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Favorite shot of 2005


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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 09:48 PM

I was thinking about a shot in Walk the Line that I absolutely loved, and I wondered what everyone else's favorite shot of the year was. Not your favorite scene or setup, but just one shot. You know, that one shot that just made your jaw drop.

The shot in question in Walk the Line is when Reese Witherspoon is driving home by herself and there is a beautiful reflection of the trees on the windshield, and it's just kind of smearing across the windhield. I thought it was perfect for the story and her mood and I just loved it! I wondered at the time if it was a bit of a "happy accident", or if it was planned. Sometimes it can be very hard to see what reflections really look like until later. Anyway, that's my favorite.
What's yours?
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#2 Gordon Highland

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 10:40 PM

I'm gonna get killed for this, as I was just bashing CGI in another post, but. . . I loved that shot in Mr. & Mrs. Smith where Brad Pitt gets tricked and is stuck looking out the back window of the car as it goes over the railing.

For an in-camera shot. . . Ah! Layer Cake. There was part of a fight scene done from one character's POV where the viewer takes a severe beating, some violent handheld work. Sympahy for Mr. Vengeance had some of my favorite visual moments also, just can't put my finger on them.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:15 PM

This may seem silly, but one of the most memorable images was in "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit" when the bunny gets sucked into that machine and finds itself floating in the air with other bunnies, as he had gone to Heaven.

Most of Naomi Watt's close-ups in "King Kong"...

The dark diner that Tom Cruise and his family run into as the mob outside the window attack his car and shoot the driver that took it from Cruise.

The shocking suicide in "Cache".

The burning oilfields at night in "Jarhead".

The pool of blood and milk mixing in "Munich". The use of reflections in car windows too.

Bruce Willis in the snowy woods in "Sin City", sometimes a white silhouette.
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:02 AM

I was thinking about a shot in Walk the Line that I absolutely loved, and I wondered what everyone else's favorite shot of the year was. Not your favorite scene or setup, but just one shot. You know, that one shot that just made your jaw drop.

The shot in question in Walk the Line is when Reese Witherspoon is driving home by herself and there is a beautiful reflection of the trees on the windshield, and it's just kind of smearing across the windhield. I thought it was perfect for the story and her mood and I just loved it! I wondered at the time if it was a bit of a "happy accident", or if it was planned. Sometimes it can be very hard to see what reflections really look like until later. Anyway, that's my favorite.
What's yours?

I think I read that "2046" was being considered for this year, even though it was made in 2004. So if I've got that right, it would be the shot of the girl walking in high heels- the floor level shot from behind- as she (I think it was Zhang Ziyi) takes a few steps and all you can see are her shoes and about up to her knees. Also the way they framed her as she talked on the phone in that round phone nook in the lobby of the apartment house.

Then a couple of the dusk/night shots from "Brokeback Mountain". The first one where Jack is stretched out and leaning back on his elbow with the sheep on the moonlit mountainside stretched out below, then later there is a shot of their tent against the moonlight spilling across the lake. Beautiful.
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#5 Jason Debus

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:03 AM

My jaw was definitely dropping on 2046 as well, photography-wise. It was hard for me to like it as a film though when all you have is mood.

My jaw was dropping during the whole movie of Sin City, but I guess the one that really brought a smile to my face was the climax of 'the big fat kill' with all the chicks of old town going off with machine gun fire. And the shots of Goldie in the car. And ... I could go on and on.

If I could pick just one shot/sequence of 2005, it would be in War of the Worlds when they are driving on the highway and there is this crazy camera movement circling the moving vehicle that looks like something more out of Sin City but realistic. I'm really curious how this was done ...
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#6 Sean Azze

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:01 AM

If I could pick just one shot/sequence of 2005, it would be in War of the Worlds when they are driving on the highway and there is this crazy camera movement circling the moving vehicle that looks like something more out of Sin City but realistic. I'm really curious how this was done ...



That one is tied for 1st along with the aerial shot from Kong where he plunges to his death and as the camera slowly pans across the cityscape, a pair of airplanes fly into frame. Jackson truly is the next Spielberg.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:12 AM

Most of Naomi Watt's close-ups in "King Kong"...




*Ding, ding, ding!*

The close-ups of Watts were really extraordinary, very classically and glamourously done.
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#8 Josef Heks

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:22 AM

Hi,

I remember seeing that mentioned War of the Worlds shot at the movies and just wondering how on earth they did it. It was good too, cus I thought the continuity of it really made it a more intense scene. I thought later that they might have put the car on a huge trailer then dolleyed around it. But it was a long time since ive seen it and cant remember if that is a feasible answer... did you see the cars wheels moving on the road?
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 09:53 AM

Personally - and I know I'm gaining a thoroughly-undeserved reputation for negativity round here - I was fairly unimpressed with 2005 for films, as I have been for several years. I'm sure things were better in the late 90s.

The widely lauded Sin City just looked like someone had discovered the "levels" control in Photoshop.

Phil
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#10 Steven C. Boone

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:39 AM

Three insert shots in 2046 that, in context, are sad and beautiful enough to make you weep: A doorknob, a tin cash box, the tip of an ink pen poised over the paper.

A nearly silent wide shot of Swoff exploring charred carnage in the desert-- Jarhead. The frame is almost theatrical; the oil slicks, debris and blasted corpses feel harmonious, serene, haunted.

Oldboy: Some kind of rocking camera motion in the pivotal sex scene. The camera is at some distance with a long lens, but it might as well be a third partner. More intimate than voyeuristic. You literally feel the love.
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#11 Michael Most

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:12 AM

Personally - and I know I'm gaining a thoroughly-undeserved reputation for negativity round here - I was fairly unimpressed with 2005 for films, as I have been for several years. I'm sure things were better in the late 90s.

The widely lauded Sin City just looked like someone had discovered the "levels" control in Photoshop.


Phil, your absolute refusal to say anything positive about anything discussed here used to be somewhat amusing, now it's just silly.

In the case of "Sin City," the look was based on the graphic novels of Frank Miller - all quite original, all hand drawn. The fact that one could possibly create something similar in a particular piece of computer software (and that's not how it was done, but you're going to think whatever you want anyway) has nothing to do with the origin of the idea or its execution. Nor does it make it any less original.
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#12 Chris Fernando

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:15 AM

The nighttime dune scenes in Jarhead

The opening of Walk the Line with the feet stomping at Folsom (How else do you open a film about Johnny Cash?)

The nighttime scene in Munich with Avner sitting in the car and the two different reflections that come into the same window (Why do some people believe this guy still has to prove himself?!)
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#13 Craig Knowles

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 11:56 AM

There are a number of shots that come to mind (including that bunny shot!), but the one that sticks out the most is the train on fire from "War of the Worlds".
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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:04 PM

Personally - and I know I'm gaining a thoroughly-undeserved reputation for negativity round here - I was fairly unimpressed with 2005 for films, as I have been for several years. I'm sure things were better in the late 90s.

2005 was the first time in a long while that I did not see a film in the cinema that I thought was an absolute masterpiece. Usually I see one or maybe two such films each year.
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#15 olan

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:07 PM

For me it was the first shot in "Breaking news" from Johnnie To. Maybe it?s cliché but I?ve always been impress by that kind of never ending shot. But I?ll try to have a look at this close up shot in ?King Kong?. I was also impress by some shots in ?Million Dollar Baby? (it's the kind of lighting I really like)I think it was produce in 2004 but we were already in 2005 in Belgium before we could see it. In another category the most strange or funny shot I?ve seen this year is in ?Kiss Kiss, bang bang? (from Shane Black not Stewart Sugg). It?s a simple shot in the street but the ½ of the frame is completely red and the other ½ is blue. If anybody understand what the d.o.p have been trying to do?or maybe it was a bug in the copy?
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:21 PM

Hi

Yes, Michael, I know all that, but I'm actually thinking somewhat beyond the way it was done, here. The simplicity of the effect (which is what I was trying to highlight) makes it almost faux zen. "Look, I can imitate graphic art, aren't I clever?"

No, not really, you're not. Imitation has no originality. It was pretty enough, and appropriate for the storyline, but it's not clever or original and therefore unworthy of note beyond perhaps being striking.


Phil
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#17 Chris Keth

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:46 PM

Personally - and I know I'm gaining a thoroughly-undeserved reputation for negativity round here - I was fairly unimpressed with 2005 for films, as I have been for several years. I'm sure things were better in the late 90s.

The widely lauded Sin City just looked like someone had discovered the "levels" control in Photoshop.

Phil



Out of curiosity: do you like movies at all?

Why does it matter that a film's signature look (Sin City) is a simple thing to do?
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#18 Sean Azze

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 12:59 PM

Hi,

I remember seeing that mentioned War of the Worlds shot at the movies and just wondering how on earth they did it. It was good too, cus I thought the continuity of it really made it a more intense scene. I thought later that they might have put the car on a huge trailer then dolleyed around it. But it was a long time since ive seen it and cant remember if that is a feasible answer... did you see the cars wheels moving on the road?



Let me preface this by saying that this is merely a guess and I don't have any information on the War of the Worlds shoot, but I'm assuming they shot it against a green screen and that any movement on the actual vehicle was done in computers in post.
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#19 Craig Knowles

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:23 PM

Let me preface this by saying that this is merely a guess and I don't have any information on the War of the Worlds shoot, but I'm assuming they shot it against a green screen and that any movement on the actual vehicle was done in computers in post.



Exactly. There is no way this was practical shot. It had to be green screen all the way.

Personally, I felt it was a low point in Spielberg's direction. There was no motivation or reason for this shot whatsoever. Spielberg can dis digital filmmaking, but with video game shots like this, he comes off more like Peter Jackson or George Lucas.
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 02:08 PM

Hi,

> Out of curiosity: do you like movies at all?

Not many of them, no. At least not the ones I get to see.

> Why does it matter that a film's signature look (Sin City) is a simple thing to do?

Because it's banal. That's fine when it's used to high artistic effect. But when it's also derivative and really based on nothing more than an imitation of the book the film was derived from, it certainly isn't that.

Look, I don't parcticularly object to the way Sin City was shot, I just don't think it's deserving of all this buzz.

Phil
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