Archives for category: At the movies

Jeff Bridges did not win the Academy Award for his play in True Grit, but via his website, he offers us a photographic journey behind the scenes of the Coen brothers’ movie.

It is not the first time Jeff Bridges carry his Wide-Lux camera on sets, and the website also features shots taken on Tron:Legacy and other recent movies starring the ‘Dude’.

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Not exactly part of the ‘At the movies’ series I just started, yet something came up for which I have much interest in.

For some obscure reasons and as far as I recall, I had never heard of Bill Cunningham until the Khaki Chronicles and the Sartorialist posted (respectively here and here) the trailer of the upcoming movie about the photographer. Instant buzz in the very narrow man-fashion blogosphere, the story and the character of this man intrigues me.

Bill Cunningham New York poster

Now I need to find a way to catch the movie.

I inaugurate today a new section of this blog – with a new category “At the movies“. It takes a lot to make a movie: great actors, strong plot, a tailored soundtrack and good photography.

In “In the Mood for Love/花樣年華“, director Wong Kar-Wai (王家衛) did not lack any of the ingredients and next to the magnificent Maggie Cheung and an award-ready Tony Leung, he aligned Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-Bing for photography. It is said the former was replaced by the latter but I could not find confirmation of this. Together they made for some of the most interesting cinematography I have seen in a long long time.

In photography, one has a relatively large range of orientation: portrait, landscape, crooked, upside-down, etc. Movies however, limits this creative component to one, flat and common option: horizontal.

Wong Kar-Wai manages to counter this limitation with 2 distinctive techniques: first, and to me the most noticeable graphical characteristic, is the permanent sense of verticality the movie has. In the example above and the 2 stills below, notice how the frame is divided into action space, in focus, and the rest, out of focus, empty of story-telling interest, yet essential. The telephone, the walls, the window grid and the corridor, each play a part in the visual presence of each scene. Read the rest of this entry »