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Into Great Silence


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#1 NathanCoombs

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:48 AM

See it!! It is absolutely magnificent. It will stretch your patience to its limits, but it is a stunning piece of visual art.

It is also the best looking HD film I have ever seen. Shot on the F900, I thought it was 35mm until the credits rolled. The only use of film was Super-8 (which looked liked it had been deliberately shot out of focus) but added some other texture to break up the visual patterns.

I can't express how perfect this is as an example of PURE documentary making.

No voice over, no trite interviews, no music, no flashy camerawork and (thank god) no presenter!

http://www.rottentom...com/m/10006493/
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 03:28 PM

Lol. Howabout telling us what it (more importantly than media used, style) is about? A well-shot film without a story be it a dramatic story or otherwise is still not a good film.
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#3 NathanCoombs

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:28 PM

Lol. Howabout telling us what it (more importantly than media used, style) is about? A well-shot film without a story be it a dramatic story or otherwise is still not a good film.


check out the link I posted to reviews of the film or google the film title!
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:06 PM

Lol. Howabout telling us what it (more importantly than media used, style) is about? A well-shot film without a story be it a dramatic story or otherwise is still not a good film.


& is a piece of music without words not good music.
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#5 Jason Maeda

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:55 AM

"Lol. How about telling us what it (more importantly than media used, style) is about? A well-shot film without a story be it a dramatic story or otherwise is still not a good film."

- except this is a cinematography website, not a storytelling website.

jk :ph34r:
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#6 Nick Mulder

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 05:42 PM

I love it when the monks go for a ski

had the pleasure of sitting in the circle of a 2000 seat theatre all by myself to watch this last June.
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 09:05 AM

Umm, sorry, but I think a poop story with dazzling cinematography is still worse than a good story with-so-so photography.

I'm not going to waste any more time than I already do in a day on internet search engines.

All I'm asking for is a brief synopsis, actors, director, DOP, studio, you know? To me, concentrating solely on the completely technical, mechanical aspects of the cinematography in a movie (you really don't seem to delve into any of the artistic decisions made by the cinematographer, for instance, or examine his use of filters, diffusion, DI, filmstock (or camera setttings for this one since it's digital), lenses, etc.

To me, your description is about as exciting as I'd find a review of what litho film, printing press, paper stock, and bindery they used to typeset the novel currently at the top of the bestseller list.

Talk about the *ART* of cinematography, not the mundane, almost completely artless technical aspects of it. If the F900, or the Red or hell the Panavision 65mm are your pie-in-the-sky, "I wish I could shoot my zombie movie with that" cameras, then fine, but for the love of our craft, please don't limit your enjoyment to the camera used. I assure you that, once you shoot with a camera for a while and you get over the wow factor of owning it or operating it, or loading it, it becomes what it should be objectively, a craftsman's tool. Again, the camera, even a digital camera, is just a light-tight box. It's what you DO with that box that makes a film worth seeing or not seeing.

Now that I've clarified my initial objection, do you all consider what I have said fair?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:03 AM

I think you're missing the point, Karl, maybe because you haven't seen the trailer. It's a documentary about the daily lives of monks. It doesn't have a story or stars. It's more of a portrait apparently of what these monks go through on a daily routine, month after month. Yes, some critics have found it to be fascinating while others think it's like watching grass grow or paint dry, but I believe the intention (not having seen the final film, just the trailer) is to give the viewer a sense of the pace of life these monks live.

Certainly there is a place in the world for these types of documentaries, regardless of whether you or I would sit through it.

Here's part of a review from the National Catholic Register:


By Steven D. Greydanus

Philip Gröning’s Into Great Silence is pure cinema at its purest and most exalted. Its achievement virtually defies commentary; a critic has only words with which to illuminate a film, but how can what is wrought in silence be illumined by words?

Filmmakers from Bresson to Tarkovsky to Malick to the Dardenne brothers have sought creative freedom in formal austerity, assiduously stripping away the superfluous and superficial to create space for the essential, the transcendent. Into Great Silence is both a work in a kindred spirit, and an immersion in a divesting of inessentials, not merely as a creative discipline or aesthetic philosophy, but as a total commitment, a way of life, a world unto itself.

The title refers to the discipline of silence observed by many contemplative religious orders, and in particular to the discipline of nighttime silence, which is stricter than during the day.

Into Great Silence is an odyssey, or perhaps a pilgrimage, into a world of such silence: the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps, head monastery of the Carthusian order, where Gröning received unprecedented permission to shoot in 2002. (A postscript to the film informs us that this permission came more than sixteen years after Gröning first approached the general prior with the proposal — an illuminating insight into the deliberateness of life in this world.)

Gröning stayed with the Carthusians for about half a year, observing in both senses of that word their rigorous way of life, from their discipline of silence to their grueling routine of prayer, work and sleep. Working alone, using only available light, he shot for approximately three hours a day, eventually amassing over 120 hours of material.

The formal rigor of the finished 164-minute film, mirroring the ascetic strictness of the monks themselves, offers none of the didactic or expositional context associated with typical documentaries. No voiceover narration expounds the history of the monastery buildings or the Carthusian order. No captions clarify or introduce us to the events or rituals we see.


Here's a link to the trailer:

http://www.zeitgeist...p;extension=mov
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#9 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:10 AM

Although I have not even seen the trailer to this film, I expect that it will be something like Baraka.
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#10 Nick Mulder

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:44 PM

Although I have not even seen the trailer to this film, I expect that it will be something like Baraka.


I can only assume you dont have the bandwidth ? or the time ? the link for the trailer is in the above post ...

In any case, its not like Baraka, (though perhaps tending that way compared to 'normal' films ...)


A simple suggestion for people who wish to discuss this film >> see it !
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#11 K Borowski

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:54 PM

Well I feel rather stupid, I missed not one, but three documentary references in the post. Sorry. . .
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#12 Peter Moretti

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:02 AM

I just finished watching it. It is beautiful and moving. Yes, it's slow at times. No, it does not follow Syd Field or Robert McKee structure. But it is a very worthy film and a great accomplishment that it DOES work w/o following storytelling "rules."

As for the technical details, the F900 looked gorgeous. Beautiful bokeh, and minimal noise even though many of the shots are in low light and all compositions used only available light. I have no idea what was done while filming or in post, but this bore no resemblance to the hard, video look of films like "Attack of the Clones." (I realize the camera has been updated since then, so maybe that accounts for it, IDK?)
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#13 Kevin Mastman

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:00 PM

Speaking of beautifully shot documentaries, if you haven't seen War Dance, you are missing out. Really great story also :)

check out the trailer.

http://www.apple.com...kfilm/wardance/
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