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06-25-2022, 05:57 AM   #1
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Movies and still photography

We watched Carol Reed's, The Third Man, earlier this week and it was the first time since I became half-way serious about photography. What struck me was there were few straight-on shots, cityscape or human portrait. Perhaps it was particularly noticeable in black and white. It was (almost) too much but said wake-up and think. This recalled The Duelists for color and contrast as an example of sets the mood. My background is dealing with history so there may be a bias. Of course, John Ford is a constant lesson in composition, especially "where is the horizon."

Please suggest other movies that are photography lessons. I find that repetition in a film get through to me better than looking at photographs.

06-25-2022, 06:20 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Citizen Cane has always been hailed in cinematography but it works the same for photography in many ways too. The creative use of shadows has always stood out to me.
06-25-2022, 07:05 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Anything by Stanley Kubrick; 2001 Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, Dr Strangelove, Spartacus,
Every shot is very carefully composed and lit.

Many of the Coen brothers films, They work with cinematographer Roger Deakins,
Especially, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and Fargo

You mentioned the Duelists, which was Ridley Scott's first major film,
Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator, The Martian, all worth watching for the visuals,

All of the above are masters of creating immersive worlds, and cohesive environments

Last edited by K-Three; 06-25-2022 at 07:34 AM. Reason: thought some more
06-25-2022, 07:33 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
Anything by Stanley Kubrick; 2001 Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, Dr Strangelove, Spartacus,
Every shot is very carefully composed and lit.
Barry Lyndon was supposedly shot using only "natural" light. Would the technology of the time allow it?

06-25-2022, 07:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
Anything by Stanley Kubrick; 2001 Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, Dr Strangelove, Spartacus,
Every shot is very carefully composed and lit.
I just came here to also recommend Barry Lyndon and I will also say Terrence Malik's Days of Heaven is a truly beautiful movie.
Also J Von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich's 1930s Paramount movies for lessons in light and shadows.
There is also the "love it or hate it" Last Year at Marienbad.
So many great looking movies to recommend (I love the Italian Gialli for their style even when the plot makes no sense).
Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love is also beautifully shot as is the 1973 revenge thriller Lady Snowblood - the inspiration for Tarantino's Kill Bill.

Last edited by Unregistered User; 06-25-2022 at 08:08 AM.
06-25-2022, 08:21 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gump Quote
Barry Lyndon was supposedly shot using only "natural" light. Would the technology of the time allow it?
A quick Google of "Barry Lyndon Lenses"
https://neiloseman.com/barry-lyndon-the-full-story-of-the-famous-f0-7-lenses/
06-25-2022, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Lawrence of Arabia also has excellent cinematography. Here is a shot of a camel rider appearing out of the desert haze that is gold:



06-25-2022, 09:39 AM   #8
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Might add Blade Runner duos (outside the special effects sequences) which used some of the lighting approaches of Citizen Kane. The dark heavy shadows in the first were reminiscent of earlier movies in B&W.
06-25-2022, 10:23 AM   #9
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Anton Corbijn: The American and any of his pictures and videoclips perhaps?
06-25-2022, 10:50 AM   #10
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"I am Cuba" is also one for its photography, including it's creative use of IR film.
06-25-2022, 11:07 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
Lawrence of Arabia
The cut shot from lighting the cigarette to the desert sunrise is iconic

Been off running errands this morning and this thread has been running through my head,
Glad David Lean was mentioned,
Lawrence, Bridge on River Kwai, Passage to India, Zhivago, all have very good cinematography,

Another film that came to mind was "The English Patient" the flying scenes and the sequence in the Italian church, using the flares to look at the tapestries and stained glass. Lots of motion in those scenes, but the lighting makes them work as still frames.

"Chinatown" has some excellent work in it, which stands as still images.

Hitchcock's "Rear Window" is well shot and framed; Course, Jimmy Stewart is a photographer in that film, and it's hard for a film to not look good with Grace Kelly in it.
06-25-2022, 12:14 PM   #12
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This film is considered to have cut new ground. It included a lot of "slow" pictorial scenes, making it a long film (~3 hours) - too long and slow for some critics, but photographers will appreciate it. Some of the scenes, riders appearing from the far distance, have a similarity to the Lawrence of Arabia scene posted above.

Sorry about my images not doing it justice - I ripped them off YouTube.




06-25-2022, 12:52 PM   #13
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The movies of Wes Anderson (Royal Tannenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom) are a series of very well composed frames collected into several hilarious movies.

The Wes Anderson Style Explained: Ultimate Guide - StudioBinder
Video, TV & Film Production Management Software | StudioBinder › blog › wes-and...
06-25-2022, 01:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by K(s)evin Quote
movies of Wes Anderson
Grand Budapest Hotel and The Life Aquatic, and, though animated, Isle of Dogs are also good examples
Many of his scenes work as a stage with fixed edges, and the action happens with in it. Fewer camera movements than other contemporary directors.
06-25-2022, 04:47 PM   #15
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Nebraska.
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