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self-conscious cinematography


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#1 patsy

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:27 PM

We have a question in reference to Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven. Does the cinematography call attention to itself? I'm not sure what this means. Is this when the image is so beautiful but not necessarily part of the narrative?
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:22 AM

You need to use your full name, it's one of the forum rules.
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#3 patsy

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 07:48 AM

We have a question in reference to Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven. Does the cinematography call attention to itself? I'm not sure what this means. Is this when the image is so beautiful but not necessarily part of the narrative?


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#4 Arturo Sinclair

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:35 PM

I would not say that Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler's cinematography calls attention to itself more than good prose gets you immersed into the story. Self-conscious cinematography is more likely to occur in films where directors have not much to say and cover themselves up by doing fancy unnecessary shots, effects, angles, fast cutting etc. to account for the fact that there is nothing worth seeing (in terms of story)

In the film you mentioned, one of the great films of our time, the cinematography simply becomes the atmosphere that helps reveal characters and situations. Light is part of the story (as is every single detail in the frame of this film, color, costumes, composition, movement).

Perhaps many people get fascinated by the photography of this film because many of the films they see at the multiplex are simply products for sale that have very little regard for excellence. But if you see any film by Nestor Almendros http://www.imdb.com/...00743/filmoyear and you will find how the light (the main tool of the cinematographer) tells the story in an essential way, nothing more, nothing less. THe same is true of the work of many great cinematographers who are respected as artists and by what they bring to the story rather than being simply technicians who are paid to churn out a standard (and well crafted) product.
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#5 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

Self conscious cinematography, could also be used in a Brechtian way
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