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Iraq in Fragments


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#1 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 09:42 PM

I just saw this today at the Landmark Embassy Theater in Cambridge. The cinematography, which earned James Longley an award from Sundance, was absolutely beautiful. Every shot was interesting, and most of the shooting was handheld with a DVX. It is not an "in your face" documentary, it is very subtle and slow moving. I was really shocked by the amount of access Longley was able to achieve and really follow through with the stories of his characters. It is not really a violent film, it is more about the people of Iraq, and broken up by stories about Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish people in Iraq. The film does not take sides or inject anything political. It shows in great detail the lives of people who our government takes for granted every day in an effort to bring "democracy" to the country.
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#2 Steven C. Boone

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 01:31 AM

I just saw this today at the Landmark Embassy Theater in Cambridge. The cinematography, which earned James Longley an award from Sundance, was absolutely beautiful. Every shot was interesting, and most of the shooting was handheld with a DVX.


This movie is more of a historical landmark to me than so many of the other so-called digital landmarks. I saw this last night at the Film Forum in New York, sparkling 35mm print. This was pure cinema. It completely explodes the myth that you need to originate on HD to get a convincing transfer to 35. 24 frame progressive scan trumps high resolution.

In hard midday sunlight, magic hour and everything in between, this film is as gorgeous as Days of Heaven. With complex sound design to match. Everybody on this board should see it ASAP.
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#3 Jason Reimer

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:28 AM

This movie is more of a historical landmark to me than so many of the other so-called digital landmarks. I saw this last night at the Film Forum in New York, sparkling 35mm print. This was pure cinema. It completely explodes the myth that you need to originate on HD to get a convincing transfer to 35. 24 frame progressive scan trumps high resolution.

In hard midday sunlight, magic hour and everything in between, this film is as gorgeous as Days of Heaven. With complex sound design to match. Everybody on this board should see it ASAP.


I just watched the trailer, and it looks like a beautiful film. I've been wanting to do something similar, and I have a DVX also, so it's great to see what can be done with it. Very inspiring! I might have to make the drive up to L.A. to catch it at the Landmark up there. Thanks for the heads up, guys.

By the way, does anyone know how he had his camera setup for this? Any special lense adapters? Some of it looks really warm, so I'm wondering how much of that was white balance and how much was filters, or maybe he did some of it in post? I'd be curious to know how he managed the sound, if he was the only guy there. If I find anything, I'll be sure to share it here.
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#4 Jason Reimer

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:02 AM

To answer my own question, there was some discussion of this over at DVXuser.com. Here's one of the threads I found:
http://www.dvxuser.c...=iraq fragments

If anyone else has seen this film, I'd love to hear your impressions.
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#5 Steven C. Boone

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 06:20 PM

To answer my own question, there was some discussion of this over at DVXuser.com. Here's one of the threads I found:
http://www.dvxuser.c...=iraq fragments

If anyone else has seen this film, I'd love to hear your impressions.


A good, consice article on his process: http://digitalconten...neman_pipeline/

Maybe the warmth comes from post, but he also had a skylight filter on the lens at all times. No 35mm lens adapter, but his close framing when wide and controlled, fluid movements when long were as cinematic as any ol DOF tricks. You hardly miss it.
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#6 Jason Reimer

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 10:05 PM

A good, consice article on his process: http://digitalconten...neman_pipeline/

Maybe the warmth comes from post, but he also had a skylight filter on the lens at all times. No 35mm lens adapter, but his close framing when wide and controlled, fluid movements when long were as cinematic as any ol DOF tricks. You hardly miss it.



Thanks for the article, Steven. That's one of the things I love about this forum.

It's the audio end of things I'm trying to get caught up on, so it was good to hear what he had to say about that part of his process. Anyone done something similar with Vegas? It sure would be nice to get my audio out for a little juicing up.
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#7 steve hyde

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 02:28 AM

...thanks for posting the article. It is such an interesting documentary for so many reasons. RECOMMEND IT!!!

Technically astounding accomplishment. When Michale Winterbottom's "In This World" came out a few years ago, it became clear to me that great cinema can be made on DV, but this film is so beautifully shot, I'm left nearly speechless. I didn't see the 35mm print - I saw the DVD and for all intents and purposes most all of the shots look like carefully lit celluloid with the contrast of Zeiss. Amazing! It is truly unbelievable that James Longley shot this film as a crew of one on DVX.

What an incredible accomplishment.

FYI:

Post production was done here in Seattle:

Audio
http://www.badanimals.com/flashed.htm

Color
http://www.moderndigital.com/

Film Out
http://www.alphacine.com/
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#8 Jason Reimer

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:19 PM

Hey Steve,
Where did you get ahold of the DVD? I've been searching around to buy it, and so far I've only found it for rent on Netflix. Unfortunately, it never made it into any theaters in San Diego, but I've been dying to see this one for a while. One of these days I'll find it...

Jay Reimer


...thanks for posting the article. It is such an interesting documentary for so many reasons. RECOMMEND IT!!!

Technically astounding accomplishment. When Michale Winterbottom's "In This World" came out a few years ago, it became clear to me that great cinema can be made on DV, but this film is so beautifully shot, I'm left nearly speechless. I didn't see the 35mm print - I saw the DVD and for all intents and purposes most all of the shots look like carefully lit celluloid with the contrast of Zeiss. Amazing! It is truly unbelievable that James Longley shot this film as a crew of one on DVX.

What an incredible accomplishment.

FYI:

Post production was done here in Seattle:

Audio
http://www.badanimals.com/flashed.htm

Color
http://www.moderndigital.com/

Film Out
http://www.alphacine.com/


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#9 steve hyde

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 07:21 PM

....it is a "Red Envelope Entertainment" release. (netflix subsid) It may be that NetFlix is the only place to get it. That is where I rented it.

Steve
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#10 Jason Reimer

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 04:23 PM

Yeah, that makes sense. I figured that since they've already had their theater run and their Oscar consideration that they would be trying to capitalize on that momentum and have it somewhere for sale, but maybe they're still working that part out. Thanks bro.

Jay

....it is a "Red Envelope Entertainment" release. (netflix subsid) It may be that NetFlix is the only place to get it. That is where I rented it.

Steve


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#11 steve hyde

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 02:29 PM

.. some more FYI for those interested:

http://www.iraqinfragments.com/
http://www.selfreliantfilm.com/?p=195
http://www.daylightfactory.com/

Steve
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#12 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:30 PM

Longley is certainly a brave guy shooting that film... hat's off to him... only hope it can make a little bit of difference in a deeply troubled World....
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#13 steve hyde

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:20 PM

Longley is certainly a brave guy shooting that film... hat's off to him... only hope it can make a little bit of difference in a deeply troubled World....


I'm generally not a believer in cinema verite, but this one has a hold on me. This portrait of Iraq stands alone among the hours and hours of news coverage that is available to viewers. It is a singular view into the every-day-life of people living in a landscape that is being torn to shreds. We often here about the importance of putting a human face on the realities of war - to the filmmakers credit, they invite us to see and linger over human faces in the throes of this war and they do so without bombarding us with graphic images of violence.


Steve
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#14 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:40 AM

... The trouble is that in the US and UK the news coverage is heavily censored - in that the editors choose not to show what really goes on... In the aftermath of a bomb the news programmes show the remains of burnt-out cars and builldings and shell-shocked survivors... they rarely have the courage to show bits of people/women/children blown all over the place as actually happens. To paraphase Michael Herr " the bulllshit piled up so high you need wings to stay above it"
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#15 Jason Maeda

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:23 PM

"I'm generally not a believer in cinema verite"

ha ha ha oh my god i have to get this made into a t-shirt.

jk :ph34r:
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#16 NathanCoombs

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 03:03 PM

"I'm generally not a believer in cinema verite"

ha ha ha oh my god i have to get this made into a t-shirt.


..er, why?
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#17 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 03:41 PM

"I'm generally not a believer in cinema verite"

ha ha ha oh my god i have to get this made into a t-shirt.

jk :ph34r:


Cinema Verite is not something you can believe in or not, it was a movement that existed - the films that still exist today are the evidence of that at least.

Whether you are a fan or not is another question.
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#18 Jason Maeda

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 05:52 PM

"they rarely have the courage to show bits of people/women/children blown all over the place as actually happens."

perhaps they have decided upon a minimum level of decency to which they feel they must try to adhere.

jk :ph34r:
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#19 Basil Shadid

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 01:29 PM

I figured that since they've already had their theater run and their Oscar consideration that they would be trying to capitalize on that momentum and have it somewhere for sale, but maybe they're still working that part out.


IIF is coming out on DVD as a double-DVD set with some pretty spectacular special features and the short film Sari's Mother (the 4th chapter of the film) that was also shot and edited by James. It ships in early July.

I was the Post-Coordinator on the film. Are there other questions people had?
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#20 Jason Reimer

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 06:17 PM

IIF is coming out on DVD as a double-DVD set with some pretty spectacular special features and the short film Sari's Mother (the 4th chapter of the film) that was also shot and edited by James. It ships in early July.

I was the Post-Coordinator on the film. Are there other questions people had?


Thanks for the heads up, Basil. No questions just yet, but I'm sure after I see it, I'll have a few. I'll probably rent it so I can see it as soon as possible, and then buy it when it comes out.
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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