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Into the Wild


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#1 Glen Alexander

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 04:23 PM

Was wondering to get comments on this cinematic and film aspects of this, shot by Sean Penn.

A deconstruction of shots, lighting, visuals, etc. General thoughts on style, technique, etc.

I'm not interested in comparison to digital only the asthetics and artistic quality.
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#2 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 06:48 PM

This is a gorgeous film.

I'd be curious to hear more about it too...
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#3 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:38 AM

Beautifully shot!
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#4 Glen Alexander

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 01:32 PM

Beautifully shot!



Pick a scene that is "beautiful" and deconstruct why and post.

I think it is funny, that this is actually a cinematography topic and none of the big DOP's have bothered to respond.

People winge that this website doesn't talk about films and cinematography but when the subject comes up people are too hesitant to talk about them for fear of pissing off someone in H'wood.
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#5 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:52 PM

Pick a scene that is "beautiful" and deconstruct why and post.

I think it is funny, that this is actually a cinematography topic and none of the big DOP's have bothered to respond.

People winge that this website doesn't talk about films and cinematography but when the subject comes up people are too hesitant to talk about them for fear of pissing off someone in H'wood.


... you're pretty quick to jump to conclusions - you only started the thread yesterday mate... And maybe they might be busy working?!

Me? - 'Afraid I can't comment as I haven't seen it yet. 'Like the look of what I've seen though...
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#6 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:55 PM

Pick a scene that is "beautiful" and deconstruct why and post.
.......talk about them for fear of pissing off someone in H'wood.



Je pense q ces't pas ca!

Some ppl are just busy with work, others just have other commitments (family etc..)

I can't remember little details of the film, as I watched quite a few at the same time over a period of 4 weeks, so I need to watch it again and then I'll come back to you with a more complete feedback.
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#7 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 04:08 PM

Pick a scene that is "beautiful" and deconstruct why and post.

I think it is funny, that this is actually a cinematography topic and none of the big DOP's have bothered to respond.

People winge that this website doesn't talk about films and cinematography but when the subject comes up people are too hesitant to talk about them for fear of pissing off someone in H'wood.


Alright, I'll bite. I thought the film was a load of self-indulgent twaddle. I got more out of seeing a single still frame of the Christopher McCandless at the end of the movie than the previous 17 hours or whatever it was of Sean Penn yanking off in the audience's faces.

I've liked Sean Penn in other movies, and I've even liked other movies he's made... but this one is like sitting next to some drunken idiot at the bar who has no interest in what you have to say, and spends the next 2 hours talking AT you, until you eventually realise... wow - he's got nothing to say.

Oh yeah, the cinematography. I guess there were some pretty pictures. I was too busy being bored out of my mind to care.

Yes, I do realise I am being somewhat caustic here. It's just my opinion, and I give it to you, the internet, for free.

R.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 04:52 PM

Alright, I'll bite. I thought the film was a load of self-indulgent twaddle. I got more out of seeing a single still frame of the Christopher McCandless at the end of the movie than the previous 17 hours or whatever it was of Sean Penn yanking off in the audience's faces.

I've liked Sean Penn in other movies, and I've even liked other movies he's made... but this one is like sitting next to some drunken idiot at the bar who has no interest in what you have to say, and spends the next 2 hours talking AT you, until you eventually realise... wow - he's got nothing to say.

Oh yeah, the cinematography. I guess there were some pretty pictures. I was too busy being bored out of my mind to care.

Yes, I do realise I am being somewhat caustic here. It's just my opinion, and I give it to you, the internet, for free.

R.


Ok well that's one person who doesn't care what they think of him in Hollywood. :D

Next.....

R,
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#9 Matthew Bennett

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:22 PM

I'll stand up for this film, I thought it looked fantastic. Lots of natural light, scrappy handheld, backlight, but never a bad shot, some really incredible moods and lights, actually! I've never been a sean penn fan, but I liked this film quite a bit.
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#10 Tom Lowe

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:58 PM

I thought there were some nice shots, but I mean, the whole thing should have been a recipe for any decent DP to knock it out of the park (to use a baseball metaphor). I think I could have DP'd this better, and I'm not even a DP. :D

The larger problem is that the movie was too "on the nose." I read the book back when it came out and absolutely loved it. The book had an impact on my life; that's how much I took from it. But the film was ham-fisted in many cases and just way too literal. A film like this calls for much more subtlety. It needed imagery that was more spiritual and transcendent, instead of so mundane and pedestrian.

The only part of the story that really had me engaged was the stuff with Hal Holbrook, who I wish would have won an Oscar.

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#11 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 08:46 PM

I thought there were some nice shots, but I mean, the whole thing should have been a recipe for any decent DP to knock it out of the park (to use a baseball metaphor). I think I could have DP'd this better, and I'm not even a DP. :D

The larger problem is that the movie was too "on the nose." I read the book back when it came out and absolutely loved it. The book had an impact on my life; that's how much I took from it. But the film was ham-fisted in many cases and just way too literal. A film like this calls for much more subtlety. It needed imagery that was more spiritual and transcendent, instead of so mundane and pedestrian.

The only part of the story that really had me engaged was the stuff with Hal Holbrook, who I wish would have won an Oscar.

Posted Image


Actually, now that you mention it, he was very good. A lot of the performances were excellent - in particular Kirsten Stewart who lit up the screen for the brief moments she was onscreen. Catherine Keener and the guy that played her jusband were great too. My problem was not with the performances - Penn certainly has a knack at illiciting natural honest behavior from actors. My problem is that he has no bloody self control. He's made a movie that's so self indulgent that he's willing to destroy all possibility of the audience being able to suspend their disbelief, because he can't say no to a take where the actors completely break the 4th wall by looking in the lens and goofing. What the hell was he thinking? It's so self indulgent it makes my head explode.

That and the movies central philosophy being expressed as "if you really want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it..." A sentiment so trite that it would not even make it onto a fortune cookie.

R.
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#12 Justin Hayward

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:00 PM

I agree with you Tom... it looked fine. What I really liked was the movie as a whole. There wasn't anything that stood out in particular with the photography (except maybe all the extreme close ups. The exterior landscape stuff was kind of a given.), but I was immersed in the story overall. Probably because I'm terrified of death and this kid seemed to not even think about it.

The cinematography combined with the editing combined with the score got me involved. Although in the hands of a truly visual director (nothing against the DP) it might have been breathtaking, but I don't know if I would have been more interested in the cinematography than the movie itself. I wonder if "Lawrence of Arabia" (or whatever epic lends itself to this style) type visuals would have truly earned the term "style over substance"?
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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:00 PM

That and the movies central philosophy being expressed as "if you really want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it..." A sentiment so trite that it would not even make it onto a fortune cookie.

R.


Oddly this was the exact philosophy Hitler used.

R,
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#14 Justin Hayward

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:04 PM

he can't say no to a take where the actors completely break the 4th wall by looking in the lens and goofing.


I don't remember that as I saw it when it first came out, but I hear what you're scream'n.
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#15 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:13 PM

I don't remember that as I saw it when it first came out, but I hear what you're scream'n.


Hirsch does it at one point while he's sitting on a bridge. He looks in the lens and grins goofily. Also when William Hurt has a breakdown in the middle of the road, he looks in the lens at one point too, then looks away self consciously.
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:26 AM

Hirsch does it at one point while he's sitting on a bridge.


Yeah, the music/travel montages were the worst parts of the film, but I really enjoyed it as a whole. Somebody probably would have done a much more interesting job with it, but Penn took care of business and made a wise choice in getting Eddie Vedder to do the score.
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