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The 'look' of a dogme 95 film


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#1 Suri Grennell

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

I know the words Dogme 95 seem like a strange thing to put up in a cinematography forum! I'm actually looking for some help in describing to 'look' of a dogme film in aesthetic terms, something that's proving difficult to find online as part of the definition of Dogme 95 films seems to be a concentration on the story and performance rather than aesthetics!

My question is I want to recreate some of the aesthetics like low saturation, muted colours, grain etc. and am wondering if anyone here might be able to offer some good descriptive words on the 'look' of Dogme films?

Thank you!
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#2 Phil Soheili

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:59 AM

the 'look' of Dogme films?


Basically the rules of dogma are:
1. Original locations only, "as is" (no props etc.)
2. There can be music in the movie if the source is visible (radio/band live)
3. Handheld only (no tripods, no dollies, no cranes)
4. Filming in colour, no artificial lighting (that includes daylight sources)
5. No cgi, no sfx, no filters
6. Film may depict neither violence with arms or weapons nor murder
7. Film plays out in the "here and now" (No "once upon a time", no "in a future long gone", nor "back home years ago", no day for night, if it's filmed in the Chrysler building, NYC it cannot be anything else than the Chysler building, NYC)
8. No genre (no "noir", no comedy, no horror, no action) Let me put it "nothing that labels easily"
9. Must be filmed in Academy 35mm
10. The director may not be credited neither in the start nor the end titles.

So the ones that affect cinematography are 3, 4, 5 and 9.

You might say it bans everything that is "wannabe" in favour of telling relevant stories in a straightforward way and in a real world where real things happen. (if it's raining then - hell yeah - it's raining!)

That means that you can have any colour you may want (and desaturated is not a hallmark of dogma rather than a consequence of the specific conditions on the "set" the day of the filming.

Have fun!
Phil
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#3 Freya Black

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:57 AM

9. Must be filmed in Academy 35mm


Most of the "films" broke this rule and were shot on cheap mini-dv camcorders of the time. For example, perhaps the most famous dogme movie "The celebration" was shot on a Sony DCR-PC7E Handycam on standard Mini-DV cassettes!

I think they were however shot in 4:3 and it may have been the case that they did film-outs to Academy 35mm.
A lot of the look beyond following the rules in the dogme manifesto may have been down to the domestic camcorder technology of the time. It may depend on what you consider to be dogme movies and which ones you have seen.

love

Freya
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