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Scorsese's "Who's that Knocking at My Door?"


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#1 GeorgeSelinsky

GeorgeSelinsky
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Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:53 PM

On the director's commentary track for Scorcese's first feature, "Who's that Knocking At My Door?", Scorcese mentions that the scenes with Keitel and the boys were shot in 35mm with a Mitchell BNC (as was the Amsterdam sex scene, although that looks like it was done with a handholdable camera like the Arri II). Then at one point he finally got sick of the Mitchell and decided to shoot with an Eclair NPR and blow it up. He said specifically that the party scene where Keitel is hanging out with his buddies and the girls come in was shot with the Eclair, and it looks it.

Looking at the film there are some scenes where I'm sure it was 16 or 35, others where it's either grainy short ends and badly focused 35mm, or 16mm. I imagine when transferring they tried to smooth over the differences that would have otherwise been noticable.

The scene where Keitel first meets Bethune by the ferry looks like it could have been fine grain 16mm. The scene with them outside at night on a date was definitely Double X 16mm pushed a few stops. The shot of the Staten Island ferry taking off was definitely 16mm. The rooftop hooking up scene I really can't call, either grainy 35mm, or Plus X 16mm. The hooking up in Keitel's bedroom I can't call.

The last scene with Keitel telling off Bethune looks like either the AC had a huge hangover and was working with an f 2.8 on a Mitchell, or it was an Eclair with a wide open Angineux zoom. I tend to lean towards the latter. But when Keitel is leaving her apartment and walking down the stairs, it looks 35mm crispy and sharp. All the church sequences at the end are most likely 35mm.

The scenes in upstate NY look like it's 35mm, but don't tell me the dragged a BNC up a mountain!!!

Also, there are a few shots that have an optical high contrast jump in them. The first scene where Keitel is in the club with his friend, arguing about going uptown or downtown to hang out, looks like there were some 16mm inserts in it. You can see a dramatic jump in contrast (either that or the negative was damaged and they had to transfer off a print).

This one really had me guessing a lot! Any ideas from diehard Scorsese fans?

Edited by GeorgeSelinsky, 02 November 2007 - 01:56 PM.

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