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O. Selznick Vs. De Seca, who's gonna take the title?!


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:05 PM

Very interesting comparison of cinematic styles:

 

 


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#2 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:24 PM

I vote for de Sica.

 

Maybe i have a weakness for watching people walking around and unrelated things going on on the peripheries.

 

It creates a sense of the world around the protaganists and antagonists.

 

---Leo Vale


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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:32 PM

Well, here's how I see it. De Sica seems to be leaving the impression that the main characters are awash in a sea of humanity which somewhat de-emphisises their struggle with n the larger context of the human dilemma whereas O. Selznick's cut seems to create a stronger intensity for the actions of the individuals and emphasis on emotional impact of the central characters. Both valid yet strikingly different. I guess what one can say is this, in a nutshell is the essential difference, even today, in European film making and American film making. The individual vs. the masses.

 I would strongly disagree with the narrator that De Sica de-emphisises plot but instead, alters context, pace and focus in an attempt to show a more universality to the emotional context and give more weight to the overall mood of the piece, whereas O. Selznick creates a narrowed view of problems that are specific to the protagonists and thereby heightens, saturates their emotional quality within the piece. Plot remains throughout, it is only context that changes. You could in a larger sense, simply put, this as a film cut for two different audiences which often happens today especially with foreign  being so important to overall box office. I think O. Selznick made the right move for the times.

It's very cool these cuts exist simultaneously. As he said, it is a dramatic example of how different approaches to the same project can massively alter the film's final outcome.  I DO what to screw around with De Seca's technique though, it cold be very useful in certain circumstances.


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:15 AM

I agree, it's not really a right or wrong approach, both are thinking like filmmakers... for Selznick, it's important to cut anything that seems extraneous to character and plot, and it's important to keep up the pace -- it's a very good way of approaching editing: stick to the essentials, trim the fat, drive the story hard, and emphasize the emotional journey of the central character.  And though many would say that DeSica is the only filmmaker of the movie, Selznick would disagree -- he thought of himself as the filmmaker too.

 

However, DeSica was not wrong either -- his approach is similar to something used in "The Godfather", which is to create a world and then populate it, put everything in context to broader themes and issues rather than narrow it to a single character's journey.  The central character in "The Godfather" is not Michael, it's the family.

 

I see a lot of indie filmmakers who think they are being DeSica when what they need is to be a bit more like Selznick.  Because if you aren't a master of that technique, that world-creation that Coppola or Leone or Altman were so good at, then you're probably just being self-indulgent and should learn to pick up the pace and get to the point, cut to the chase so to speak.


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