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das leben der anderen (the lives of others)


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#1 Keith Mottram

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 08:58 AM

finally got to see this when i was away in new york (missed the london run) it was me and about three other people in the whole cinema (what this says....). i was blown away, i cannot remember seeing such an impressive debut feature as this by the wonderfully named florian henckel von donnersmarck! it was so absorbing that i forgot where i was and double taked when i left the screen. the anamorphic photography was beautiful (I haven't seen any of hagen bogdanski's other work but will now be looking out for more of it) and elegant and was trukley cinematic without ever distracting from the action. the acting and other technical were all of a consistantly high standards, with the two male leads (particularly ulrich mühe as the stasi spy). it deservedly one an oscar and in my humble opinion pretty much shat over all the best picture nominations!
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 07:12 PM

Great movie - can't recommend it enough.

The look and cinematography is also absolutely right for the story. Very sparse and simple.
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 12:23 AM

I saw a screener of this last year, so I don't really want to comment on the cinematography. I thought it was a nice entertainment film, except that the ending annoyed me a bit. I felt it was unnecessary and catered too much to the audience. I do understand though why it won all these awards (I didn't vote for it though at the European Film Awards!), as it is a typical 'Oscar worthy' film.
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#4 Keith Mottram

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 08:07 AM

I saw a screener of this last year, so I don't really want to comment on the cinematography. I thought it was a nice entertainment film, except that the ending annoyed me a bit. I felt it was unnecessary and catered too much to the audience. I do understand though why it won all these awards (I didn't vote for it though at the European Film Awards!), as it is a typical 'Oscar worthy' film.


Pity you didn't get to see it in the cinema as i do feel it is one of those films that benefits from the big screen. i agree that the 'second' ending was unnecessary, but it wasn't so bad as to fit into the classic hollywood afterthought tack-on. by typical 'oscar worthy' are you refering to it's redemption theme, as personally i didn't feel that it was shmaltzy enough for that somewhat damning category!

keith
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 03:35 PM

by typical 'oscar worthy' are you refering to it's redemption theme, as personally i didn't feel that it was shmaltzy enough for that somewhat damning category!


It did win out over 'Pan's Labyrinth' for the best foreign film Oscar.
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#6 Christian Appelt

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:43 PM

Just wait for the U.S. remake - somewhat bizzare, like making a Finnish version of ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. :rolleyes:

Weinsteins To Remake The Lives of Others
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#7 Christian Appelt

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:51 PM

Just wait for the U.S. remake - somewhat bizzare, like making a Finnish version of ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. :rolleyes:

Weinsteins To Remake The Lives of Others
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#8 Max Jacoby

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 11:55 PM

Just wait for the U.S. remake - somewhat bizzare, like making a Finnish version of ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. :rolleyes:

Weinsteins To Remake The Lives of Others

I don't believe it...
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#9 Keith Mottram

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:25 AM

i just threw up a little bit...
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#10 Morgan Peline

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:26 AM

Hi,

I thought this was by far the best film I have seen this year, probably lasty yera as well. I found it a very sad and touching film in the end.

Hollywood is going to destroy it as usual, like they did with 'Nikita'. They'll probably add a few explosions to get more bums on seats.

I saw it a few days ago at Cineworld near Leicester Square.

Was this definitely shot on 35mm Anamorphic? I think I saw a digital projection so it confused me.
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#11 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:38 AM

Was this definitely shot on 35mm Anamorphic? I think I saw a digital projection so it confused me.

It's shot on the Hawks. Are you sure that you saw it digitally projected, because they didn't want to do a DI and also recorded the sound on a Nagra, so analogue was the way to go it seems.
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#12 Keith Mottram

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:49 AM

the print that i saw looked damned good- sharper than most anamorphic blowups and compared to shitty soft s35 blowups... i suppose it could be mistaken due to it's 'crispness'...
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#13 Morgan Peline

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 04:39 AM

Yeah that's kind of why I was confused because the image was extremely sharp and then two times there were a few small white circular blips that appeared on the screen. For some reason I thought they were digital artefacts rather than marks on the print...
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#14 Peter Moretti

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:28 PM

I just saw this film last night; what I loved so much was the extremely shallow depth of field.

Would you say the very shallow DOF was due to using an anamorphic lens, or more of a stylistic choice that could have been executed on "standard" equipment? In other words, could you easily get such a shallow depth of field from a non-anamporphic set-up?

Thanks much!
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#15 Max Jacoby

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 06:04 PM

The AC article mentions that they shot some scenes at T2.5, which should give you less depth of field than spherical T1.3, but then again one needs to take these articles with a grain of salt, since it is hard to believe that they would shoot at such a wide stop regularly, becasue anamorphic lenses don't look very good near wide-open.
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#16 Peter Martin

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 05:59 AM

The AC article mentions that they shot some scenes at T2.5, which should give you less depth of field than spherical T1.3, but then again one needs to take these articles with a grain of salt, since it is hard to believe that they would shoot at such a wide stop regularly, becasue anamorphic lenses don't look very good near wide-open.


DoP Hagen Bogdanski has indeed shot sequences of "The Lives of Others" at stops around T2.5. The achieved shallow depth of field is a typical characteristic for anamorphic capturing.

It would be fallen short to calculate the relation between focal length and t-stop down to spherical 35mm. The difference in the aesthetic impression results in the longer focal length and differently designed lenses used to shoot anamorphic.

Of course Hawk Lenses can be used wide open. The commonly held opinion "one have to stop down to T4 or 5.6" can actually refer only to lenses of an older design or to anamorphic lenses which are slightly misaligned due to a permanent use for rentals and which are not maintained perfectly. Modern anamorphic lenses from various manufacturers offer very good shooting quality also wide open.

Peter Martin

Vantage Film - Hawk Anamorphic Lens Design
www.vantagefilm.com
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#17 Max Jacoby

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:00 AM

I give you that the Hawks look much better wide-open than some older anamorphic lenses (and even one newer design), as a test I saw recently revealed, but on the other hand that same test also showed that stopping down increases the performance of any anamorphic lens, especially chromatic abberation and sharpness in the corners. The difference is much more pronounced than with spherical lenses for instance. Obviously these are objective tests of charts and grids on one hand, and on the other hand people actually like what wide-open anamorphic does to an actual scene where technical perfection is secondary to the overall feel.
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#18 Peter Moretti

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:53 AM

Peter, et al,

I have a question about anamorphic lenses and DOF.

My understanding is that a longer anamorphic lens is used when composing a shot with an than would be used with a spherical lens.

Is the longer focal length the primary reason for the shallower appearing depth of field? (In actuality, longer lenses create the impression of less DOF, but the effect is caused by the background images being magnified making their softness more pronounced.)

Or is the shallower anamorphic DOF mostly caused by the larger image size being projected on to the film? (This would result in a truly shallower DOF, even when comparing same focal lengths of a spherical setup.)

Thanks a lot for the input! It's much appreciated!

-Peter
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#19 Peter Moretti

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:05 PM

/\ I know I'm asking you to do what you said would fall short of truly explaining the effects of anamorphic lenses, LOL! But I'd love even a partial explanation. Thanks much!
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#20 Max Jacoby

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:44 PM

Since anamorphic lenses have a squeeze factor of 2:1 they will give you twice the width of the equivalent spherical lens. In other words a 50mm anamorphic lens for instance will give you the width of a 25mm spherical lens, but obviously with the depth of field of a 50mm. So for the same stop, anamorphic gives you half the depth of field of spherical. Also because of the anamorphic element, these lenses make the out-of focus background slightly elongated, which gives a very painterly feel that is different from spherical.

Since depth of field doubles with every two stops, to achieve the same depth of field as anamorphic the equivalent spherical lens theoratically needs to be open two stops more. But like Peter says, that still does not account for the longer lens look one uses in anamophic, nor the squeezed out-of-focus background.
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