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"Atonement"


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 03:53 AM

It really was a great film. The story structure and how we see the story unfold as an audience is definitely something we're not used to, especially in what is essentially a period film.

The cinematography was gorgeous. And I really liked the look they got from the silk filters. The 5 minute steadicam shot was a feat! My hats off to them, I nearly broke out into applause when the scene finished. You can see at one point where they MIGHT have cut two shots together, but everything I've read says that it's all done in one.
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#2 Tom Lowe

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 03:07 PM

I can't wait to see it. The trailer had me rethinking possible Cinematography nominees for the ASC and Oscars.

These romantic period/war pieces usually do very well in the Cinematography award categories.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 11:24 PM

I just saw this a couple of nights ago in Hollywood. I'm usually not a fan of "flashbacks," but the way they were used really worked in a very interesting way. Overall, I was very pleased with the film.

Of course the 5 min 20 sec long Steadicam shot by Peter Robertson was astounding. What I really want to know is did he really do it with a 1000' mag?
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 12:36 PM

What I really want to know is did he really do it with a 1000' mag?


Must have been, you can't do a take that long on 400'
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#5 Dave Thompson

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 01:53 PM

If the shot was done with a 3 perf camera. you can also get more than 400' of film in the Panavision mags.
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#6 Dave Thompson

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 01:57 PM

http://www.panavisio...6hqme3paimv9v10


500' mags for the LW and they can also be used on the XL.
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 04:26 PM

If the shot was done with a 3 perf camera. you can also get more than 400' of film in the Panavision mags.



Yeah, I'm aware of that. We used to make 500' ends when I was on the truck. But that only gives you about five minutes in normal circumstances. How much extra time do you buy with 3 perf? I assume they needed at least six minutes in the mag.
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#8 Tom Lowe

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 04:45 PM

Film is on the cover of the new AC. I gotta get out and see this one!
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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 10:40 PM

It really was a great film. The story structure and how we see the story unfold as an audience is definitely something we're not used to, especially in what is essentially a period film.

The cinematography was gorgeous. And I really liked the look they got from the silk filters. The 5 minute steadicam shot was a feat! My hats off to them, I nearly broke out into applause when the scene finished. You can see at one point where they MIGHT have cut two shots together, but everything I've read says that it's all done in one.


Very pretty, naturalistic English-light cinematography. I particularly appreciate that they let a lot of the outdoor- bright indoor images overexpose in corners and some of the use of tilt & shift lenses towards the end, not terribly common techniques these days IMH . . .
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 03:08 AM

One shot which I noticed a problem with, only because it was given some attention in the AC mag. Was when the James McAvoy went behind the projection screen in a movie theatre, and we can see the image on the screen. It's very easy to tell that it was a digital projection with how you can see the repeating uniformed noise/grain of the image.

Other than that, a great film :)
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#11 Alexander Disenhof

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 04:39 PM

Finally saw it. It was a beautiful story, and the cinematography did a great job complementing it. I thought that the use of the stocking on the lens along with the overexposed shafts of light in many backgrounds around the house at the beginning of the film gave it a magical feel. This augmented the child's innocent perspective of the world. The silhouette of Keira Knightly on the beach was also breathtaking. I think this film deserves an Oscar nod for best film and cinematography!
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#12 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:40 PM

I agree beautifull cinematography. this is gonna be a tough year for cinematography, all the nominees deserve to win.
I really love the scene of kiera knightly getting ready in front of the mirror. it was shot hand held and it gave that scene an intimate quality. I read in the ac artical that seamus mcgarvy had an HMI flashlight and was shinning it into the lens which created those white flashes, it looked so good
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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:53 AM

Finally saw this film a few days ago, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the direction of the film. It felt to me like Joe Wright took all of his stylistic flourishes from "Pride & Prejudice" (shooting into mirrors, long steadicam takes, artistic soft focus and flares, slo-mo, camera movement as character) and went so over the top with them that they stuck out of the fabric of the narrative like a sore thumb. I think what worked so well in his previous film was that it was a straight-forward linear narrative with essentially a single narrative point of view, and the stylistic touches acted as a counterbalance to that simplicity. Not to mention, it was a perfect juxtaposition of the socially repressive era that the film takes place in with the liberated form of French New Wave (which "Marie Antoinette" also attempted and IMO failed at). But "Atonement" is a very non-linear story with shifting perspective, time elipses, with many scenes of memory and imagination indistinguishable from scenes of reality. So while it would seem that Wright's stylistic flourishes were perfectly suited to this story of subjective reality, I think that they in fact revealed too quickly the story's lack of realistic depth.

I didn't like the handheld mirror shot with Keira Knightly - with the lens flares, it looked like it belonged in Keira's perfume ad that ran before the film. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Wright directed that one as well. I also thought that the epic steadicam shot on the beach was about two minutes too long. The framing was a bit sloppy towards the end (understandably!) but more importantly you could feel the shot lose steam after the camera circles the singing soldiers on the platform - if they had cut the shot there, it would have worked fine. "P&P" also had an epic steadicam shot, and though that one also was a bit loose choreography-wise, the concept of that shot was always clear to the audience and it worked. In "Atonement", I actually felt embarrassed for the filmmakers while watching the shot - you could literally feel the strain of it as it died on screen, not unlike a headless chicken flailing about.

I thought Seamus McGarvey's work was brilliant - it seems to me that his style in the past was always very naturalistic and almost invisible, the antithesis of slick. He doesn't seem to rely on any recognizable visual trait like a Richardson or Storaro. It was nice to see the growth of his style with the bold looks of the netted lens diffusion and flares. Still, I wonder why Wright decided to change DPs after doing such wonderful work with Roman Osin on "P&P."

Anyway, I think Joe Wright is an incredibly talented director and I hope he continues to make bold and interesting films. But I hope he does not continue to rely on the same stylistic flourishes for every film. He's too good of a director to do that.
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:46 AM

Still, I wonder why Wright decided to change DPs


I believe Wright & Garvey had worked together before P&P on other projects, commercials, shorts, whatever.
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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:20 PM

I believe Wright & Garvey had worked together before P&P on other projects, commercials, shorts, whatever.

Yep, I'd read that in the January AC. I just wondered if there was more to the story. Clash of personalities, maybe?
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#16 Tim Partridge

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:58 PM

Probably just availability. Didn't Rosin do that MAGORIUM EMPORIUM film?
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#17 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 05:27 PM

Heard Seamus just got inducted into the ASC, so that's cool. There are not many who manage to get into both the BSC and the ASC in a lifetime - especially not at his age. Here are a couple of names that come to mind:

Billy Williams
Stephen Goldblatt
Anthony Richmond
William Fraker
Roger Deakins
Gabriel Beristain
Peter Suschitzky
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#18 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 06:05 PM

Heard Seamus just got inducted into the ASC, so that's cool. There are not many who manage to get into both the BSC and the ASC in a lifetime - especially not at his age. Here are a couple of names that come to mind:

Billy Williams
Stephen Goldblatt
Anthony Richmond
William Fraker
Roger Deakins
Gabriel Beristain
Peter Suschitzky

That's great!

BTW, does anyone know why Peter Suschitzky doesn't always add BSC and ASC after his name in his credits?
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#19 Bill Totolo

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 01:19 AM

Why is this movie being lauded for academy awards?

The themes and structure were very well crafted but the acting was so overwrought at all times I could barely stand it. It felt strained on every level, the music swelling at all the emotional moments as though I needed to be told what to feel. I felt many of the director's choices were overly stylistic.

Everything I seem to admire came from the book and/or screenplay. The execution felt lackluster.
The sad thing is I wanted to like it.
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#20 Tim Partridge

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:40 AM

Heard Seamus just got inducted into the ASC, so that's cool. There are not many who manage to get into both the BSC and the ASC in a lifetime - especially not at his age. Here are a couple of names that come to mind:

Billy Williams
Stephen Goldblatt
Anthony Richmond
William Fraker
Roger Deakins
Gabriel Beristain
Peter Suschitzky


Jack Cardiff was an ASC member before the BSC even existed! :D

Too bad you don't see any "Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society/Fellow of the Royal Kinematograph Society" in the credits anymore.
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