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The Young Victoria


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#1 Ignacio Aguilar

Ignacio Aguilar
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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:41 PM

I saw a few days ago this Scorsese produced film about the young days of Queen Victoria. I had heard good things about Hagen Bogdanski's cinematography, and having enjoyed a lot his work in "Das Leben Der Anderen" (AKA "Lives Of Others"), I decided to check it out.

Bogdanski has switched from anamorphic to Super-35, but for a good reason: most of this period piece has been shot at a T/1.3 - T/2 split on Zeiss Master Prime lenses, to achieve a great looking natural look. Daylight interiors resemble a lot those from early Scott pics like "The Duellists", using the real set's big windows to provide a single, soft source of light. No matter what angle he's shooting, Bogdanski remains true to the source. And for night interiors he uses real candlelight as if he were Kubrick himself: with the help of some push-processing and his wide-open lenses, he manages to get the right exposures. Sure, there is some artificial light in there (specially to light faces), but Bodganski has achieved what's probably of the nicest lighting for a period film since "Barry Lyndon". No kidding.

I don't like the director's multicamera approach to shooting as much (it looks TV-ish, even if the lighting is amazing) and neither his (shallow) focus rackings, but if you enjoy the look of low-light photography, push-developed high-speed stocks, single source lighting, etc., don't miss this film. You won't regret.
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