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The Tourist


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#1 Keith Walters

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:47 AM

I've got to say first up that I initially didn't have the slightest interest in seeing this film. However, we were given two movie vouchers for Christmas which are only valid at a local movie theatre and since we're going back home on Sunday my wife wanted to use them up. Unfortunately, all that was available was a lot of 3D/animated stuff that she can't stand, and The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.
Story-wise it was a surprisingly good film and kept us entertained, although like many such efforts, the story would have entertained just as well on Blu-ray or even DVD.
What I was astounded by was the stunning picture quality.
This cinema has been recently revamped with the latest Barco 2K DLP projectors, and they are really well set up, with the focus sharp as a tack.
At first I thought it must have been shot on video, since I couldn't see any sign of grain. The trouble is, the process that routinely hides the noise in video cameras, is what also destroys the low-level modulation of the colour difference signals, resulting in the routine "Plastic-ey" appearance of actors' faces.
But there was no sign of that.
Anyway when I went right up to the screen I could see that there was actually grain; it was just so fine it was barely noticeable.
When I got home I looked it up on IMDB and all was revealed: "35mm negative, PV cameras and Anamorphic Lenses."
Well that explains that! Actually I did notice a bit of geometric distorion on some tight shots, it didn't occur to me that they might be using anamorphics.
Obviously the location had a lot going for it, but in general, this film was simply very well shot by very competent people. I think it may be the very first Blu-ray I see that will do full justice to my 1920 x 1080 TV!
They don't say what sort of DI was used, but I'm wondering if it might have been 4K.
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#2 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:38 AM

I saw a very good 35mm print.

I haven't read any technical article on this film, but I would say that it was mostly shot using Panavision's newer front anamorphic zooms (40-80mm T/2.8 and 70-200mm T/3.5). They probably used as well the older rear adapted Primo anamorphic zoom (48-550mm T/4.5) for some shots (i.e. the scene at Venice station) with spherical looking bokehs. Seale has said in the past that he likes this lens a lot, and has shot many films using it, but the newer lenses are much faster and show true anamorphic artifacts. Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck's previous film ("Das Leben Der Anderen" AKA "The Lives of Others") was anamorphic as well (Hawk C-Series and V-Series prime lenses).

The print showed very light grain and I would't be surprised if the whole film used a single high-speed stock (Kodak 5219, 500T) since John Seale prefers to keep things simple a not get to complicated mixing different stocks.

A 4K scan of the negative for a final 2K output seems very likely, though I believe Seale managed to get a 4K scan & output for "Poseidon". Anyway the difference isn't that noticiable, at least for 2K DCP or 35mm filmouts.
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#3 Shawn Martin

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:41 PM

I believe this was shot entirely on 5219.

There's a really good article about Seale in next month's AC, and in it he mentions shooting this in anamorphic, and that the "11:1", which he says is "f4.5", was crucial to an action sequence. In brackets it says this lens is the 24-275mm Primo zoom, but that's a spherical lens, and is T2.8. I think the writer made a mistake, and Seale was actually referring to the 48-550mm.

And I remember seeing some photos of them setting up to film Angelina Jolie at an outdoor cafe--I haven't seen this so I don't know what was happening storywise--the lens looked very much like one of the newer zooms.
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