Jump to content


Photo

The Queen


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Andy_Alderslade

Andy_Alderslade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1055 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London, UK

Posted 09 October 2006 - 06:35 PM

I don't know if this has been released in the US yet but I think its something worth watching for the more patient of you.

For those of you who don't know about the film, its a docu-drama about how Tony Blair and the Queen clashed over public/private grief after the death of Princess Diana - and i'm sorry to say i found it a little boring.

I really like Stephen Frears, I like his movies and have been fortunate enough to attend some of his talks but perhaps it was a little foolish of me going to see this film, instead of The Departed.

In the end i have to admit i'm only a 24 year old, who admitedly cares more for techno and dance anthems than any national anthem, how am I supposed to appreciate a film about the death of tradition, the inability of the old to stay in touch and about those who supprese feeling for the sake of duty.


The films got some good points Helen Mirren is very good as always. Plus Michael Sheen is excellent as the semi-camp Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen recently played in a biography of hyper-camp comedian Keneth Williams, on TV). Some of the other performance sit uneasily between impersonation and acting - particularly James Cromwell who's usually very good and ruins every scene he speaks in (sounding like he's been dubed).

It makes great use of the awe inspiring Scotish countryside estates, with some beautiful aireal photography, and those scenes often related to the story surrounding a stag are the best in the film. It actually made me want to see it in scope, which it unfortunatly wasn't.

I saw in the credits it had a digital intermediate, which makes sense since it intigrates a lot of news footage with original 35mm film footage (actually there's a beutifully edited montage dealing with 'the crash'). Unfortunatly some of the mock news footage (with the performers) looked like it simply had a filter slapped on it - wasn't quite up to say Welcome to Sarejevo.

Latter in the film it had this bizzare phenomon, where scenes with the Queen (Mirren) would be beautifully grainless and natural in contrast, while scenes of Tony Blair would look extremly grainy and low contrast - it gave me the impression that they had second thoughts about something in post and have tried (slightly unseccefully) to correct it.

I wonder if anyone may know why this was?

Anyway its worth a look, if your interested in that kind of thing.
  • 0

#2 Arni Heimir

Arni Heimir
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 326 posts
  • Other
  • Reykjavik/Barcelona

Posted 09 October 2006 - 06:56 PM

I don't know if this has been released in the US yet but I think its something worth watching for the more patient of you.

For those of you who don't know about the film, its a docu-drama about how Tony Blair and the Queen clashed over public/private grief after the death of Princess Diana - and i'm sorry to say i found it a little boring.

I really like Stephen Frears, I like his movies and have been fortunate enough to attend some of his talks but perhaps it was a little foolish of me going to see this film, instead of The Departed.

In the end i have to admit i'm only a 24 year old, who admitedly cares more for techno and dance anthems than any national anthem, how am I supposed to appreciate a film about the death of tradition, the inability of the old to stay in touch and about those who supprese feeling for the sake of duty.
The films got some good points Helen Mirren is very good as always. Plus Michael Sheen is excellent as the semi-camp Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen recently played in a biography of hyper-camp comedian Keneth Williams, on TV). Some of the other performance sit uneasily between impersonation and acting - particularly James Cromwell who's usually very good and ruins every scene he speaks in (sounding like he's been dubed).

It makes great use of the awe inspiring Scotish countryside estates, with some beautiful aireal photography, and those scenes often related to the story surrounding a stag are the best in the film. It actually made me want to see it in scope, which it unfortunatly wasn't.

I saw in the credits it had a digital intermediate, which makes sense since it intigrates a lot of news footage with original 35mm film footage (actually there's a beutifully edited montage dealing with 'the crash'). Unfortunatly some of the mock news footage (with the performers) looked like it simply had a filter slapped on it - wasn't quite up to say Welcome to Sarejevo.

Latter in the film it had this bizzare phenomon, where scenes with the Queen (Mirren) would be beautifully grainless and natural in contrast, while scenes of Tony Blair would look extremly grainy and low contrast - it gave me the impression that they had second thoughts about something in post and have tried (slightly unseccefully) to correct it.

I wonder if anyone may know why this was?

Anyway its worth a look, if your interested in that kind of thing.



I saw this film last saturday. Thought it was really good. Made me change my attitude towards the British monarchy.

One thing I find disturbing is how the filmmakers made intelligent guesses in what went on that week at Balmoral. Was the dialogue researched? Seems this film is borderline slander. Funny how the filmmakers never made a disclosure about how they based the content of the film. Nor has the director had to defend its material. But a good film none the less if you looked at it from a purely entertainment point of view. Sadly people will start to quote this film as legitimate history.

Edited by Arni Heimir, 09 October 2006 - 06:58 PM.

  • 0

#3 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 10 October 2006 - 03:12 AM

I saw this film yesterday as well. Hellen Mirren was probably the best thing in it. I found she was the one whose performance had the most depth. Unfortunately the same didn't happen with any of the other actors who for the msot part felt like actors impersonating real people.

I too was a bit distrubed by the filmmakers 'guessing' as to what had happened. I guess that's the crux of fims based on real events, but this is all so very recent. It seems like they took some big liberties. Mostly I was a bit shocked to see them suggest that the Queen cares more about a dead deer than about the dead Diana. I thought that was a pretty strong statement to make, and even if these events with the deer were true, they way they were filmed really put an emphasis on them. Especially the scene where the queen gets stuck in the river and sees the deer felt very contrived.

I'm not sure about the look of most of the Tony Blair scenes either. They were incredibly grainy and at times they looked like a 16mm student kitchen sink film, all warm and low-contrast. The DI only made things worse in these scenes, as it added a video look to it as well.
  • 0

#4 Arni Heimir

Arni Heimir
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 326 posts
  • Other
  • Reykjavik/Barcelona

Posted 10 October 2006 - 03:59 AM

I'm not sure about the look of most of the Tony Blair scenes either. They were incredibly grainy and at times they looked like a 16mm student kitchen sink film, all warm and low-contrast. The DI only made things worse in these scenes, as it added a video look to it as well.


I don't know what you mean by "16mm student kitchen sink film". But I agree, the Blair segments did look grainy. I don't think that 2k DI is that great to be honest. I was very pleased with the 4k DI in "The DaVinci Code", but this looked rudimentary. I actually found the Standard def news footage more "interesting" visually than the bulk of the 35mm photography. Many of the Balmoral/Scotland exteriors looked breathtaking. Like the deer shots. But I know what Max means.

I found the film to be good. I found some of the acting very theatre-ish". Had it been staged as theatre, like "Dogville", I think that good have been an interesting experiment. Helen Mirren's performance was brilliant though. I was a little amazed of good James Cromwell was as Prince Philip. I found the Tony and Cherie portrayal more in the direction of being a caricature.
  • 0

#5 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:56 AM

I read in a French magazine (Positif) that the scenes with Tony Blair were shot on Super 16mm. They didn't go into the reasons for this, but next time I meet some people involved in the production I'll ask them for more details.
  • 0

#6 Andy_Alderslade

Andy_Alderslade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1055 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London, UK

Posted 17 October 2006 - 01:21 PM

I read in a French magazine (Positif) that the scenes with Tony Blair were shot on Super 16mm. They didn't go into the reasons for this, but next time I meet some people involved in the production I'll ask them for more details.


I doubt if thats actually true, i've seen super16 off 35mm printes projected on larger screens that what I saw The Queen on. (Infact I only saw the Squid and the Whale two months ago)

There was something definatly 'off' about those shots/scenes.
  • 0

#7 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 17 October 2006 - 04:26 PM

This is a serious magazine, they wouldn't just make this up you know. To me it makes perfect sense, Super 16 and a bad DI give you this kind of look.
  • 0

#8 Charles Haine

Charles Haine
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 127 posts
  • Colorist
  • New York

Posted 25 December 2006 - 10:41 PM

I found myself, by the end of the film, almost sure that the tony blair stuff was shot Super16, and Balmoral 35, and also pretty confident that Balmoral was lit, and that the blair stuff was unlit, or at least less lit, and it's nice to here it confirmed.

I would guess that they set up some sort of aesthetic parameters for themselves, 35 vs. Super16, light like a film vs. lighting without movie lights and/or following dogme95 style rules, to create the history vs. modernity contrast. They might've gone a bit far for my taste, but no major complaints.

Annoyingly, I find myself acclimating to DI. Because I see so many, they bother me less even when they have the same flaws. I wasn't bothered by the DI in this or in THE GOOD SHEPHERD, though I knew it was there and occaisionally found it frustrating, it wasn't nearly as bad as my annoyance at the DI on THE ISLAND, say, or any other film from two years ago. DIs are getting better, but the audience also acclimates, I think.

Maybe it's because the accent hid flaws from me (it can do that, the way there is really never acting all the bad in subtitled films), but I thought all the performances were solid, although obviously Helen Mirren stood out. I also thought the screenplay was just amazing. Generous, I think, with people, usually assuming the best of the major characters (except for the queen mum and philip, but there's only so many characters any screenplay has the time to be generous with, I think). did an amazing job of creating tension around what could've been a quite plodding story.

I read the deer thing a different way, that she was having this outsized reaction to the death of the deer because of how emotionally repressed she was, because she couldn't deal with whatever emotions she might have about Diana, and it became channeled into this deer. She couldn't possibly always feel that way about deer, they must kill them all the time at her estate. It was that deer, that visited her that moment she nearly broke down by herself in the woods, that brought that out in her, because it had to come out somewhere.

charles haine
  • 0

#9 NathanCoombs

NathanCoombs
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 102 posts
  • Producer
  • Bath, UK

Posted 26 December 2006 - 09:52 AM

The whole thing looked awful to me - I presumed it was amateurishly shot HD.

As for the film, Helen Mirren almost saves it from embarassing tv drama mediocrity. The actor playing Tony Blair was so bad it was painful.
  • 0

#10 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 27 December 2006 - 07:06 PM

Perhaps they mixed up the Queen / Blair / 35 / 16 footage so as to acclimate the audience to texture changes. That way the video news footage would not look as out of context to the studio footage.

Interesting observation about the Queen's emotional repression venting with the deer. Who knows what was going through Her Majesty's royal noggin? Of course, there was reportedly little love lost between Diana and the royals; she referred to them as "lizards". How about that, Illuminati aficiandos?
  • 0

#11 Sean Azze

Sean Azze
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 145 posts
  • P.A.

Posted 22 January 2007 - 09:27 PM

I read the deer thing a different way, that she was having this outsized reaction to the death of the deer because of how emotionally repressed she was, because she couldn't deal with whatever emotions she might have about Diana, and it became channeled into this deer. She couldn't possibly always feel that way about deer, they must kill them all the time at her estate. It was that deer, that visited her that moment she nearly broke down by herself in the woods, that brought that out in her, because it had to come out somewhere.

charles haine


I second that. And on IMDB.com it has super16 mixed in with the formats alongside 35 and video for the mock news footage.

Oh, and I liked it quite a bit. I enjoyed it more for the inside look at the traditions of the monarchy and less about the conflict at the heart of the story.

Edited by Sean Azze, 22 January 2007 - 09:29 PM.

  • 0

#12 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:21 PM

She couldn't possibly always feel that way about deer, they must kill them all the time at her estate.

Oh come on! It's a metaphor. The deer is often used in art as a symbol of majesty.

Just like the Landrover (driven by the Queen) breaks down and she is stranded in the middle of the river. It's a metaphor. She has to call for help. It's a metaphor.

Doesn't anyone here understand cinema? Forget about it being a DI (that's DI not Di :rolleyes: ). Forget about the grain. It's a study of power, of divided loyalties, and that stuff.
  • 0

#13 Andy_Alderslade

Andy_Alderslade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1055 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London, UK

Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:46 AM

Oh come on! It's a metaphor. The deer is often used in art as a symbol of majesty.

Just like the Landrover (driven by the Queen) breaks down and she is stranded in the middle of the river. It's a metaphor. She has to call for help. It's a metaphor.

Doesn't anyone here understand cinema? Forget about it being a DI (that's DI not Di :rolleyes: ). Forget about the grain. It's a study of power, of divided loyalties, and that stuff.


I know what you mean, I love that sort of filmmaking, but thats a very sutble episode and perhaps the only visual piece of drama in what was otherwise a very 'intelectual' wordy film.

So i'm not sure if it works, people who like literate writing often find such things sentimenal or trite, where people who like more visual/dramatic filmmaking would probably find the rest of the film stale.

The symbol of a deer or a stag is often used as a symbol of masculinity too, obviously in Bambi, but particularly in the ending of All That Heaven Allows, were the the arrival of a stag represents an injured Rock Hudson will probably regain his strength.

Its even (and i'm laughing as i'm writing this) present in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where the symbol of a stag is confused for the ghost of Harry's father, but infact is the character realising his new found strength and masculinity. Ater that film came out a friend (who's a HP nut) complained they didn't explain what the stag was, i anwered 'they don't need to, have you never seen Bambi!'

Edited by Andy_Alderslade, 23 January 2007 - 10:47 AM.

  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Opal

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

CineTape

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider