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December 09, 2018, 07:42:17 PM
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: Ballad of Buster Scruggs  ( 791 )
noodles_leone
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« #30 : December 05, 2018, 08:34:51 AM »

I'm still not sure what you're saying. You like the look of #3 and #5 (they are both, as I understand it, technically well executed and accord with your taste); you don't like the look of #4 (technical excellence but not to your taste). #1,#2, and #6 you don't like, but I don't know if its because of technical issues or issues of taste or both. You are a very complicated fellow.

#1 looks terrible. In the end, there are bigger flaws in that segment so I'm not sure how much the cinematography actually matters, but it almost looks like a student film. I was pretty afraid the whole film was gonna look like shit after I saw the opening sequence. That being said, the DoP's task on such a short is very hard. It has to look somewhat cool while somewhat cheesy, but in a good way.
#2 Several good shots but all in all it looks cheap. The lighting is too flat. James Franco's mostly painful to watch acting doesn't help since he gets a lot of close up.
#6 Looks cheap too. Way too artificial. I cannot help but "see" the actual source of light in many shots. This is the most frustrating one from a cinematography standpoint: a great potential, a lot of which is wasted. The driver's shot look terrific though.

I'm not that complicated, but reviewing an anthology film is by essence a complicated task.

« : December 05, 2018, 08:38:46 AM noodles_leone »


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« #31 : December 05, 2018, 08:43:12 AM »

#6 Looks cheap too. Way too artificial. I cannot help but "see" the actual source of light in many shots. This is the most frustrating one from a cinematography standpoint: a great potential, a lot of which is wasted. The driver's shot look terrific though.
I grant you this one, although, given the meta-narrative conceit of the piece, I wonder if seeing the light sources isn't an appropriate element of the package. Still, I don't think I'll win you over on this. It would be like arguing with a guy about how funny a movie is only to hear his rejoinder, "I don't like comedies."




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« #32 : December 05, 2018, 08:58:15 AM »

I grant you this one, although, given the meta-narrative conceit of the piece, I wonder if seeing the light sources isn't an appropriate element of the package. Still, I don't think I'll win you over on this. It would be like arguing with a guy about how funny a movie is only to hear his rejoinder, "I don't like comedies."

 ;D

You're not gonna win me on this, but we only disagree about half the shorts (and probably less than half the total length).
Delbonnel was an interesting choice and I guess the dividing and unequal result go with that choice. I cannot help but wonder how the film would have looked with Deakins (although I suspect the reason why he wasn't on board was a matter of budget).

« : December 05, 2018, 08:59:53 AM noodles_leone »


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« #33 : December 05, 2018, 09:16:26 AM »

Talking with friends and colleagues about this film (this is the hot "watercooler topic" at my place of business), I was reminded of the many things about "The Gal Who Got Rattled" that I like. I've mentioned already how effective a piece of narrative it is because you never know what to expect as you go along--so rare in a film these days. But equally noteworthy are the many touches or details in the segment that contribute to a sense of 19th Century reality. One that I particularly like is the bit with the unnamed young boy who says he has decided to walk backwards all the way to Oregon. The mother tells him not to do it--she doesn't give him a reason, just an order. The boy is slow to comply--the father walks over, gives him a wack, and says, "Do what your mother tells you." This has nothing to do with the story, but nicely evokes wagon-train life (also, the fact that the people generally walk alongside their animals instead of riding them seems true-to-life).

I also appreciated a few things that did have bearing on the plot. When Mr. Arthur gets ready to take his stand against the marauding (very non-PC) Sioux, he first hobbles his horse. That is, he binds the forelegs together, so the horse won't run off when the shooting starts. How often have you seen this in a Western? I have seen a couple of instances where a horse runs off because the animal wasn't hobbled--incompetent cowboys being everywhere, apparently, in the American West--but I can't remember an example of a guy who has the foresight and competence to prevent such a thing from happening. Even better was the fact that when the Indians charge, their horses routinely trip on the uneven ground (as was nicely prepared for by the introduction of the prairie dogs). Typical of crappy Westerns is the idea that all ground is level and horses can sail across it and never put a foot wrong. I liked the idea that things are not so smooth in real life, and that a clever Indian-fighter might take advantage of his terrain to even a contest where he is outnumbered. Of course, it helps to have a repeating rifle as well.

Generally, I hate trail Westerns. The stories are never very interesting, and the format is too limiting. I remember having to watch an entire season of Wagon Train when I was a boy---auugghhh, never again. But the Coens took the form and made something out of it. My hat, if I had one, would be off to them.



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« #34 : December 05, 2018, 09:28:26 AM »

Deakins (although I suspect the reason why he wasn't on board was a matter of budget).
Or that he was too busy with Bladerunner.



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« #35 : December 05, 2018, 09:28:37 AM »

Talking with friends and colleagues about this film (this is the hot "watercooler topic" at my place of business), I was reminded of the many things about "The Gal Who Got Rattled" that I like. I've mentioned already how effective a piece of narrative it is because you never know what to expect as you go along--so rare in a film these days. But equally noteworthy are the many touches or details in the segment that contribute to a sense of 19th Century reality. One that I particularly like is the bit with the unnamed young boy who says he has decided to walk backwards all the way to Oregon. The mother tells him not to do it--she doesn't give him a reason, just an order. The boy is slow to comply--the father walks over, gives him a wack, and says, "Do what your mother tells you." This has nothing to do with the story, but nicely evokes wagon-train life (also, the fact that the people generally walk alongside their animals instead of riding them seems true-to-life).

I loved that as well. It's even more obvious in the Tom Waits short: most of the screen time is devoted to show us what's gold digging, in a very concrete way. For most of the film, the Coens teaching us how that job works is the closest we have from a "plot".


I also appreciated a few things that did have bearing on the plot. When Mr. Arthur gets ready to take his stand against the marauding (very non-PC) Sioux, he first hobbles his horse. That is, he binds the forelegs together, so the horse won't run off when the shooting starts. How often have you seen this in a Western? I have seen a couple of instances where a horse runs off because the animal wasn't hobbled--incompetent cowboys being everywhere, apparently, in the American West--but I can't remember an example of a guy who has the foresight and competence to prevent such a thing from happening. Even better was the fact that when the Indians charge, their horses routinely trip on the uneven ground (as was nicely prepared for by the introduction of the prairie dogs). Typical of crappy Westerns is the idea that all ground is level and horses can sail across it and never put a foot wrong. I liked the idea that things are not so smooth in real life, and that a clever Indian-fighter might take advantage of his terrain to even a contest where he is outnumbered. Of course, it helps to have a repeating rifle as well.

This kind of ideas is what the Coens have been working on for their action sequences for years, if not decades. Their masterpiece, in that respect, is No Country For Old Men. It seems to me they learned a lot about how to achieve it on No Country, and they now almost always flawlessly deliver on action sequences, even in less action focused films.



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« #36 : December 06, 2018, 06:36:06 AM »

I also appreciated a few things that did have bearing on the plot. When Mr. Arthur gets ready to take his stand against the marauding (very non-PC) Sioux, he first hobbles his horse. That is, he binds the forelegs together, so the horse won't run off when the shooting starts. How often have you seen this in a Western? I have seen a couple of instances where a horse runs off because the animal wasn't hobbled--incompetent cowboys being everywhere, apparently, in the American West--but I can't remember an example of a guy who has the foresight and competence to prevent such a thing from happening. Even better was the fact that when the Indians charge, their horses routinely trip on the uneven ground (as was nicely prepared for by the introduction of the prairie dogs). Typical of crappy Westerns is the idea that all ground is level and horses can sail across it and never put a foot wrong. I liked the idea that things are not so smooth in real life, and that a clever Indian-fighter might take advantage of his terrain to even a contest where he is outnumbered. Of course, it helps to have a repeating rifle as well.

Mrs. Cusser has a horse, and is knowledgeable, and she brought this up as well.  Horse riders don't tie a horse up by the reins, or leave him all day at a hitching post saddled up like it seems in westerns.  Horses drink a ton of water too, and eat a lot.  Remember - Mrs. cusser is the one who told me that the mule in "Fistful" was actually just a real ugly horse.

Even Tuco doesn't appear to water his horse for the desert.

« : December 06, 2018, 06:37:57 AM Cusser »
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