Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What I like in movies? Opinions (not onions) about art of movie making part 2/2

This is second part of a two part post. I suggest you read first part from here before this one. In this part we are focusing on subjects as Cinematography, Staging /costumes/make ups, Editing, Sound/ music. Lighting, and Animation/special effects in live action movies. Basically we're focusing more technical but not in any ways less artistic side of movie making.
You can be really creative in every aspect.
I want to capitalize that this is my opinion and not something you have to agree with. Feel free to make up your own opinions. :) So without further explanation let's start, shall we?

Boom! Cinematography. Straight to the point! Quite important aspect we're talking about here. It means basically how camera moves and decides what is shown to a viewer. Side note: Cinematography is totally different thing than camera man. Camera men are usually people operating second and third cameras.  Lead cinematographer operates main camera and works tightly with Director to make the best possible result.

Cinematography: So, what I consider to be interesting and great cinematography? Well, I love very artistic shots. Long, still master shots that presents beautifully made staging and location of the movie. (We'll cover my opinion about staging in next paragraph) This kind of shots are commonly used in European movies. Some directors like Roy Anderson have really distinct style of never moving camera and everything is acted like in a theater whole scene in one shot.

Here's one of his short film openings. It's really good short film btw,
It demonstrates his style perfectly. Short film is named Härlig är Jorden. (eng.World of Glory)

My absolute favourite director is Wes Anderson. His style is very anti-American and heavily European. Just simply love it. Wes and his lead cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman make amazing movies together. Style of cinematography is astonishing with comic book like moving masters. These scenes really bring out the best of every shot. Really hits the soft spot of mine.

This clip is from Wes Andersons movie Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
This is amazing and shots like this are what
makes the cinematography so great in his every movie.

What I dislike passionately is close ups.
 They are most known from ''American style'' of movie making.
Close ups from a face of an actor is just ehhh, I really don't like them at all. 
They leave no room for anything visual what might be happening on the background.
 Occasional close up is fine but when movie is filled with back to back close ups.
 It is just a mess. They're commonly used in action movies and in American dramas. 
Both of which I am not really keen on. Good example with ties these ''negative'' forms is movie called Hard Candy to which we will return at editing segment of this post because
 it's also good example of poor editing too.

Hard candy has nothing else than this badly composed close ups.
Can you tell where this scene is happening by just looking this picture? Me neither.
Correct answer: Cafe... -,-

Staging, costumes and make up are important part of creating the right mood in movie and especially in theater. Staging apparently means in English theater staging and
 in TV-series or movies it is called production designer / set decorator
but I am using incorrect word Staging for this post to make it shorter.
As I have mentioned before I love fantasy. Even though most of fantasy is embarrassing and really poor executed there still are those master pieces what move my heart. I absolutely loved lord of the ring when I was kid and now I really liked Hobbit. I thought the first Hobbit was the best (The Unexpected Journey). And yes, I know most of scenery is animated and I come back to hobbit when we are in a subject of Animation and special effects in live action movies.

Staging/costumes/make up: All these three things walk hand in hand in a way. They're all there to create world what is believable and convincing. I love very colourful background and that's what Wes Anderson who I mentioned before really does well. Love his movies all around what can I say? There is just always something to watch, something on background that pops and catches my interest. It's so enjoyable. It's like watching moving painting. This also applies to animations. I like colours and details on background.

I love Wes Anderson's style in so many levels. Look how colourful it is!
Both of these pictures are taken from Moonrise Kindom. I really do love that movie.

As you might imagine I dislike opposite of what I like. I don't like anything dull and ordinary. I can accept that if it's directors style and very artistic or thematic but most of the films are just plain boring to watch in that sense. None pays any attention to background if it's not meaningful in anyway. I think it should be important aspect as any when making a film. I could give you hundreds of examples but I think you can picture what plain concrete wall looks like.

Most of the fantasy films fall on flat what it comes to costumes and scenery. You can clearly see how much effort there's put to this TV-series named: Once upon time.
Looks like a damn themed home party!

Look at that blood. So authentic! -,-
I also like the knights armour. Yes, that what looks like a cardboard cut out.

Costumes and make up are something Lind enjoys to watch really much. She really loves (as do I) really good ''special effect make ups''. For Example Pan's Labyrinth (orig. El laberinto del fauno) (Directed by Guillermo del Toro) has stellar costumes and special effect make ups. Movie was good but unfortunately climax was tad ''too easy''. We didn't like it much. We loved all the effort what were put into making the movie. It absolutely looked amazing! We loved every bit of fantasy horror element we could find. We both love just simply really well made costumes and make ups. That look like they suit movie as a part of whole picture.

We both loved ''the skin monster'' and is something we'll always remember from Pan's Labyrinth. It was an excellently made costume. Just amazing and creepy.
This is what kind of fantasy I really love.

Game of Thrones for example is really bad TV series and I hate all hype it always gets. It is not that good I was really disappointed when Me and Lind watched the first season. I was so hyped and fell down on my face as we watched that crap. We decided not to watch more because it was so unrealistic, defiled women and was so unbelievable boooooring. I can open my thoughts about that show some other time but now we are focusing on something else. I brought GoT up because staging and costumes were really good.
They were only thing what kept us watching show.
(That and I wanted to see fantasy monsters. Again disappointed.
None cares about dragons where is everything else, Gah, dreadful show!)

Game of Thrones.
 For being such a bad show it has really good costumes.

Editing determines flow and length of shots. Editing is underrated as an art form. You can be really creative with editing and it's one of the most time consuming jobs there is in movie making.
Editing: Editing is something I never were really fan of. I felt it was clearly hardest to understand how to execute my vision. I understand it but I can't really excel in editing. (I am not talking about sound designing or mixing) What do I like in editing? It's really hard question to answer more clearly than just it needs to suit movie and make it flow. I guess what I like in editing is that it focuses to make shot or scene interesting. As I mentioned last post I dislike unnecessary dialog but editor can make it less painful with some clever tricks such as changing composition. I know what I like but it's really hard to explain what pleases my eye. I could say artistic and clever editing. I give you this example of very clever and artistic editing this animation. It's by no means very interesting story but you can see how much effort there has been put on editing. I think it demonstrates power of editing pretty nicely.

 What kind of editing I hate? Hectic. Close up shot after close up. Nothing clever, nothing interesting. Good example for ''bad editing'' I can give is Hard candy directed by David Slade. It's good example from a bad cinematography, staging and editing. Worst part of the movie was moral or to be more specific lack of it. Story is about teen girl who suspects a guy she meets is a pedophile and plans to avenge him. It's particularly sad that the theme is important and it's been delivered such a bad way! Argh, it makes me angry. After we had watched movie we felt strong feeling of disgust to the moral of this story, I will make review about hard candy when I've got time. Love Ellen Page though. She does tremendous job in this movie too.

Here's the clip from the start of the Hard Candy. It's a good example from
uninteresting shots, scenes and editing. Just all around awful not to mention
a story which is abysmal. (Except acting. Ellen Page is great. Rest of them are descent)

Hmmh. That's a lot of text but there is still three subjects to be enlightened about. Hmm. I think I am going to be doing one more post where I tackle rest of these subjects. (Sound/Music, Lighting, Animation/special effects) just because there is so much I want to say but I don't want to make it Clunky. erhm. Let's call the last part 2½/2. Heh, yea sounds about right. I feel these little bit shorter texts are more enjoyable to read.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed see you on the last one. For reals this time.. :D


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