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'Capote' vs 'Infamous'


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#1 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 10:43 AM

This week I saw 'Infamous', the 'other' film about Truman Capote writing 'In Cold Blood'. Both films tell essentially the same story and it was interesting to see what choices the filmmakers made in telling it and what they chose to focus on.

In a nutshell I think 'Capote' is the better film, because it goes deeper into the psychology of the main character and the themes of the story are better defined. Although TC was a very colorful character, 'Capote' managed to go beyond the surface and show a very conflicted man.

'Infamous' on the other hand tried to play more for obvious laughs, mainly how people reacted to TC, who was quite a fruitcake. There are lots of anecdotes that he told about all these famous actors that he knew, but unfortunately the film never really went beyond that. The lovestory with Perry Smith felt quite fake and neither did the 'interviews' with his friends add anything, only enhancing the feeling that what you're watching is fiction.

Maybe it is because I saw 'Capote', but when watching 'Infamous' I somehow got the impression that the filmmakers deliberately tried to avoid any similarities. Although they basically tell the same story, there are few events that are in both films and if they are, then 'Capote' does it better somehow. The Christmas diner scene and the hanging comes to mind.

Interestingly both films were shot on Cooke S4s ('Infamous' has a Panavision credit, but it is obvious from the bokeh that it's Cookes) and also here I liked the look of "Capote' better. It had nicer compositions, although the lighting in 'Infamous' by Bruno Delbonnel wasn't bad at all. He shot parts of it on Fuji and it added a nice feeling to the period setting.
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#2 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 11:31 AM

Haven't watched either film yet deliberatly. I read In Cold Blood over the summer while recovering from an operation, and was so moved by it, I didn't want my impressions and vivid memories contaminated by a film's rendering of it all.

Its actually been quite hard to avoid them all, what with two films about Capote and the re-realeas of the original In Cold Blood.

Are either of them really worth seeing?
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 11:42 AM

Obviously none is in the same category as the book. But 'Capote' is interesting because it deals with the story around the writing.
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#4 Rob.m.Neilson

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 06:09 PM

This week I saw 'Infamous', the 'other' film about Truman Capote writing 'In Cold Blood'. Both films tell essentially the same story and it was interesting to see what choices the filmmakers made in telling it and what they chose to focus on.

In a nutshell I think 'Capote' is the better film, because it goes deeper into the psychology of the main character and the themes of the story are better defined. Although TC was a very colorful character, 'Capote' managed to go beyond the surface and show a very conflicted man.

'Infamous' on the other hand tried to play more for obvious laughs, mainly how people reacted to TC, who was quite a fruitcake. There are lots of anecdotes that he told about all these famous actors that he knew, but unfortunately the film never really went beyond that. The lovestory with Perry Smith felt quite fake and neither did the 'interviews' with his friends add anything, only enhancing the feeling that what you're watching is fiction.

Maybe it is because I saw 'Capote', but when watching 'Infamous' I somehow got the impression that the filmmakers deliberately tried to avoid any similarities. Although they basically tell the same story, there are few events that are in both films and if they are, then 'Capote' does it better somehow. The Christmas diner scene and the hanging comes to mind.

Interestingly both films were shot on Cooke S4s ('Infamous' has a Panavision credit, but it is obvious from the bokeh that it's Cookes) and also here I liked the look of "Capote' better. It had nicer compositions, although the lighting in 'Infamous' by Bruno Delbonnel wasn't bad at all. He shot parts of it on Fuji and it added a nice feeling to the period setting.


both of these films just made me want to watch In Cold Blood...nothings better than seeing an actual murderer playing a murderer on screen. Plus Capote seemed to be one of those "indies" that was trying waaaaaaay to hard to garner awards.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 07:33 PM

Plus Capote seemed to be one of those "indies" that was trying waaaaaaay to hard to garner awards.


I don't think that's particularly fair. I read the script and interviewed for the movie about a year before it actually got made because the director liked my work on "Northfork" (in fact, I see a little influence there in terms of the cold greyish widescreen landscapes.) Didn't get the job ultimately but I enjoyed talking to the director. It was a very interesting and engrossing script, something that I rarely come across in the stacks of scripts I read every year.

I don't think anyone sets out trying to get an indie film made just motivated by the chance of winning an award -- it's just too darn hard to get a movie made for that to be what drives you to put up with all the years of developing a project and trying to get it funded.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what interested the makers and actors of "Capote" to do the film. It wasn't the chance to win meaningless awards but the chance to make an interesting drama.

You have to separate what a filmmaker goes through in making a movie versus what a distributor goes through in trying to market a movie, part of which is courting film critics and the award organizations, and the using reviews and awards to help sell the movie. You don't have to do that song and dance when you make a horror film, but for a drama, it's essential.
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#6 dr_gonzo

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:22 AM

I don't think that's particularly fair. I read the script and interviewed for the movie about a year before it actually got made because the director liked my work on "Northfork" (in fact, I see a little influence there in terms of the cold greyish widescreen landscapes.) Didn't get the job ultimately but I enjoyed talking to the director. It was a very interesting and engrossing script, something that I rarely come across in the stacks of scripts I read every year.

I don't think anyone sets out trying to get an indie film made just motivated by the chance of winning an award -- it's just too darn hard to get a movie made for that to be what drives you to put up with all the years of developing a project and trying to get it funded.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what interested the makers and actors of "Capote" to do the film. It wasn't the chance to win meaningless awards but the chance to make an interesting drama.

You have to separate what a filmmaker goes through in making a movie versus what a distributor goes through in trying to market a movie, part of which is courting film critics and the award organizations, and the using reviews and awards to help sell the movie. You don't have to do that song and dance when you make a horror film, but for a drama, it's essential.


I do see your point. I think my big complaint is really how the film was marketed...I also dont understand how two films with pretty much the same subject matter were both released within several months of each other. It doesnt seem to make any business sense to me!
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:50 AM

I do see your point. I think my big complaint is really how the film was marketed...I also dont understand how two films with pretty much the same subject matter were both released within several months of each other. It doesnt seem to make any business sense to me!


dr gonzo -- you need to change your Display Name to a real first and last name, as per the forum rules posted when you registered. You can do it under "My Controls". Thanks.

Hollywood makes strange business decisions -- I mean, it's one thing to have competing "King Kong" remakes about to go into production (as was going to happen in the 1970's)... but competing Dalai Lama movies, competing Christopher Columbus movies, competing Capote movies?

I think the capper was the three competing underwater base movies ("Abyss", "Leviathan", "Deep Star Six") all in production around the same time.

There is a certain lack of imagination going on. I think one possibility is that one of these movies is announced in the trades and a competing studio or producer reads it and thinks "oh, someone must think there is money to be made here -- let's dig up that Dalai Lama / underwater / Columbus / Capote script we've had in development and get it greenlit."
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#8 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 06:03 AM

The almost simultaneous release of two movies with similar themes has intrigued me for quite some time. Other examples of this include Dantes Peak and Volcano. There was also Saving Private Ryan and the Thin Red Line. And earlier, there were two Robin Hood movies that were released not too far from each other - one of them starring Kevin Costner.
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#9 Jan Weis

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 07:42 AM

Another is example is:

Deep Impact
&
Armagedon
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#10 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 07:56 AM

Another is example is:

Deep Impact
&
Armagedon


and at at exactly the same time Antz & A Bug Life (with the same Dreamworks vs Disney.)

I remember at a talk a few years ago Stephen Frears talking sympathetically about a director whos career was badly damaged when his version of Dangerous Liasons was released shortly after Frears's version and was subsequently ignored and forgotten.
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