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The Cinemtography of The Dark Knight Rises


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#1 James Compton

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:00 PM

I watched a 35mm print of the twice. The IMAX 15/70 has been sold out everyday, but I plan to see it in IMAX soon.
Wally Pfister made some daring exposure decisions in this film, yet it payed off well. The night chase scenes at the beginning of the film were very dark, but tastefully so. Action scenes with IMAX cameras and lenses at F2??!!
The result looked great in the 35mm print.

The tunnel scenes where Batman confronts Bane really showed off how much better 5219 is rhan 5218 at repoducing shadow detail. I watched the cinematographic exposition of the film carefully, the film does not disappoint. I plan to watch a 4k screening of the film also, but I already know I will like the 'teeth' of the 35mm version better.

The editing and pacing had a different feel than the other films. I sometimes had the feeling that I was watching
the 'directors' cut of a film'. I am not complaining. It had a rawness and not the slick transitions with sound and music that I normally see in A Nolan movie.
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

The editing and pacing had a different feel than the other films. I sometimes had the feeling that I was watching
the 'directors' cut of a film'. I am not complaining. It had a rawness and not the slick transitions with sound and music that I normally see in A Nolan movie.


I agree. It drags and meanders particularly through the first third, but so did Dark Knight.
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:06 PM

Considering all the "Imax" theaters around me went digital a few years back, I'm now four hours away from a proper 15/70 theater.

So I'd be thrilled to read some comments from anyone who's gotten to see a 15/70 print of this film.
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#4 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:24 PM

I saw a 15/70mm print today and it looked stunning. Loved the movie too.
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#5 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:34 PM

I saw a 15/70mm print today and it looked stunning. Loved the movie too.

I too saw a 15/70 print and hate to see it but I have to disagree. Admittedly I was sitting relatively close to the screen (6th row or so) but I noticed a fair amount of soft focus shots and unnerving motion blur.

Kudos to wally for shooting IMAX and pushing the limits of what has/can be done; but I found that not enough focus on his part was put on shooting IMAX differently than 35mm. What I mean to say is.. I am really beginning to think it deserves different treatment. Scenes just look better when photographed wider and with deeper focus in IMAX. Otherwise I just get lost in the frame, its too large; a mess of action/blur/shallow focus that I personally found distracting at times. I also noticed quite a few focus pulls where the focus just wasnt 100% there. No doubt extremely difficult because of the limited depth of field but I guess my hope is that as time goes on and (ideally) as 65mm becomes more in vogue, DP's can start working at deeper stops again and/or with wider lenses. This is my own humble opinion.

Overall I found the picture to be quite beautiful and tastefully lit. The camera movement was pretty great but I often found myself wishing the editor wouldn't be so ADD. Let the damn shot linger! So many great shots lasted for less than 2-3 seconds. I guess we all just had such high standards after dark knight that I hoped this film could be the "ultimate action movie" , photographed and edited so tastefully. It was better than most, but still left me feeling bitter. Lets do better.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:56 PM

Had to see the film in a pinch, digital projection, wasn't too fond of it, but what else is new. Plan on seeing a print, IMAX for sure, whenever sales calm down.

First third I felt just had a lot of unnecessary exposition, especially from characters who didn't figure into the story. A lot of speeches that really could have been more about the shot & mood of the scene. But the film pays off. I really enjoyed it.
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#7 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:27 AM

Just saw TDKR in IMAX at the Universal Citywalk. Here is a link to a list of IMAX theatres playing TDKR on true 15/70 film

It is phenomenal to see - the complete immersion of being surrounded by such a pristine, detailed, bright image is incredible.

If only the powers that be had decided that this is the future of movies - not small multiplexes with 3d glasses that create more separation between the audience and the screen, not 60 fps footage that looks too real. I'll happily pay a premium for it.
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#8 Michael T Gardner

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:56 AM

Caught a near sold out showing at Pacific Science Museum's Boeing Theater in Seattle last night. I was in the front row but the Imax footage showed a sharpness and clarity in many scenes that I've never quite experienced before. I saw the digital imax before this and there is no comparison. My only problem was how soft the 35 looked when it cut back and forth. I might be mistaken but was there some Super Panavision 70 in there too?
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#9 Chris Millar

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:09 PM

15/70 last night - crud in the gate for 30secs at one point to prove it ;)

Not as impressive as the one with the Joker.

Most issues I had were with the soundtrack, audio and story - so so much explained out loud and literal folks! - and yet so so many questions afterwards, maybe it was the %50 of banes speech that was incoherent which made it work for some ? Did anyone honestly catch on to what he was on about most of the time ? Reminded me of the dogs in 'UP')
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#10 Shawn Martin

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:17 AM

I might be mistaken but was there some Super Panavision 70 in there too?

You're right. I noticed at least one shot (car interior) that was. It was cropped to 2.40 like the scope stuff.

They also shot VistaVision for some of the opening scene with the planes.

And I saw this in 15/70 and have to echo just how sharp the IMAX footage was.
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#11 Roberto Aita

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:05 PM

I also noticed quite a few focus pulls where the focus just wasnt 100% there. No doubt extremely difficult because of the limited depth of field but I guess my hope is that as time goes on and (ideally) as 65mm becomes more in vogue, DP's can start working at deeper stops again and/or with wider lenses. This is my own humble opinion.


Hello from Italy, I'm a newbie in this forum so please be patient ;-)
I must agree with Evan Andrew, just watched the last Dark Knight movie, and sorry for mr. Pfister but it seemed to me that more than 50% of the interior shots were out of focus and with a terrible background bokeh... I thought "Maybe there was a problem with the italian copy screened at my cinema, but eventually I checked the exterior shots and they were mostly "in focus". It's incredible that such a high budget movie got a cinematography so sloppy :-(
And it's not my stinky opinion only, in (too) few instances online I found similar rants :
" A handful of intimate moments failed horrifically in the focus department. Specifically, Batman’s entire face is out of focus when Catwoman traps him with Bane (“You made a big mistake.”) and Bane’s face is entirely out of focus when he sits over a broken Bruce in the prison. There are other moments like this in the film, but those two stood out. I want to give Pfister and his focus puller the benefit of the doubt, because IMAX cameras have ridiculously shallow depth of field. Of course, they weren’t all IMAX shots. And this brings me to my biggest issue with the film." http://themoviemash....-full-spoilers/
‎"As for the cinematography, Nolan left his focus puller at home, with half the film out of focus. The dark vision is almost too dark and blue. Where events should be sharp the image is soft..." http://www.radiantat...s-movie-review/

Have a great evening buddies,

Roberto
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#12 James Compton

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:05 PM

‎"As for the cinematography, Nolan left his focus puller at home, with half the film out of focus. The dark vision is almost too dark and blue. Where events should be sharp the image is soft..." http://www.radiantat...s-movie-review/

Roberto


Ok.... I see some people complaining about some of the shots being out of focus. Let's think about this for a second.
Some of the shots are out of focus for E-M-O-T-I-O-N-A-L E-F-F-E-C-T. Yes, emtional effect. i'm guessing most of the people here on this forum have NVER been in a real fight before. I have trained heavily in martial arts since I was seven. I have been puched in the face before - YES, your vision does go blurry.

The scene as BATMAN is waking up in Bane's prision is out of focus initally-on purpose. After he wakes up, all the prints that I have seen on different screens are IN FOCUS. Going back to the fight in Bane's lair. when he hits BATMAN, you see BATMAN's blurry POV - JUST LIKE a REAL FIGHT. So there you go, it was done for realism.
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#13 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:51 PM

Ok.... I see some people complaining about some of the shots being out of focus. Let's think about this for a second.
Some of the shots are out of focus for E-M-O-T-I-O-N-A-L E-F-F-E-C-T. Yes, emtional effect. i'm guessing most of the people here on this forum have NVER been in a real fight before. I have trained heavily in martial arts since I was seven. I have been puched in the face before - YES, your vision does go blurry.

The scene as BATMAN is waking up in Bane's prision is out of focus initally-on purpose. After he wakes up, all the prints that I have seen on different screens are IN FOCUS. Going back to the fight in Bane's lair. when he hits BATMAN, you see BATMAN's blurry POV - JUST LIKE a REAL FIGHT. So there you go, it was done for realism.

Those shots were intended to be out of focus, I agree. However what we're talking about aren't shots that are obviously out of focus, but shots that are soft, often because of missed focus pulls, general soft focus, and shallow depth of field. Honestly -- these aren't reasons to pick apart the film at all. My main critique was of wallys cinematographic approach regarding the IMAX format. It is my personal opinion that sitting upfront in the IMAX cinema was completely jarring and too revealing as far as shallow DOF and focus mistakes. I believe that a new approach needs to be taken for action film and IMAX that facilitates a better viewing experience. Perhaps shooting with wider lenses and at a deeper stop would allow for more revealing, intimate, and less jarring camera work.
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#14 Victor Nhat Nguyen

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:36 AM

it may bother you guys but do you think the audience really care if a shot is a little bit out of focus? I still watch old movies not because I like them to be sharp but because I like the story. I think that the color and lighting of a movie is more important visually than a little bit out of focus.
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#15 Kate Eccarius

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 05:01 AM

Here's a great article in the ASC which speaks briefly about the lenses and focus issues with the IMAX cameras used for the film (if you haven't already read it). 

 

http://www.theasc.co...Rises/page1.php


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