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Cameras in the Movies / TV / Media If you are a photographer, it's difficult not to appreciate movies too. In this forum you can discuss movies, as well as the cameras used in them. What camera used in what film / TV show etc has long been a topic of discussion at RFF. Whether the Exakta and 400mm Kilfitt lens in Hitchcock's Rear Window or the Nikons in Eastwood's Bridges of Madison County, cameras are tools which reflect the time and technology of the film.

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Anyone inspired to photograph after watching a movie
Old 06-04-2005   #1
JOE1951
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Anyone inspired to photograph after watching a movie

Three films that have had an impact or motivated me to get out and take photos after seeing them:


Wings of Desire
by Wim Wenders, camera by Henri Alekan

Nice use of black&white counter-pointed with colour in the second half of the film, great sound-track too. Listening to it inspired me to start this thread!

The Pawnbroker by Sidney Lumet, camera by Boris Kaufman

Just a favorite cinematographer! For a film shot in the early 60's (the golden age of B&W movies) Some very cool "street shooting" towards the end!

I am Cuba by Mihail Kalatozov, camera by Sergei Urusevksy (?)

Wide angle through out the entire film and lots of use of B&W infra-red!!!!! If you can stomach the blatant Soviet jingoism, it's worth it just to look at, but at three hours, the look wears thin!

I'm an admited "film snob" with a bias for Black&White movies, but hey, anyone who takes photos has to have a favorite movie!

Anyone?
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Old 06-04-2005   #2
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Koyaanisqatsi really stunned me. However I quickly discovered the void between motivation and results!
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Old 06-04-2005   #3
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Yeah, Koyaanisqatsi is a cool movie, I saw the 2nd film that after Powaquattsi but it wasn't as interesting, there is a third one, just made but I don't know anythign about it.
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Old 06-04-2005   #4
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Hmm, I rarely feel really motivated to shoot photos after a movie, but thinking about movies with a very photographic style, the first two directors that come to my mind are Jim Jarmusch and Aki Kaurismäki (two of my favorites, too).

And the early episodes of CSI looked like cross-processed film

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Old 06-04-2005   #5
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For me it's Amelie and The Long Engagement ... Both by the same director but the name escapes me. All very sureal and dreamy. I'd love to know how they did it if anyone knows

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Old 06-04-2005   #6
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"Blow Up", but that was a long time ago.
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Old 06-04-2005   #7
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"Eyes Wide Shut", but I couldn't find similar models.
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Old 06-04-2005   #8
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Here's a weird one: watched Sin City yesterday.

The look of it reminded me why I love mono so much.
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Old 06-04-2005   #9
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"Vozvrashcheniye", a.k.a. "The Return" - stunning cinematography by Mikhail Krichman, who also took the beautiful still photos used in the movie.. definitely one of the best movies I've seen the past few years. http://imdb.com/title/tt0376968/
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Old 06-04-2005   #10
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but Wings of Desire (gorgeous cinematography), Blow Up (the COOLEST photography film EVER [afterall, IIRC the Yardbirds show up in it] and by one of the greatest directors ever), Peeping Tom (creepy b&w) and Pecker would all work for me too.
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Old 06-04-2005   #11
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The director of Amelie and A Very Long Engagement is Jean Pierre Jeunet. The Cinematographer for both was Bruno Delbonnel. I assume you're talking about how they got the peculiar color palette in both of them. It's a mixture of the production design (lighting with paint), lighting (painting with light) and a whole bunch of digital color correction. American Cinematographer magazine has had very in-depth articles on both if you want to read more.

For me I get inspired to go out after seeing anything Christopher Doyle has shot, especially his work with Wong Kar Wai (Happy Together, Fallen Angels, Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love). The same goes for Rodriego Prieto's work on Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Beautiful stuff.

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Old 06-04-2005   #12
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Thanks for the tip on Amelie ... yes it was the colours that I was refering to I agree on 21 Grams and Amores Perros ... very nicely done.

dan
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Old 06-04-2005   #13
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Ingmar Bergman b&W, cinematographer Sven Nykvist -- very inspiring.
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Old 06-04-2005   #14
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Yeah, I am with Fraley -- Bergman's "The Seventh Seal", "Wild Strawberries" and so on. Antonioni's "La Traviata" was also inspiring. It is all so creamy and plus-x like...
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Old 06-04-2005   #15
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Yes, particularly after B&W Woody Allen reruns, or various films showing the Las Vegas lights. Others too.
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Old 06-05-2005   #16
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Actually, I wanted to go out and shoot after "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow".

With a whole bunch of extra film.
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Old 06-05-2005   #17
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Just got some Orson Welles DVDs -- Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Touch of Evil. Admire his mastery of B&W. Lots of dark or black areas that make the subject stand out. Unusual lighting angles -- e.g. very low with large shadows, strong side lighting that results in half illuminated faces, high lighting that results in eerie shadows over faces. Now, I have to get out at night with some fast B&W film and a 1.4 lens.
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La Double Vie de Veronique
Old 06-05-2005   #18
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La Double Vie de Veronique

When I moved to Paris in 1991 I was shooting B&W until I went to see "La Double Vie de Veronique" by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Then I started shooting Kodachrome again - mainly in the warm early morning or evening light, including some rough glass balls I found at a Marché aux puces...
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Old 06-05-2005   #19
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Hitchcock with his black and white all-wide-angle style really makes me think. Not that i can do anything on the same level, but it makes me think about exploring simple scenes. Also, the original Dracula movie, Nosferatu or whatever it was called, it has some amazing photography. Not beautiful, but interesting. (Nope, i don't like the movie itself.)

Otherwise, on "beautiful" photography: I rarely agree with awards but the girl with the pear earring was indeed very well done. I don't think it's inspiring for me, though; it's not what I aspire for. The colours in the Amelie and Long engagement... are indeed something great nut also not making me think and try to replicate.
I think i'm more like a shape and angle-isnpired guy than colours or tones. Also Lola rannt is a great example of the many possibilities that can be explored without any exotic locations or "special effects".

Leon the professional also has some great stuff. Remember the scene when the stepmother of Mathilda is shot in the hottub, seen from above and from behind? Or when her sister is watching the TV and doing the aerobic stuff? Or the headshot of Leon(sorry for the pun)? I don't exactly know who's merit is such a performance, the director or the photographer or who, but it's good stuff.

Oh and as inspiration, of course, the movies of Milla Jovovich always inspire me. I imagined already many many times the lighting and angles of photographing that bubble bath of me and her
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Old 06-05-2005   #20
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Any the films by Pedro Almodovar and Wong Kar-Wai w/ cinematographer Christopher Doyle. I really appreciate the art direction of both directors.

Another movie of recent is "Closer". Julia Roberts did not inspire me. But the camera she holds did
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Old 06-05-2005   #21
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Quote:
Hitchcock with his black and white all-wide-angle style really makes me think.
Maybe I come a few years too late, but I always remember Hitchcock films as color, such as "Birds", "Rope", "Rear Window", and "Marnie", where the use of the fade to total red gave me the absolute creepies ("Colors, stop the colors") for some reason I could never figure out!
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Old 06-06-2005   #22
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Pecker and I Love N.Y. inspired me not only to shoot, but to shoot black and white.
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Old 06-06-2005   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkyy
Any the films by Pedro Almodovar and Wong Kar-Wai w/ cinematographer Christopher Doyle. I really appreciate the art direction of both directors.

Another movie of recent is "Closer". Julia Roberts did not inspire me. But the camera she holds did
Yes, nice Leica and Hasselblads.

Didn't really get the story though.
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Old 06-06-2005   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Coale
"Blow Up", but that was a long time ago.

"Blow up" was a classic. Probably got a lot of young guys interested in photography because they thought they would get to roll around on the floor with their models.
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Old 06-06-2005   #25
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"The Unbearable Lightness of Being", because of the artistry of the film, the aspiring photographer character 'Tereza', and for the (ahem) unforgettable scene where Lena Olin and Juliette Binoche take turns photographing each other nude.

Hey, I'm not 'shamed!
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Old 06-06-2005   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiev4a
"Blow up" was a classic. Probably got a lot of young guys interested in photography because they thought they would get to roll around on the floor with their models.
Just watched that recently for the first time. The style is certainly the '60s, all the way through. Even if you knew nothing about the movie, you could watch it for 10 minutes and you would instantly think 1966. Some parts made me really laugh, but if I had seen it when it came out, I'm sure I would have thought it really cool.

Also, recently saw 'Pecker', because of all the talk about it here. Funny, quirky movie, but Edward Furlong couldn't act in T2, and he doesn't look like he's learned anything since... and just a nitpick, the one time they showed a shot thru the viewfinder of the Canonet, it didn't look right, just a cross, and no RF patch.
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Old 06-06-2005   #27
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I have only been taking pictures for about a year but now I think about movies in a completely different way. One that comes to mind right away is "Songs from the Second Floor", amazing! Also I watched "The Life Aquatic" and thought it was interesting how the whole movie was shot in wide angle with distortion and all.

One that I saw in theaters recently that surprised me was the new Star Wars, its soo graphic. It makes me think that George Lucas would be better off making silent movies instead of giving his characters such a horrible script. Most of the time the script just seems bad because Lucas already says everything through his pictures and the words just seem repetative.
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Old 06-06-2005   #28
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With regard to Closer, I found some details relating to Julia Roberts' photography a little odd, if not necessarily incorrect.

Firstly, when we see her view of Jude Law through the Hasselblad's waist-level viewfinder, surely it should be inverted. (I say this as someone who has never used a Hasselblad, or any other medium format camera for that matter, with any kind of viewfinder, so am quite prepared to be shot down in flames).

Secondly, when she switched to the Leica, I was surprised by how loud the shutter sounded. (Believe it or not, I say this as someone who, while clearly aspiring to , has never used a Leica, but was under the impression that the quiet shutter was one of its legendary strengths. I am, however, prepared to be corrected).

Finally - and I think I am at least on firm ground here - in her exhibition we saw the picture she took of Natalie Portman with the Leica, and it was in the same square format as the Hasselblad shots. While clearly feasible, this does raise the question of why, if you want to display your pictures in square format, you would use a 35mm camera.
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Old 06-06-2005   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodyear
Here's a weird one: watched Sin City yesterday.

The look of it reminded me why I love mono so much.
Not weird at all! That one was the direct inspiration for one of my latest shoots (see my gallery or site for the "Davy" shots).
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Old 06-06-2005   #30
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Yeah, well, I started in advertising photograohy in London in the early-to-mid 70s; we were all brought up on Blow Up, models as well as photographers. You mean anyone had a problem rolling around with the models on the purple paper?

Happy days.

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Old 06-06-2005   #31
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Akira Kurosawa and Jim Jarmusch for gorgeous compositions and use of black and white. I've been watching the Criterion Editions of works by both directors later. Amazing.

And Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) for sheer creativity. I just rented his series of music videos and short films released under the "Directors' Series" and my jaw was on the floor the whole time. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for pure visual brilliance. Michel is on another plain altogether.
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Old 07-24-2006   #32
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Amelie, such great color and wonderful story. Perspectives were great too. Finding Forrester. Granted its about writing, but the creative feeling it instills in me to want to go and create happens every time I watch it. The soundtrack is great too. And mostly all of Orsen Wells films, The Third Man in particular, with its terrific lighting and perspectives.
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Old 07-24-2006   #33
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I often feel motivated to imitate a style, look, or shot after seeing a movie. This motivation usually succumbs to laziness and/or ennui long before I even make it to the camera bag. Is that bad?
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Old 07-24-2006   #34
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Allways! I got inspired by antonioni recently
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Old 07-24-2006   #35
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I am Cuba by Mihail Kalatozov, camera by Sergei Urusevksy (?)
Mihail Kolotozishvili is his name and he was georgian, in fact his grand son is my friend on of the greatest directors off all time, and Ya cuba is one of the best movies of all time, great photography too.
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Old 07-24-2006   #36
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I just saw 'Cinderella Man'... I know, I'm on the late-freight but with kids and family committments I haven't had much time for movies. All of the press photographers were using Speed Graphics and flash bulbs. I have little interest in using flash bulbs but it does make me want ot take the Super Graphic out again. Perhaps I'll use a roll film back for convenience, though.
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Old 07-24-2006   #37
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I recently saw Good Night & Good Luck, a movie about the early broadcast Journalist, Edward R. Murrow, and it was an inspiration. Shot completely in black and white, with heavy use of short depth of field and selective focus. Set in the early 1950's, I loved the style, and Murrow was a heavy smoker, and that adds to the visual interest of many of the sequences. It's a beautiful film, and while I was viewing it I kept thinking to myself...I've gotta mention this on Rangefinder Forum, they'd love this. Of course, I got busy with other projects and never got around to it, so I'm glad this topic was started.
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Old 07-24-2006   #38
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Most black and white films... and Amelie
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Old 07-24-2006   #39
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Almost every postwar BW Italian movie I have ever seen. Kurasawa's films to. Sometimes the American Film Noir B movies of the 50's surprise and inspire me as well. Jim
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Old 07-24-2006   #40
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Sven Nykvist's B&W cinematography for Bergman's films is sublime. I have no idea how to emulate it but I very much wish to. Hitchcock's terrific visual strengths were highlighted by the use of colour in his 'mature period'. It is virtually impossible to mistake a Hitchcock mise en scene for something else, such was his visual command of the medium. I am particularly in awe of his choice of angles and I would very much like one day to take one photo with that kind of compositional strength. But the films that influence me the most are the noir movies of the 40's and the 50's. I love the expressionistic chiaroscuro evidenced in most movies of that period and I think a rangefinder camera is tailormade for the task.
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