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View Full Version : CINEMATOGRAPHY: Then to now


Trojan123
04-10-2005, 03:29 PM
Another thread stated that cinematography has gone backwards, and called for a list of required viewings. Instead of what to watch, I think that the discussion of cinematography itself is worthy. Question: how has the art of cinematography gone backwards? What is good cinematography and what is bad... and why?.

SB

Yossarian!
04-11-2005, 03:04 AM
Has it gone backwards? I thought it'd come a long way since the bad 'ol 80s. Plus the accessibility of grading in recent years has really opened the field to some stunning looks.

igorsandman
04-11-2005, 12:09 PM
I think it has indeed gone backward in a way. Nowaday, a lot of films are more preformances than real art. It's especialy the case at hollywood. I see those films more and more as a mean to try new special effects, new impressive sets and mechanics. Hopefully, there still are talented people out there. We didn't come to a point where we're forced to watch Tarkovsky's films with nostalgia.

Regards.
-IS-

Yossarian!
04-11-2005, 11:29 PM
I think it has indeed gone backward in a way. Nowaday, a lot of films are more preformances than real art. It's especialy the case at hollywood. I see those films more and more as a mean to try new special effects, new impressive sets and mechanics. Hopefully, there still are talented people out there. We didn't come to a point where we're forced to watch Tarkovsky's films with nostalgia.

Regards.
-IS-

You mean to say the art of shooting film has gone backwards? I would agree with you and tentatively suggest that arguably the art of making movies as a whole has perhaps slipped somewhat in recent decades (ie. the last 4), but I totally disagree that cinematography as an isolated field has gone backwards.

If cinematography is the art of creating a believable fictional world and in turn supporting the story, themes, mood, blah blah blah of the film then I think it's reached an interest high-point. The integration between CGI and live action has for the first time reached a totally believable point. 'Affordable' colour grading opens up new moods and textures for the cinematographer. Camera cranes and whatnot allow stunning previously impossible moves (ie. Van Helsing - stunning execution, muddled movie). Film stock is getting pretty darn fast. And the world of 4:4:4 HD has allowed the cinematographer to have an unprecedented role in determining the look of the film at all stages of production. Plus there's some amazing cinematographers out there right now doing stunning work (just look at the long thread running in this forum for modern examples).

igorsandman
04-12-2005, 11:16 AM
Hi Yossarian!,

I don't totaly agree with you. Filmmaking has evolved technologicaly (CG, machinery, cameras...) and yet, it's getting poorer and poorer most of the time as an art. Van Helsing is not a piece of art. I hope we agree on that. It's a performance. It's like : "Hey! Look what I can do with my camera! It's flying!". And a lot of movies are made that way nowaday. Directors uses technology as a way to show what can be done. It almost looks like they're making a commercial for those new technologies instead of making their own film.
Then again, it's not a general trend. Some manage to mix the two aspects (art/technology) quite brightly, like Peter Jackson on LotR, for instance.
Regards.
-IS-

Ruairi_Robinson
04-26-2005, 12:15 AM
Hi Yossarian!,

I don't totaly agree with you. Filmmaking has evolved technologicaly (CG, machinery, cameras...) and yet, it's getting poorer and poorer most of the time as an art. Van Helsing is not a piece of art. I hope we agree on that. It's a performance. It's like : "Hey! Look what I can do with my camera! It's flying!". And a lot of movies are made that way nowaday. Directors uses technology as a way to show what can be done. It almost looks like they're making a commercial for those new technologies instead of making their own film.
Then again, it's not a general trend. Some manage to mix the two aspects (art/technology) quite brightly, like Peter Jackson on LotR, for instance.
Regards.
-IS-

They made crappy movies in the 1950s too... crappy vampire movies even...

arneltapia
04-27-2005, 01:56 AM
It is more challenging nowadays to make a movie into art than ever before. :)

Pipo-X
05-10-2005, 08:16 PM
What I think has went backward is imagination. Everything has been made and now, it seems like that there's only place for adaptations, remake, sequels and (I can't believe it) sequels of remake... On 10 new movies, only one or two are totally original and worth seeing... and I'm nice when I say 1 or 2.... sometimes it's none. All the time, it's like a prewritten script with variables to fill.

Yossarian!
05-12-2005, 07:18 AM
That's nothing new, either. Plenty of golden era films were remakes of silent films. And those remakes had a habit of sucking too.

Back to the original statement, it's all fun and controversial to say that cinematography has gone backwards, but whats this based on? No, Van Helsing is obviously not a piece of high art, its a multi million dollar entertainment enterprise that relies on spectacle to make a profit. And by that category its a success. Just like droves of pictures before it that boasted a technicolour, 3D, tri-screened experience like you've never seen before. Lets not get too precious about the underlying motives of cinema. I've seen films shot in the 20's that looked amazing, I've seen films shot last year that looked amazing. If it looks good and has a message thats a big plus, in my books, Cinema is such a complex, contradictory, evolving beast that I'd steer well clear of sweeping categorical statements.

Pipo-X
05-12-2005, 06:19 PM
What happens is that not everybody reacts the same way to a distinct movie, it's all about what one wants from a movie. Many people hated the Matrix, and many liked it...

It's not everybody that is aware or care about good cinematography. Cinematography, for me, is a tool to tell the story in a way or another, but many people doesn't care about how shots where though or how the lighting is. Many people does not sees all that. Just to say that the story must not suffor for good cinematography... it's better to make cinematography suffer for the story because that's what people are aware of...well I think.

cementarygate
05-24-2005, 12:52 AM
i think it goes both ways, i think the special effects and the sets , makeup and all that it think its still art, someone mentioned van helsing, i didnt like van helsing, but it has artwork in it, the sets, the fx. what has pulled backwards movie is the BIG interest in selling it, its all about selling these days, but i doesnt mean everything. i like movies a lot, and my fav movies are old ones, 2001 a space odyssey, apocalypse now, 2001 had great special effects, and apocalypse now didn't as much as 2001 so think there can be a balance between everything

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