Film Art and Cinematography : When I see the word "Cinematography"

When I see the word "Cinematography"

I usually disregard the rest of the comment. Maybe it's a kneejerk anti-elitist sentiment.

And for movies I've seen, "cinematography" is usually a euphemism or short-hand for ****ty script

https://www.scribd.com/document/382737647/MortSahlFan-Song-List

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

Uh huh…lol mkay. Tell that to the Academy of Motion Pictures

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Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I always see it as the technical aspects of film making, the cameras and lighting, separate from the acting.

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Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

Most great movies have great cinematography. I'd argue it is more enjoyable to watch a movie with a mediocre script and great cinematography than a movie with a great script and awful cinematography.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

Go listen to a podcast or something if you hate cinematography so much you douche.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I use both terms.

I suppose that means using cinematography for Citizen Kane is elitist and photography for Plan 9 From Outer Space is plebian.

Feeling kind of schizo right now. 🙂

And This, Too, Shall Pass Away

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I’m sorry but that’s really stupid.

I live. I die. I live again.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

A good script is more important, but cinematography and chiaroscuro give a film their flair. They're crucial to the film as well.

Do you not appreciate film noir and German Expressionism?

Look at this shot from A Night of the Hunter (1955). This shot would be meaningless without the cinematography. Note the sillouette of the horse.

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And some examples from noir. The black and white captures shadows particularly well, which colour cannot do.

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And then the "Terence Malik glow". He really likes to utilise sunlight.

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Joker's brilliant Oscar-nominated cinematography.

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Look at the way the orange sunlight is pouring in the windows here. The inside shows a depressed Arthur. The sunlight represents happiness, and he's isolated and contained from it.

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This is all artificial lighting. Cinematographers have bulbs built into the set of certain scenes to get the look they want. This is why movies look so good, from say, commercials and soap operas. It take a lot of time to do this and you're taking it for granted.

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Joker on stairs compared to random person on stairs with phone pic. You can see the difference in lighting.

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Note how T1 had a rustic brown look, and T2 had a blue-ish look in the hospital scenes and orange hue in the Steel Mill? That's cinematography.

Blue:

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Orange:

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Terminator 2 morphed from blue to orange with orange symbolising the upcoming nuclear war. Orange was the final showdown to show that it was near if the T-1000 was not stopped.

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Child's Play 2 was a more "colourful" look than its predecessor that used a lot of bright blues, reds, and yellows, also supplemented by the set design. Note how in Andy's teacher's closet, most of the objects are brightly coloured with splashes of red, yellow, and blue. That's on purpose. That lightbulb in the closet was likely installed there by the cinematographer to give off that off-yellow orangish light which offsets the shot. Part 3, when Chucky invades the military, has very dull cinematography. Part 2 IMO is the most fun to watch.


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So yes, it matters. A lot. In fact it's crucial to make a good film.

I mean look at Shawshank Redemption. It has a "look" and a glorious one at that. It may appear to be subtle but it isn't. I guarantee you that you've been enjoying it in every good film you watch without knowing it.

Monster, how should I feel? Creatures lie here, looking through the window.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I'm just saying that when a review has nothing more to say than "Fine cinematography", it's usually a sign for bad script, bad acting, and even lousy movie… Of course it matters, but if you have a great script, acting, it's still going to be a good movie. It's also impossible to know what would have been substituted for some images you posted. I'm certain some of my laments have to do with the "professional" movie snobs who go on and on about photography.

On another board, someone asked about great movies with bad cinematography. Maybe I'll try and look it up.

https://www.scribd.com/document/382737647/MortSahlFan-Song-List

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

asked about great movies with bad cinematography.

Every Chris Nolan film.

Forrest Gump (IMO). Too Hallmark-y.

A Few Good Men

Trial of the Chicago 7

Spotlight - probably the quintessential example of this: great script, great acting, BORING TV-movie look.

Hillbilly Elegy - not a good movie but still.

Every Marvel film.


Man of Steel. IMO the desaturation wasn't the best choice for Superman who is a colourful character. A Superman movie should have a brightly hued coloured scheme like CP2 where the blue really stands out.



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Monster, how should I feel? Creatures lie here, looking through the window.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I honestly think that the color used in Man of Steele would have made it a better film. But that's just the opinion of a fat black crazy bitch.giveup.gif

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I agree. I think the existing look would be beautiful colour grading for another film, but just didn't work for MOS.

Monster, how should I feel? Creatures lie here, looking through the window.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

It felt dreary and boring even though a lot of excitement happened in the film. It just didn't feel like Superman at all.

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

Yes, it needed more oomph!

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

Agree! What ever they went for, (and I can understand the need to separate it from the Reeve films), was a bit of an artistic misfire. Too drab and gloomy and austere with Snyder's typical by the numbers direction. He aint' that good with actors.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

…..if you have a great script, acting, it's still going to be a good movie.

It really needs to contain a cohesive fusion of all elements to make the film work its magic. A great script, acting, decent score etc, are going to make the film fall flat with a cruddy visual presentation and the efforts wasted.

I get where you are coming from. If its just about the great cinematography, then it may just be a case of style over substance and that can leave one cold.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I just think if you have a movie with great talent (writing, acting, themes, etc), chances are the cinematography is going to be good enough. I can't think of a movie that had everything going for it, but then has awful photography.

My initial post wasn't addressed to people on here, but some of the snobs who get paid to praise certain movies because of the quid pro quo. Critics cozy up with flattering comments, even bad movies (hence the "Great cinematography" since there's nothing else in an objectively bad movie) so that the critic gets the perks, initial screenings, the exclusive interview.

And I do like nice cinematography, especially when I can appreciate the beauty (especially if it helps the story, and not distract from it), and allows me to imagine.

Damn, there's this movie "The Last Day of Summer" (1958) where there are only two characters (who don't know each other). It's barely over an hour long, not a lot of dialogue, but it's still saying something in between, usually just by a simple look. This was on YouTube for years, and it allowed me to escape and fantasize on this island surrounded by water, long shots from above, very serene.

This is the only clip I could find.


https://www.scribd.com/document/382737647/MortSahlFan-Song-List

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

if you have a movie with great talent (writing, acting, themes, etc), chances are the cinematography is going to be good enough. I can't think of a movie that had everything going for it, but then has awful photography.
2 classic films from the same year 1950 All About Eve and Sunset Blvd are both expertly acted, written and directed. The difference between these 2 though, is that Sunset is full of b&w style and visual flair, whereas Eve has very matter of fact and plain cinematography, yet serves the story well enough. This is one of the main criticisms the film gets though, especially in comparison to Sunset due to being from the same year. I also prefer Eve just a notch above Sunset as an overall film.

I will check out that clip.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I also liked "Eve" a tiny bit more than "Sunset" but I love that they were made the same year, and about showbiz.

https://www.scribd.com/document/382737647/MortSahlFan-Song-List

Re: When I see the word "Cinematography"

I love that they were made the same year, and about showbiz.

Yes, and 2 different facets of showbiz. I don't know what it is about Eve, but it just draws me in. Sunset keeps me keen, yet I am not quite as interested, or as invested in what is going on with Desmond for some reason, as I am by Margo and Eve. I also think Baxter gets unduly maligned for her performance. She was just fine to my eyes. The first time I watched it about 20yrs ago, she had me sucked in.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?
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