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Your favourite anamorphic films?


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 03:04 PM

What are everybody?s favourite anamorphic films? Not talking about 2.35:1/2.40:1 films, only films actually shot using any kind of anamorphic process.

Mine are, in no particular order, Chinatown, Blade Runner, Batman Begins, Superman and Taxi Driver.

Edited by Adam Paul, 25 December 2006 - 03:07 PM.

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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 03:13 PM

Taxi Driver was not filmed anamorphic.
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#3 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 03:20 PM

Taxi Driver was not filmed anamorphic.



Really? Was it cut to 2.35:1 then?
How about your favourite ones?
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 04:54 PM

Really? Was it cut to 2.35:1 then?
How about your favourite ones?

No. Taxi Driver was never cut to or projected in 2.35:1. If you want to check out an exemplary use of framing and space in the anamorphic format, I'd recommend Scarface, shot by John Alonzo. You might also want to check out Northfork, shot by David Mullen, especially if you are able to see it in its original anamorphic framing.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 05:11 PM

Just some of my favorite films for anamorphic photography (skipping 65mm movies, Techniscope, Super-35 for the moment):

Any Kurosawa anamorphic movie (Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, Red Beard, High & Low, Bad Sleep Well, Sanjuro) Dr. Zhivago, Bridge on the River Kwai
Apocalypse Now
Blade Runner, Alien
Superman: The Movie
A Bridge Too Far
JFK, Snow Falling on Cedars
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters
Thin Red Line, The New World
Heat
The Elephant Man

Some frames from Kurosawa's movies:

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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 05:31 PM

Northfork
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Apocalypse Now
Blade Runner
Batman Begins
Superman

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 25 December 2006 - 05:33 PM.

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#7 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 05:50 PM

The Prestige was pretty awesome too.
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#8 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 06:44 PM

Thanks for all replies.
I was just watching Jackie Chan's The Myth (San wa) and I was paying attention to the details of the photography. I noticed that basically everything was always in focus, save for some extreme close up or a few other close ups. Is this a normal way of working in anamorphic photography or is it just a side effect or having to shoot with a fat T-stop because the lenses are slower?
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 08:02 PM

Thanks for all replies.
I was just watching Jackie Chan's The Myth (San wa) and I was paying attention to the details of the photography. I noticed that basically everything was always in focus, save for some extreme close up or a few other close ups. Is this a normal way of working in anamorphic photography or is it just a side effect or having to shoot with a fat T-stop because the lenses are slower?


Shallower depth of field tends to be a characteristic of anamorphic, not deeper focus, since the focal lengths are longer on average (you'd use a 40mm anamorphic to get the same view as a 20mm spherical in Super-35).

A T/4 in anamorphic is like shooting at a T/2 in spherical in terms of depth of field. In order to get deep-focus effects in his anamorphic movies, Kurosawa sometimes lit sets to f/22!

If the movie was anamorphic (that's what the IMDB says...), you may be seeing the fake deep-focus effect from using wider-angle lenses, where the background recedes in size so much that it looks more in-focus than it actually is, because the details are smaller in the frame.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 08:52 PM

Drifting off of anamorphic photography, I pulled these examples of what Leone was able to do with 2-perf spherical 35mm (Techniscope):

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#11 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 08:55 PM

Shallower depth of field tends to be a characteristic of anamorphic, not deeper focus, since the focal lengths are longer on average (you'd use a 40mm anamorphic to get the same view as a 20mm spherical in Super-35).

A T/4 in anamorphic is like shooting at a T/2 in spherical in terms of depth of field. In order to get deep-focus effects in his anamorphic movies, Kurosawa sometimes lit sets to f/22!

If the movie was anamorphic (that's what the IMDB says...), you may be seeing the fake deep-focus effect from using wider-angle lenses, where the background recedes in size so much that it looks more in-focus than it actually is, because the details are smaller in the frame.



I will watch it again and pay attention to what you said. As I said everything seemed to always be in focus. It may have been the effect you're talking about. But the film is sure anamorphic. I remember a scene where Jackie points a flashlight to the camera and a horizontal blue flare forms from one side to the other on the screen.
I have been buying a lot of DVDs of anamorphic films lately. I bought like 32 just this past month. Interesting how some movies you wouldn't think to be anamorphic actually are, like LXG (lots of CGI set extensions) or Alien (basically all shot in tight spaces in the spaceship) and others I would think should/would have been are not, like Black Hawk Down.
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#12 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 09:15 PM

Drifting off of anamorphic photography, I pulled these examples of what Leone was able to do with 2-perf spherical 35mm (Techniscope):

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Yeah, I have the Eastwood/Leone films. Truely great compositions.
To get that deep focus he must have stopped the lens down quite a bit. I wonder how good sharpness looked on the big screen.
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#13 Simon Howson

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 05:27 AM

I think David Bordwell has written the best material about changes in widescreen style, including a recent blog post about Techniscope .

In short, he prefers the wide-angle - deep focus and widescreen - experimentation of the Techniscope films directed by Sidney J. Furie, (such as The Appaloosa and The Ipcress File) in preference to contemporary widescreen films that rely too heavily on quickly cut close-ups.

I'm still waiting for a Super 35 film that uses aggressive deep focus, but isn't cut too fast so that the depth can actually be used to stage the scene.

But anyway, here are some anamorphic films, from early CinemaScope to Panavision that I really like. Some purely because of the cinematography, but most because of good cinematography and direction.

Beneath the 12-Mile Reef
King of the Khyber Rifles
A Star is Born (The first great CinemaScope film in my opinion)
Garden of Evil
Carmen Jones
East of Eden
Rebel Without A Cause
The Man Who Never Was
Blood Alley
Between Heaven and Hell
Bigger Than Life
Lust For Life
Enemy Down Below
Forty Guns
Bonjour Tristesse
The 400 Blows
Shoot the Pianist
Wild River
The Innocents
Ride the High Country
Advise & Consent
Contempt
In Harm's Way
Bunny Lake Is Missing
Mademoiselle
Point Blank
Hell in the Pacific
In Cold Blood
The Wild Bunch
I Walk The Line (Lots of split-diopter shots to generate faux-deep focus)
M.A.S.H.
Junior Bonner
The Long Goodbye
Deliverance
Electra Glide in Blue
Parallax View
The Drowning Pool
Obsession
Black Sunday
The Deer Hunter
Comes A Horseman
Manhattan
Heaven's Gate
Dressed to Kill
Blow Out
Scarface
The Emerald Forrest
The Untouchables
Hunt for the Red October
Cape Fear
Carlito's Way
Heat
The Thin Red Line
Snake Eyes
Rushmore
Bringing Out The Dead
The Girl on the Bridge
Million Dollar Baby
The New World
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#14 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 06:23 AM

i have seen "Blade Runner" recently and its just amazing, not only in its anamorphic glory, but also for the brilliant use of smoke and lighting.
that film is, for me, a school of lighting
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#15 Adam Paul

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 06:34 AM

i have seen "Blade Runner" recently and its just amazing, not only in its anamorphic glory, but also for the brilliant use of smoke and lighting.
that film is, for me, a school of lighting


Yep. Blade Runner is really great. It's a good example of how the concept that anamorphic is right only for epic, big day scenes and landscape stuff is just bogus.
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#16 Dan Goulder

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 12:25 PM

Yeah, I have the Eastwood/Leone films. Truely great compositions.
To get that deep focus he must have stopped the lens down quite a bit. I wonder how good sharpness looked on the big screen.

You can still catch restored prints of these movies on the cinematheque circuit. The sharpness of these films can stand against anything being produced today.
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#17 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 03:31 PM

What are everybody?s favourite anamorphic films? Not talking about 2.35:1/2.40:1 films, only films actually shot using any kind of anamorphic process.

So that would include Technirama and Ultra Panavision?

The Vikings
Spartacus
Il Gattopardo
Zulu

The Fall of the Roman Empire

Seppuku AKA Harakiri
Kwaidan
The Mysterians
Atragon
Sword of doom
Andrei Rublev
Gamlet
Potop (The Deluge)
20,000 leagues under the Sea
Helen of Troy
Forbidden Planet
China Gate
The King and I
The Guns of Navaronne
Sink The Bismark!
The Devils
The Life Aquatic...
Sons and Lovers

Tried not to include anything already mentioned.

To get that deep focus he must have stopped the lens down quite a bit. .


No problem under the mediterranian desert sun.

PS
Polanski's The Tragedy of MacBeth
The Fearless Vampire Killers

the Blue Max wwI aerials and skies
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#18 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 02:52 PM

So that would include Technirama and Ultra Panavision?


Seems I've already killed this thread,
but will twist the knife with:

Death in Venice

La Dolce Vita

and

Fellini Satyricon
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#19 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 03:34 PM

Lawrence of Arabia, hands down

second fav, Superman

:)
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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 04:16 PM

Someone should probably emphasize The Graduate if for no other reason than their intentional use of the widescreen real estate. The DVD has commentary where they talk about placing Benjamin Braddock at the edge of the frame in the early parts of the movie, then framing him in the middle after he does Mrs. Robinson. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.
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