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Cinema Magic

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moshkito View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 23 2020 at 18:45
Hi,

The Magic in Cinema

One thing that we remember from the many films we see in our lives, is the visual content, along with a word or two, and how a single mention of the film will always bring up that one bit or two that your mind sees about it.

Cinematographers are the gift to film, and for many a director out there ... without their own vision and ability to see things ... many films would be forgotten and not have the impact on an audience that it could have, or should have.

This is, for me, just a memory, of having seen a lot of films in my life, and how some of them stand out. For this reason, the film VISIONS OF LIGHT is so important to my own view and understanding of film ... you learn to see what is the director and what is the cinematographer, and in the end, you can even see how one director, or two, or three, are not the same without that person next to them.

There is no best, or worst here ... just the "memory" that makes each film stand out, and you and I love to see that all the time. Here goes:

David Watkin: Goldfinger, The Knack and How to Get It, Help!, Marat/Sade, The Bed-Sitting Room, The Devils, The Boyfriend, The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, Chariots of Fire, Out of Africa

Anthony B Richmond: Sympathy For The Devil, Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Bad Timing

Freddie Young: Goodbye Mr. Chips, Ivanhoe, Lust for Life, Lawrence of Arabia, Lord Jim, Doctor Zhivago, You Only Live Twice, Ryan's Daughter

Nicolas Roeg: The Masque of the Red Death, Fahrenheit 451, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Far From the Madding Crowd, Petulia, Performance, Walkabout

Douglas Slocombe: Kind Hearts and Coronets, The L-Shaped Room, The Fearless Vampire Killers, The Lion in Winter, The Music Lovers, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Both Indiana Jones films

Sacha Vierney: Hiroshima Mon Amour, A Zed and Two Noughts, The Belly of an Architect, Drowning by Numbers, The Cook The Thief His Wife and her Lover, Prospero's Books, The Pillow Book

Philippe Rousselot: The Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory, The Bear, Dangerous Liaisons, Henry and June, The Miracle, A River Runs Through It, Sommersby, La Reine Margot, Interview with a Vampire, The People VS Larry Flint, Planet of the Apes, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows, 

Yves Angelo: Tous Les Matins du Monde, A Heart in Winter (Un couer en Hiver), The Accompanist, Germinal

Thomas Mauch: Aguirre The Wrath of God, Stroszek, Fitzcarraldo, Warchild

Alfredo Mayo: High Heels 

Vittorio Storaro: The Conformist, The Spider's Stratagem, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, Agatha, Apocalypse Now (Oscar), Reds (Oscar), Ladyhawke, The Last Emperor (Oscar), The Sheltering Sky, Little Buddha, Tango, Goya in Bordeaux, 

Zhang Yimou: Yellow Earth 

Giuseppe Rotunno: Rocco and His Brothers, Boccaccio '70, The Leopard, The Witches, Spirits of The Dead, Candy, Fellini Satyricon, Carnal Knowledge, Roma, Love and Anarchy, Amarcord, Orchestra Rehearsal, All That Jazz, American Dreamer, Red Sonja, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Wolf

Caleb Deschanel: Being There, The Right Stuff, The Patriot, The Passion of the Christ

Jordan Cronenweth: Brewster McCloud, The Front Page, Altered States, Blade Runner, Stop Making Sense, Peggie Sue Got Married, Get Back

Sven Nykvist: The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Persona, The Passion of Anna, The Last Run, Siddhartha, Cries and Whispers (Oscar), Black Moon, The Tennant, Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander (Oscar), The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Ox, Chaplin, Sleepless in Seattle, What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Roger Pratt: Monty Python's Meaning of Life, Brazil, Mona Lisa, High Hopes, Batman, The Fisher King, Shadowlands, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, 12 Monkeys, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Lazlo Kovacs: Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens, Paper Moon, Shampoo, Ghostbusters, Radio Flyer, My Best Friend's Wedding

Vilmos Zsigmong: McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, The Long Goodbye, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, The Rose, Heaven's Gate, The Witches of Eastwick, Maverick

Conrad Hall: The Professionals, In Cold Blood, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Electra Glide in Blue, Marathon Man, Black Widow, Searching for Bobby Fisher, American Beauty


Edited by moshkito - September 23 2020 at 18:57
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dwill123 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dwill123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2020 at 03:49
John Alcott - 'Barry Lyndon'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2020 at 18:24
Originally posted by dwill123 dwill123 wrote:

John Alcott - 'Barry Lyndon'
Hi,

Thx

John Alcott: 2001, A Clockwork Orange, Overlord, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Triumphs of a Man Called Horse, 
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan Lord of the Apes

I forgot him and wanted to mention Stanley Kubrick, but forgot about it ... in general, when you see this stuff, and compare it to a couple of other films SK did, I think that John Alcott "made" SK shine ... this "style" is not quite as visible and wide open on the screen, in any of SK's early films, or a couple of the later films. It might have made EWS a lot better film, I wonder. It kinda needed a Nicolas Roeg to make the whole thing sexier instead of ... I don't know ... that film confuses me silly!

The film with Richard Harris (Horse) is very memorable visually. Greystoke also has some very visual moments.

Saying that, btw, is not to take anything away from SK. He still stands tall ... although he is not exactly one of my favorite directors, but his explosion of music in film, helped usher Nicolas Roeg and PERFORMANCE and eventually MTV. Music was not quite as much of a "thing" in film before, although one could easily mention many others that made it memorable with the music, although it was not always used very well in the film, and left to opening or closing credits ... I like it all over! Embarrassed


Edited by moshkito - September 24 2020 at 18:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2020 at 02:47
As far as Cinematography goes I always think of Dances With Wolves. I know a very obvious choice but the way the great America landscape is captured is what made that film special. I had to look it up and apparently it was a guy called Dean Semler. He was born in Australia and also worked on the Mel Gibson films Apocalypto, Mad Max 2 and beyond Thunderdome as well as the brilliant suspense thriller Dead Calm. Some good work there!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote suitkees Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2020 at 03:34
That's a nice list, moshkito. Shows well the importance of the work of the cinematographer. Most of the cinematographers I can think of out of my head are mentioned but I would add these names:

- Gordon Willis (The Godfather trilogy, some of the better work of Woody Allen...)
- Robby Müller (especially known for his work with Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch and one or two Lars von Trier films...)
- Fred Kelemen (much lesser known, but I like his work on some of the later Bela Tarr films and on his own films...)

...and there must be some Italians, but I don't remember their names, apart from Carlo di Palma (I'm especially thinking of the work on Antonioni's films...)...
"Maybe nothing is really true, and not even that." Multatuli
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2020 at 07:37
Originally posted by suitkees suitkees wrote:

That's a nice list, moshkito. Shows well the importance of the work of the cinematographer.
...

Hi,

Thanks ... to me, and the reviews of many films I have done, the visual is just as important as the whole thing and each and every moment, and this was an argument I had in theater (UCSB) with a professor that said my job was directing, not worrying about anything else ... the whole thing was valuable to me, and I kinda blew him out when one play I directed (I didn't want to!!! I was forced to!) was done "my way" and had the lights and the sound I wanted and the elements I wanted ... and the end result? A magnificent review from Santa Barbara's best known reviewer and a tremendous life for me ... I knew I was doing the right thing! But some folks wanted more TV "sides" and "asides" ... something I detest!

Seeing VISIONS OF LIGHT (I finally got the video for it) is a treasure for me, and shows how important some things that we love really is ... and you don't realize that some of the stuff used is totally accidental and improvised, and that is something I always made room for in directing, and played around with the actors to ensure they were comfortable with interruptions and such ... ex: I would run a vacuum cleaner while they were busy discussing blahblah ... and they have to adjust ... and ALL ACTORS in two years did that, including a live performance with a very expensive detail ... that got the actress an incredible ovation at the end ... and it was her first time on stage!

Originally posted by suitkees suitkees wrote:

...
- Gordon Willis (The Godfather trilogy, some of the better work of Woody Allen...)
- Robby Müller (especially known for his work with Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch and one or two Lars von Trier films...)
- Fred Kelemen (much lesser known, but I like his work on some of the later Bela Tarr films and on his own films...)

...and there must be some Italians, but I don't remember their names, apart from Carlo di Palma (I'm especially thinking of the work on Antonioni's films...)...

Towards the end of things I was scratching my head to find what was missing ... like there is so much "visual" in Herzog and no Cinematographer? 

Antonioni's films in the early days were much more visual than the later films, although I think he wanted a trippy and far out ZABRISKIE POINT that was taken from his hands and turned into some trashy story because the film was "owned" by the American producers who did not think they film would sell in the Antonioni style alone!

Just shows I have to add some more ... but there are others ... for example ... Luis Bunuel created a lot of far out visuals, and without a cinematographer that could help him see it and position things correctly, it would not have happened ... and it wasn't even "surrealistic" unless you consider how it was added to the story historically!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woon Deadn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2020 at 13:26
Sir, you are a vastly hyper huge fan of movies. I can't say the same about myself. I sure saw some Soviet stuff, Russian stuff, Ukrainian stuff, French stuff, American movies. I saw some porn and erotic movies. 

For the most part, I prefer comedies. 

There are like fourty-fifty Soviet comedies or so that are not translated in English yet, while they certainly deserve it. Today I've watched for the first time Soviet tragicomedy Love And Pigeons. It was the version with English subtitles. The translation does not reflect specific village dialect of Russian, but is correct in general: 

 

The Soviet art of any era of the USSR's existence always wonderfully kept and caught that ambiguos state of things that all the Soviet people used to. On the one hand, the Soviet movies up until Perestroika were very polished with the localities perfectly clean, people perfectly hairdressed, everything is neat and fit, nobody swears, et al. On the other one, the Soviet movies of any era were surprisingly realistic if you were able to read between the frames... Yes, it sounds like a contradiction - but it was/is why many former Soviet citizens of any age still remember the USSR with sweet touching nostalgia (that certainly shocks many foreigners). There's nothing truly shocking in it, because the USSR was a bit like Willow Farm, you know, where there were mum and dad and good and bad and Winston Churchill and Yuri Gagarin and Stalin and WW2 veterans and everything possible and impossible in one can, or in one stack if you will. 

The other Soviet comedy Grandads-Robbers directed by the main Soviet movie satiricist Eldar Ryazanov in the early 1970s is among my favourites and I think it is one of the warmest Soviet movies ever. Along with Chaplin's The Kid that glorified mothers and children, Grandads-Robbers glorified old men and women who want to be young and be of any use to the society they live in. 

There was a mysteriously-little-known even among the Soviet audiences comedy Zaychik (Little Hare, which is the last name of the protagonist). Brilliant movie about terribly shy indecisive guy working in the provincial theatre. 

There was a nice movie If I Were A Boss aiming to say that it's not that easy and fun to be the head of the factory. 

In the mid-nineties the TV series of three movies (each shown on the New Year's Eve) were made. They were called Old Songs About The Main Things In Life, where modern singers re-sung classic Soviet movies. By the way, two men that stood behind that string of movies were totally anti-Soviet... So, it was not the Soviet propaganda media product. No, it simply tried to recreate the good old days' atmosphere. They succeeded, I must say. Here's an extract from the first movie: 

 
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