it in that way, but his choice to do it that way created an atmosphere in his films that has never really been equaled.
 

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« #49 : March 02, 2018, 10:39:16 AM »

While I agree the breakfast sounds are the more cartoonish and predictable ones, the rest of the movie proves you 100% wrong ;)

By the way: like you say, Leone use of sound was all about atmosphere. Here, it is about characters. While I don't think anybody came close to Leone's atmospheric use of sound design (apart from Ben Burtt, who isn't a director but should be accountable for a good 40% of the world building that went into Star Wars and an approximate 33% of its success), many filmmakers, including PTA have used sound in much more creative, deep and refined ways. It is totally normal by the way: the technology wasn't ready for Leone's talent and love for total control of his imagery and sound. He would have gone so far if he had had access instant replay, almost unlimited takes, programmable technocranes and digital audio mix with its unlimited number of tracks.

« : March 02, 2018, 10:50:17 AM noodles_leone »


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« #50 : March 02, 2018, 12:28:54 PM »

the technology wasn't ready for Leone's talent and love for total control of his imagery and sound. He would have gone so far if he had had access instant replay, almost unlimited takes, programmable technocranes and digital audio mix with its unlimited number of tracks.

I disagree. Improved technology has made things significantly easier to achieve, but has concomitantly destroyed creativity. When you have to endlessly go over the same material or processes to achieve a desired result, you get a much better feel for it and better appreciate how to manipulate and shape it. Nowadays, it's all done so easily that people just are able ti move on to the next thing before really creating anything special at all. If anything, Leone's films would have suffered in today's technologically superior world.

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« #51 : March 03, 2018, 10:17:14 AM »

I disagree. Improved technology has made things significantly easier to achieve, but has concomitantly destroyed creativity. When you have to endlessly go over the same material or processes to achieve a desired result, you get a much better feel for it and better appreciate how to manipulate and shape it. Nowadays, it's all done so easily that people just are able ti move on to the next thing before really creating anything special at all. If anything, Leone's films would have suffered in today's technologically superior world.

Wow, you seriously think that? I couldn't disagree more with every single word. This is totally in contradiction with my experience both as an audience and as a filmmaker.

1- Technology gives freedom to creatives, and freedom is a good thing, no matter how you look at it.
2- Painters and writers don't need technology to reach a must bigger freedom than filmmakers have today. According to your logic, no good book or painting has ever been created.
3- Some people cannot use these technologies the right way but still use them... And you seriously think the problem is with the technology? It's so obvious these guys would have struggled exactly as much with any kind of movie making. I mean, Joss Whedon is Joss Whedon, whether you give him 10 RED cameras on technocranes or a camera created by the Lumiere brothers.
4- Improved technology has made things easier to achieve when you have a vision so we can push things further but they haven't made anything EASY about making a good film. It's still something infinitely difficult to achieve.
5- Cinema today is WAY (as in "1.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 times", I did the math) more diverse than it was in the 60's. Mainstream cinema isn't, but this is a discussion about technology, not finance and globalization.

Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying because no matter how I look at it, it just doesn't make any kind of sense :)
... or maybe you were talking about something very specific?

« : March 03, 2018, 10:26:18 AM noodles_leone »


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« #52 : March 03, 2018, 05:59:10 PM »

Lesley Walker put it more eloquently than me:

Quote
Because [electronic editing] is so immediate you sort of rush at it like some lunatic, instead of slowly going through it. It takes your thinking time away and I find that annoying... I like to look at it and sit and think about it. The Avid and me are not the greatest pals, really, in that way. I do move around, I do take more breaks but it actually breaks my concentration, whereas I would never take a break while I was cutting on film, because my breaks would be wandering over to the trim bin, to put a trim up.


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« #53 : March 04, 2018, 01:59:05 AM »

Oh OK! I thought so. It's only a problem for a few editors and directors who learned to work the other way and donít like their habits changed: they needed some adaptation time. By the way, when was Lesley quoted saying that? I suspect it was at the start of the transition.

There is absolutely nothing in Avid/Premiere Pro/Final Cut that makes you stop thinking before you act, just like Word hasnít make writers stop thinking before they write. By making things easier, they have removed some barriers and time consuming tasks which means you have actually way more time for doing what you actually need (which could be thinking). You can still sit around and think exactly how long you need.

They have removed the tactile part of editing, which is a problem for some, but just a taste issue. It has no negative impact on the output whatsoever.

« : March 04, 2018, 02:08:40 AM noodles_leone »


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« #54 : March 04, 2018, 02:57:35 AM »

I easily agree with Noodles here.

There were and there are always people who use creatively what they can get, and others don't.

Modern cinema is as amazing as it was in the best years of every decade before.


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« #55 : March 04, 2018, 04:00:54 AM »

just like Word hasnít make writers stop thinking before they write.

Nor would returning to using kinetoscopes suddenly boost creative potential

You can still sit around and think exactly how long you need.

Of course you can. That's the point.

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« #56 : March 05, 2018, 09:27:51 AM »

There were and there are always people who use creatively what they can get, and others don't.

Modern cinema is as amazing as it was in the best years of every decade before.

Sure - in certain cases that is indeed the case. I would venture to suggest that it comes down to acute self-awareness on the part of select industry veterans and their very careful mentoring of the younger generation.

It's actually a very broad issue that goes well beyond the film industry to cover the rapid growth of technology in many other areas of life too.

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« #57 : March 08, 2018, 08:08:38 AM »

PTA's masterclass in Paris (the questions are in French but he answers in English) about Phantom Thread:

https://youtu.be/Xn0jUdBxKlo

(they talk about sound, starting around 15'00)



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