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"The Man Who Fell to Earth"


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#1 Bill Totolo

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 08:28 AM

Can anyone direct me to articles on the cinematography of this movie?
I'd really like to know what lenses were used. The lens flares are very interesting.

Thanks,
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 11:34 AM

Would have been Panavision C and E anamorphics at that time . reminds me its the only film i have ever walked out on .
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#3 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:07 PM

... tell us more John!...
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#4 Christian Appelt

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:16 PM

reminds me its the only film i have ever walked out on .


Same to me! I went to a screening two years ago, but about 35 minutes into the movie I got the feeling that I had to throw up if I saw another zoom shot that looked like the control of a Panazoom lens motor went out of control... ;) When I saw it on a huge screen, I became really sick by the combined zooming-in-and-out while panning too fast.

BTW, Nicholas Roeg's TRACK 29 is a favourite film of mine, DP'd by Alex Thompson IIRC.
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 12:18 PM

Well was a long time ago but remember it being a boring pretencious load of rubbish . I suppose most like the rest of Nic Roegs films .I left the cinema leaving my girlfriend and our friends watching it to the end met them in the pub , they said wish they had left when i had . any more info ?
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 05:45 PM

I went through a bit of a Nic Roeg restrospective a while back and just couldn't sit through TMWFTE. The artsy/pretentious/dated look didn't bother me at all; I was just plain bored.
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#7 Bill Totolo

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 10:45 PM

Here's the shot that caught my eye. I'm referring to the rectangular prisms. Is that lens flare or is that caused by the filter pack?Posted Image
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 01:01 AM

Here's the shot that caught my eye. I'm referring to the rectangular prisms. Is that lens flare or is that caused by the filter pack?


Looks more like lens flare to me, not filter reflections (filter reflections are almost always exactly opposite the light source, measured by the center of the image). But I'll let someone like Max who's more familiar with anamorphics chime in...
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#9 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 04:31 AM

David M. made an interesting comment about rectangular flares in anamorphic being the result of rear-mounted 'scope adapters on spherical zoom lenses.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=24400
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#10 Bill Totolo

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 04:40 AM

Thanks Satsuki. That helps clear things up. It's pretty evident that zooms were all over Roeg's film. Those rectangular flares are an amazing artifact.
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#11 Tim Partridge

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 01:07 PM

So am I the only fan of this film? :blink:

It's Bowie and Roeg, for goodness sakes! DAVID BOWIE at his peak, with Nic Roeg directing (also at his peak)!! I'm a big fan of both. Plus, the sequence in which the girl pees herself has to be one of the most unsettling moments in cinema history. Nobody else could make that both tasteful and scary but Roeg.

I really enjoyed Roeg's collaborations with Anthony Richmond. I don't care who really shot what, the images are incredible. Grain, intrusive flares, nutty operating- way more exciting than the more refined, conservative stuff Roeg did later with Alex Thomson and Harvey Harrison. To me MWFTE epitomises great 1970s cinematography, to my mind still the unequalled era of the artform. Tearing up mid speed film stock with whacky anamorphics, low light and experimental composition...

Oh, and I disagree that the look is "dated"- look at any indie/guitar band album cover or video from the last thirty years and the debt to Roeg's imagery is huge.

PS THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is full of those rear-mounted flares (which is full of zooms).
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#12 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 03:47 PM

You are not alone Tim! When this film premiered in London i saw it three times in one week.

Loved every pretentious, hand held, anamorphic minute of it!

It's often been said "There are no flies on David Bowie" and i think the same applies to Nicolas Roeg these are two artists always pushing the envelope.

Something to be admired not dismissed in my opinion.

Kieran.
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#13 ryan_bennett

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:34 PM

I love the "sex" scene the 10 minutes of flashing strobe lights, naked David Bowie, yelling/weird music (if i remember) and constant gun shots blowing.

Real fun. This movie depressed me and just upset me. Brazil depressed me but still, left me like a feeling of wow. This just made me made at the world.

But it's still nice film.
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#14 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 07:26 PM

Oh, and I disagree that the look is "dated"- look at any indie/guitar band album cover or video from the last thirty years and the debt to Roeg's imagery is huge.


Rock 'n' roll is full of dated cliches. And the 70's are back in a huge way in rock, at least in the "look." The movie was a product of its time, and that's not a bad thing.

But again the look didn't bother me at all -- I just couldn't get through the movie. Maybe I'll try it again...

Reminds me of the old joke: "That movie was so bad I walked out -- and I saw it on a plane!" :P
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#15 Bill Totolo

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 03:07 AM

I think the problem is that the themes: alienation, racism, xenophobia, are very prescient and pertain strongly to today's society.

It's just the execution was so vague. No one, the actors or director, made very strong choices in their behaviour.
It set new records for the passive protagonist.

However, the camerawork, editing and the way Roeg makes an environment work for him were very expressive and were always his strongest traits as a director.
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#16 Sakari Suuronen

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 05:45 PM

A bit off topic but those of you who have seen Track 29 is it widescreen or fullscreen? Thinking of getting that on dvd but I'm a bit paranoid that's in the wrong aspect ratio. There was nothing about it in imdb.

I had to send this post cause I jsut finished Don't Look Now for the first time. Awesome movie.
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