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First Man - Photographed by Linus Sandgren

Linus Sandgren Damien Chazelle

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#1 Miguel Angel

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:03 AM

I went to watch First Man yesterday and when I walked out of the cinema I thought that I had seen something really beautiful and extremely sensorial (if that word makes sense) 

 

Just think that it is one of the best movies I've seen this year in the cinema so far, the actors are really well, Damien Chazelle took a very brave route and makes you feel inside Armstrong's skin at all times and well.. the cinematography is just as risky as it could be, I'm so glad that they made this movie.

 

Linus talks about the fact that they approached the movie as a documentary from the 70s but with a more cinematic approach.. I do see some certain cinema vérité points in terms of setting up the scenes and just film them, letting the actors create their world but I certainly see that they knew what it was going to happen at all times. 

 

I love that they were able to hold conversations just on Armstrong's face without cutting to other things or that they stayed with Armstrong without cutting to wides.. as well as the score, which is really really good.

 

Anyways! if you can watch it in the cinema, go and watch it, I really think that it is a piece of art that needs to experimented (for lack of another word) on the biggest screen you can go to. 

 

First Man

 

Linus Sandgren on First Man, Podcast

http://www.studiodai...damien-chazelle

 

Have a lovely day


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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:58 AM

wow looks great from the trailer.. Claire Foy.. wowzer !!


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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 11:51 AM

I'm not sure about the biggest screen (IMAX), I was one screen width back and some handheld and vibration shots were about at the limit, without feeling the need to rush a location seen in the film

 

Well worth catching, interesting use of people's backs, rather than the frontal view..

 

Claire Foy comes over as Janet Armstrong very  similar to the interviews I've seen of her.,


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#4 Bruce Greene

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:09 PM

I was not overwhelmed by this film, but, I did find it interesting that the movie seems to be shot on film, except for the moon scenes which have the clarity of digital, and I think this was a good choice.

 

The "cinema verite" style of the bulk of the movie went to far for me and I found it a distraction often.  This may be because this film is really a series of vignettes, rather than a story.  I left the theater feeling that I knew little more about Armstrong at the end than I did at the beginning.  No amount of photographic style was going to save this weak script in any event...

 

But I did like the rocket rides and the views in the space capsules.  That was really fun and one could really imagine the terrifying experience that it must have been.  A normal man would never have taken this astronaut job.  I just wish I'd learned something more about these men than that they can perform under enormous stress that others can not.  In the end, Armstrong is still a mystery.


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#5 KH Martin

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:09 PM

I was not overwhelmed by this film, but, I did find it interesting that the movie seems to be shot on film, except for the moon scenes which have the clarity of digital, and I think this was a good choice.

Except for one background plate of the moon during liftoff that was digital, pretty sure nearly all of the moon stuff is Film IMAX, not digital acquisition. (and I talked to the DP, an operator, the vfx supe, prod des and guy who shot the miniatures, so that's not just idle speculation.)

 

All the talk on blu-ray.com about the heavy shakicam throughout has made me reconsider seeing it in the theater, so I am kinda bummed right now (don't think I've seen a live-action movie in the theater since GRAVITY x3, except for a horrible press screening of BEGUILED on a dig projector that made the thing look abominable.)


Edited by KH Martin, 22 October 2018 - 02:11 PM.

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#6 Bruce Greene

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 05:52 PM

Except for one background plate of the moon during liftoff that was digital, pretty sure nearly all of the moon stuff is Film IMAX, not digital acquisition. (and I talked to the DP, an operator, the vfx supe, prod des and guy who shot the miniatures, so that's not just idle speculation.)

 

All the talk on blu-ray.com about the heavy shakicam throughout has made me reconsider seeing it in the theater, so I am kinda bummed right now (don't think I've seen a live-action movie in the theater since GRAVITY x3, except for a horrible press screening of BEGUILED on a dig projector that made the thing look abominable.)

Well, I guess that IMAX film, scanned and projected digitally looks a lot like an Arri Alexa :)


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 08:31 AM

I was not overwhelmed by this film, but, I did find it interesting that the movie seems to be shot on film, except for the moon scenes which have the clarity of digital, and I think this was a good choice.

 

The "cinema verite" style of the bulk of the movie went to far for me and I found it a distraction often.  This may be because this film is really a series of vignettes, rather than a story.  I left the theater feeling that I knew little more about Armstrong at the end than I did at the beginning.  No amount of photographic style was going to save this weak script in any event...

 

But I did like the rocket rides and the views in the space capsules.  That was really fun and one could really imagine the terrifying experience that it must have been.  A normal man would never have taken this astronaut job.  I just wish I'd learned something more about these men than that they can perform under enormous stress that others can not.  In the end, Armstrong is still a mystery.

 

Couldn't agree more. Like so many modern films it's beautifully done but ends up feeling rather empty, though not, of course, for the same reasons as Transformers. 

 

I've seen Ryan Gosling in three films recently - Drive, Blade Runner 2049 and now First Man, and in each case the characters were almost comically underplayed. Neil Armstrong wasn't that much of a plank. The audience I saw it with didn't know when to laugh.


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#8 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 05:18 PM

A lot of today's big movies are like this. Enormous infrastructure, amazing image and sound but lacking in simple human interest. A good production should care about the 'people' side of the story. Not the 'things' people do - that's actually far less interesting because it's materialistic and the key to people is that they are really about spirit. We are spiritual beings. Modern art/entertainment is woefully poor at this truth compared to artworks of even the past century and it's not difficult to track down the real reason for this change.


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#9 Vince Sweeney

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 02:10 AM

Great film and worth going to an IMAX for. In fact if you don't, you are doing a disservice to yourself being in this field of work. The sequences of action and execution of it were better than anything I've seen in recent times. It's also as much a study in sound design as it is shooting action. The 2-perf really helped to nail the tone of it. Best film I've seen all year, easily, and the IMAX sound had a big effect on my perception of it. It would be a waste on even the best TV setup. Very much like Gravity in many ways, but far better (and this really happened)


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#10 Miguel Angel

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 04:20 AM

I knew that the movie was going to be a bit of a "Like it or hate it" one when I watched it and that's one of the reasons why I started this thread. 

 

I believe that a piece of art can create feelings in a person, either good or bad ones, it doesn't matter as long as it creates something.

 

Definitely First Man made me feel a lot of things and even though the movie takes a more "conventional" route from the moment the Apollo is presented to the audience (and I understand perfectly the reason why they had to do that) Chazelle is able to find his way back to the way he wants to move the audience. 

 

That shot of the guys in the lift going up towards the Apollo is a fabulous way to tell the story in a very simple shot.

 

I just loved the simplicity of the approach and how everything works very well, in my opinion of course! :)

 

Have a lovely day.


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#11 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:38 AM

Apparently the interior of the command and lunar module were shot in Super 16mm according to IMDb. They also used 3 perf as well as the techniscope, and IMAX film cameras. This seems to be a growing trend for big features to shoot on film.


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#12 Reggie A Brown

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 09:17 AM

Here's an interview with the DP, just in case anyone's interested in reading it.

https://filmmakermag...n-on-first-man/
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#13 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 01:41 AM

Great film. Just saw it. This film definitely did not commit the mistake I referred to earlier, above. I didn't mind the 'truthful cinema' camera style and the sometimes out of focus shots. Seemed to fit well in the context wherever it was apparent. I really admired the look of the outdoors 'home movies' style shots, when Neil Armstrong was on the moon and he was thinking back over happy family times. That was very saturated, warm colourful, almost like Kodachrome - I'd be interested to know if it was 2 perf. Wasn't as grainy as the super 16 shots (probably because they were shooting on 500T). Comparing this film as a cinema experience to the previous one I went to see, 2001: A Space Odyssey, I feel the latter definitely (to my taste) had a warmer and better look. It would be great if current films could in some cases be released as film prints. I'd definitely pay more for it, but don't know if anyone else would.


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#14 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 05:55 PM

I don't know if it's the quality of projector used at my local cinemas or whether they've got the latest equipment, but in my opinion digital projection is letting down the makers of these movies shot on film. It's a cheaper, thinner and slightly dull, washed out look that gives all the information but in a slightly lackluster way. I find that I often become conscious of the actual white screen itself. Projection of film prints has a warmer, 'fatter', higher quality look. Movies shot on film actually look much better on the home tv screen. Film projection can have problems too of course, flicker sometimes, vertical scratches, etc, but overall a better way of seeing films that were shot on film. I wonder if people in the film industry are concerned about this, and whether the digital projection can be improved.


Edited by Jon O'Brien, 27 October 2018 - 06:03 PM.

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#15 Phil Connolly

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 07:03 PM

I don't know if it's the quality of projector used at my local cinemas or whether they've got the latest equipment, but in my opinion digital projection is letting down the makers of these movies shot on film. It's a cheaper, thinner and slightly dull, washed out look that gives all the information but in a slightly lackluster way. I find that I often become conscious of the actual white screen itself. Projection of film prints has a warmer, 'fatter', higher quality look. Movies shot on film actually look much better on the home tv screen. Film projection can have problems too of course, flicker sometimes, vertical scratches, etc, but overall a better way of seeing films that were shot on film. I wonder if people in the film industry are concerned about this, and whether the digital projection can be improved.

 

I think thats one of the issues with DLP projectors. They can't do true black, so you get a milky grey instead of black. Quite noticeable on films with sequences in the dark grey of space. 4k DLP projectors tend to have even worse contrast. Film prints can do better blacks.

 

Laser projection has much better contrast and digital systems such as Dolby Cinema and Imax Laser - can do really black blacks, often better then film prints. But the equipment is v expensive, so installations are super rare. Hopefully prices will come down and more cinemas will invest in Laser based projection


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#16 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 07:46 PM

Thanks Phil, that's encouraging. I will only note though that it was the look of the whole movie including external day scenes.


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#17 Phil Connolly

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 04:08 AM

I guess something like first man (I've not seen it yet) - is going to risk looking at flat - since you've got low contrast DLP mixed with lower resolution super 16 - probably going to be a bit mushy.

 

Also with cinema projection - there are lots of other ways contrast can get limited, from dirty glass in the booth port, to lens choice on the projector. You can get high contrast DLP lenses but they need more light etc..

 

Sony projectors have higher native contrast then DLP's, but are less common due to limitations with 3D.


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#18 David Hessel

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 08:53 AM

As far as digital cinema goes, dolby cinema is my preference by far. Deep blacks and bright whites. The only issue I have with is at my local theater they have red lighting which is close enough to spill on the screen and is noticable in really dark scenes. I am not sure if that is common or not.
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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 October 2018 - 04:24 AM

Art direction and effects on First Man:

 

https://www.redshark...es-on-first-man


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#20 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 29 October 2018 - 07:34 AM

Art direction and effects were great in this film! And great sound effects, too.

 

Neil and his wife were perfect in their dress and manner. Very, very believable picture and very entertaining. The Neil Armstrong in this film came across like I remember older people back then: old-fashioned, a bit reticent and quiet in some ways, hard working, sincere, honest. Today we might say naive but they weren't. I miss that whole era. I was just old enough to remember the grainy, ghost-like image of Armstrong climbing down the ladder as one of my earliest memories. My dad explained carefully what was happening, so I understood.

 

The people of those days were great in my opinion. That whole generation is basically gone now. They weren't perfect, but they had so much going for them.

 

Not a criticism, just an amusing thing at one point (I thought): one of the televisions they showed in someone's home looked very much a 70s style. I can only just remember the old, mid-60s style tvs (still in use in early 70s) and they were an entirely different look.


Edited by Jon O'Brien, 29 October 2018 - 07:42 AM.

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