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Everlasting Moments


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:35 PM

This is the new Swedish language movie directed (and co-photographed) by Jan Troell.

Fantastic period photography -- shot in Super-16 I believe, it has a faded, warm brownish Agfa-like tone, with some softness and graininess, that feels subtly like some old color process like Autochrome or Agfachrome come to life. Great use of the smaller negative format to create a period texture.

Also, great use of minimal lighting, most rooms look like they were just lit with natural window light, adding to the feeling of period photography.

It's also a good movie, about a woman trying to raise a large family in Sweden during the WW1 era, dealing with a difficult husband, while discovering a talent at photography. Last scene is very moving and haunting, though simply shot. Some great images, like when she first takes a camera that she won at a fair over to a photographer's lab and he shows her the concept of photography by holding up a lens element as a moth is dancing against a windowpane in sunlight -- the image of the moth is projected onto her hand.
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#2 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:34 PM

Sounds very interesting. Is it available on DVD?
Thanks.

Toby

Edit, just noticed this was posted in the on Screen section. Sorry

Edited by Toby L Edwards, 13 March 2009 - 03:37 PM.

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#3 Jean Dodge

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:24 PM

You had me at "struggling photographer..." That's like rock musicians writing songs about radio disk jockeys.... they are playing to the right crowd with this subject matter. I always thought the early life of "amateur" photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue would make a good feature.

On a side note, it was odd and bittersweet to see that scene with a 35mm Chaplin film projected in an early nickelodeon style theater has been shot on 16mm, especially by a five time Academy award nominated film maker. But if we are to believe the director, he chose 16mm on purpose for artistic reasons even though the producer has offered 35. I'm guessing the full story is a bit more complex than a publicity interview tells us.

Budgets are tight for films like this in Scandinavia I guess. It does bring up the issues of indie film production vis-a-vis super16 with a Digital Intermediate. I'm surprised there aren't more indie features shot this way, but it only makes sense for a certain budget level, regardless of artistic intention.

Can anyone cite some prominent feature films that were shot on 16mm and given the DI to blowup treatment? I recall COASTLINES was an early adaptor of this technique, but did not "show well" at the box office. DUANE HOPWOOD and CASA De LOS BABIES also come to mind. But those are all several years old now. There has to be more, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment.
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#4 Jean Dodge

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:47 PM

oh yeah i just remembered these... ( I need coffee!)

re:
Can anyone cite some prominent feature films that were shot on 16mm and given the DI to blowup treatment? I recall COASTLINES was an early adaptor of this technique, but did not "show well" at the box office. DUANE HOPWOOD and CASA De LOS BABIES also come to mind. But those are all several years old now. There has to be more, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment.
[/quote]


HUSTLE AND FLOW
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN
CONSTANT GARDNER
CITY OF GOD

can't vouch for this list 100% but I think it is right
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 04:51 PM

If you're talking about digital "blow-ups" from S16 & R16, recently there was "The Wrestler".
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#6 Jean Dodge

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:10 PM

If you're talking about digital "blow-ups" from S16 & R16, recently there was "The Wrestler".


Right, digital "blow-ups" that originate on 16 or super 16mm and then undergo color correction of some sort and all that... and end up as 35mm release prints. Excuse me if I was unclear - I'm making a distinction about digital blow-up as separate from straight photochemical/optical finishing of a 16-to-35 release print. The digital stage, in addition to allowing color correction et al to be done in an electronic environment, and the flexibility that allows, also eliminates A+B rolling, negative cutting where frames are lost, and other drawbacks to shooting 16mm, but of course still retains a "film look." (That's because it is film, yeah.... that's the ticket.)

I have seen THE WRESTLER but did not realize I was looking at a s16 lensed picture - No wonder the "grittiness" seemed so appropriate! It was real grit, I suppose. Glad to hear such a prominent film maker has faith in the process. I'll have to go see it again now.

Rumor has it that John Ford had difficulty with Kodak when he wanted to blow up 16mm footage he had shot from the Battle of Midway for his wartime doc of the same name. Kodak worried the quality would either not be up to snuff, or that it would convince Hollywood to abandon 35mm!

Sorry to get off topic... but EVERLASTING MOMENTS is possibly an example of european thinking to the problem of what to do with shrinking budgets. Eric Rohmer has returned to shoot 16mm in 2007 after trying HDTV once a few years previous.
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#7 Jean Dodge

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 08:44 PM

This may be somewhat obvious to some, but regarding the "autochrome" look of EVERLASTING MOMENTS, I wanted to add that this is one of the great things about Digital Intermediates from film, or digital color grading in general, the ability to mimic a color pallette and feel of representational processes that were never really available to film - such as giving a look that is based on color postcards that were printed using a lithography process for the psychological purpose of recalling a certain time period. Not too many people have seen BECKY SHARP, (early color feature film) but we've all seen old postcards. Mr. Mullen, you yourself mentioned that THE ARGENTINE reminded you of national geographic kodachrome pictures and I immediately thought not of kodachrome MOVIES I have seen but the look of the photos as reproduced on the pages of the mag. And it was a great description, it really seemed to nail the look. I'd bet he was right on the money in naming the visual influence, or at least one of the more prominent ones.

Okay, more John Ford stories... John Ford had sets built to resemble Currier and Ives lithos for may of his period dramas and westerns. These were the often the first examples of mass reproduced "Art suitable for framing" that his audiences had displayed in their childhood homes - simple genre paintings of home and hearth scenes, much the way we think of Norman Rockwell paintings for baby boomers. It was a great way to influence an audience... combine the familiar look with the new medium.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:22 PM

Rumor has it that John Ford had difficulty with Kodak when he wanted to blow up 16mm footage he had shot from the Battle of Midway for his wartime doc of the same name. Kodak worried the quality would either not be up to snuff, or that it would convince Hollywood to abandon 35mm!


Kodak would have processed the kodachrome, But Technicolor would have done the blow-up.

The movie contains scenes where close explosions cause the film to jump in the camera gate.
I could see technicolor objecting to having those artifacts in the film.

Incidently Ford was shooting those scenes with a B&H 50' cartridge camera.
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#9 Joe Taylor

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:43 PM

I'd love to find some actual frames from Everlasting Moments. Went to IMDB but the production stills look like they were taken by the on-set photographer.

Can anybody provide a link?
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#10 Jean Dodge

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:12 PM

.

"Incidently Ford was shooting those scenes with a B&H 50' cartridge camera."

Actually it would be a daylight spool "filmo" - not a cartridge camera. 100 foot loads. There are photos of him holding the camera. Everyone of a certain age played with those in journalism or film school. Tough camera!

But yeah, i doubt kodak did the optical work. The other good story from that "doc" (it's a propaganda film, and a great one) was that Ford found a clip of FDR's son on the deck of a ship somewhere. He carried it in his pocket for a week or so and then one day produced it, last minute and had editor Robert Parrish slip it in to the final cut just before the film was finished and shown to the president. FDR reportedly was watching but semi-bored until he saw HIS KID, and then watched the rest riveted to the edge of his wheelchair. Then he said, "I want every mother in America to see this film!" LOL. Smart director!

Sorry to get so off topic. But 16mm is not dead!
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:30 PM

I'd love to find some actual frames from Everlasting Moments. Went to IMDB but the production stills look like they were taken by the on-set photographer.

Can anybody provide a link?


I just found this review of the Criterion Blu-Ray with some nice frame grabs that show the beauty of the 16mm photography:
http://www.dvdbeaver...nts_blu-ray.htm
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#12 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:10 AM

I was just looking at the stills from this movie. Beautiful yet gritty. You're right, David, the lighting looks very naturalistic. And the brown tones evoke a suitably vintage feel. The photography interest in the storyline makes it even more appealing.

Can anyone cite some prominent feature films that were shot on 16mm and given the DI to blowup treatment?


Not a feature film as such but March Of The Penguins looked great on the big screen though it had a fair bit of grain too. I suspected that it was shot on 16mm and later, I found out that I was right. Though I have no idea whether it was an optical blow up to 35mm or whether a DI was used. Regarding the filming, I do recall that they were using an Aaton.
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