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Ida


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#1 cole t parzenn

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 10:36 AM

See "Ida," if you get a chance. Beautiful black and white cinematography (albeit desaturated Alexa footage) and Academy compositions.


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#2 cole t parzenn

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 11:25 AM

IDA-scene7-club-night-interior-thefilmbo


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#3 F Bulgarelli

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 12:52 PM

Amazing film, highly recommended
Does anyone have any info about post production
Did they add digital grain, diffusion, etc
Thanks
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#4 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 01:35 PM

I found it gorgeous, too. American Cinematographer had a write up in the magazine and then some follow-ups online. 


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#5 Kalle Folke

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 03:30 PM

I found it gorgeous, too. American Cinematographer had a write up in the magazine and then some follow-ups online. 

 

That was really interesting to read! Where can I find more articles like that? Great way to get a better understanding about lighting.


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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 05:30 AM

Saw it in the theater and I simply couldn't get engaged in the story. Nice compositions, but I've seen much nicer stuff shot with Alexa.
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#7 Albion Hockney

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 08:12 PM

Bill I really dislike the phrase " I have seen better shot stuff with the Alexa" its just a very quick shallow statment the one assumes the camera has much to do with how "good" a film looks and 2ndly it makes it seem like your interest is some visual "quality" I dont think you can measure how good films look like in that way....its based in how well the images tell the story and how meaningful they are.

 

 

That Said I felt Ida was pretty pretentious in its use of the camera. The 4:3 b/w seemed a bit like a gimick and of course a film that looks that way is going to be called upon as an example of great cinematography it seems akin to an actor cast in a film playing someone with a mental illness getting an oscar nomination. I felt the framing choices didn't serve the story as much as they were just pretty for prettys sake with no real intent. I think this shows through as well in the choice to make the last shot handheld ....its an obvious choice and its trying to hard to tell the audience something with the camera work.....I thought the film was acted well and the story in itself was interesting, but the camera work was over blown and weighed way to heavy on the story.


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 08:25 PM

I thought it was wonderfully photographed, and it was nice to see someone working in 1.37 Academy.  The camera work was quite subdued, as was the whole movie -- I don't see how one could call it "overblown".  A Transformers movie is visually overblown, not this movie.

 

Some people have argued that the excessive headroom at times represents God watching over the character.  At minimum, you could say that it suggests the smallness of people against larger forces -- the past, religion, institutions.


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#9 Albion Hockney

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 09:10 PM

 I think my previous post in being 3 or 4 sentances is a little overly harsh and generalized, I think the film has some really great moments and some shots did feel like they had good purpose. That said I think the cinematography still does call too much attention to it self.  I see how in comparision to a action film you could say it is subtle....and of course it a subtle, slow, "art" film. That said the framing is very strong. I think the idea that it is "god watching over" or plays to the smallness is nice. but it's a little strongly directly symbolic and forced in my opinion... and there are shots where there is additional room not just on top of the frame but to the side as well. I think its also worth noting that Pawlikowski has said in interview he did the framing and the dp lit it, I think the framing of the movie was always a huge part of what Pawlikowski wanted to do and in my opinion that approach in itself is a bit flawed because again it shouldnt be the framing of the image that says something it should be all of the elements together in unison .....in this case I think the camera work was just a bit more powerful then the other elements and weighed too heavy.....going back to my last post again I think the fact the end shot was handheld really shows that pretension, its as if he thought that moment wouldn't work if it wasn't handheld and the whole movie relied on this handheld moment ....maybe in a short film, but after an hour I didn't need that, it felt forced to me.

 

I mean ....I gave the film a 4 on netflix, I enjoyed it in a lot of ways, I just think Pawlikowski needs to not rely so much on the the framing of the camera.


Edited by Albion Hockney, 19 December 2014 - 09:11 PM.

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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 11:01 PM

Bill I really dislike the phrase " I have seen better shot stuff with the Alexa" its just a very quick shallow statment the one assumes the camera has much to do with how "good" a film looks and 2ndly it makes it seem like your interest is some visual "quality" I dont think you can measure how good films look like in that way....its based in how well the images tell the story and how meaningful they are.

 

 

That Said I felt Ida was pretty pretentious in its use of the camera. The 4:3 b/w seemed a bit like a gimick and of course a film that looks that way is going to be called upon as an example of great cinematography it seems akin to an actor cast in a film playing someone with a mental illness getting an oscar nomination. I felt the framing choices didn't serve the story as much as they were just pretty for prettys sake with no real intent. I think this shows through as well in the choice to make the last shot handheld ....its an obvious choice and its trying to hard to tell the audience something with the camera work.....I thought the film was acted well and the story in itself was interesting, but the camera work was over blown and weighed way to heavy on the story.

 

I don't see how you can really argue with a subjective statement such as that...because I have seen nicer images photographed with the Alexa.  It was okay, but I just wasn't as floored by the cinematography as some others were.  The fact that I didn't care for the film as a whole is an entirely different matter.  Simply put, I expected a more engaging story.  The story comes before everything else for me (as it should for everyone.)  If I can't get turned on by the story, it's difficult for me to fully appreciate the rest of the aesthetic elements.  And yes...I do look for a "visual quality."  It's called visual storytelling.  You are quite incorrect if you think I can divorce the story from the image.  Quite the opposite.  I still think a majority of films - especially in the independent realm - should be silent or at least edge towards that kind of visual grammar.  This film felt like it attempted that but just didn't achieve it in my eyes.

 

It's interesting that you saw the 1.37:1 ratio as something of a "gimmick," because I found it be a refreshing creative choice.  And the end of the day, we simply have different opinions of the film.


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#11 Albion Hockney

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 11:26 PM

My point was simply that it being shot on the Alexa is irrelevant....and it did indeed seem you were seperating the "quality" of the images from the storytelling as if they were seperate things to talk about, which I beleive they are not....and I think you do to?


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#12 cole t parzenn

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 11:39 PM

To me, the small screen doesn't do 4:3/Academy films justice. My perception is that 4:3/Academy, when projected, appears to be a paradoxically large frame, lending itself to more complex compositions and heavy use of negative space. I thought that visual language was wholly appropriate, for the story. Except the fake grain, though it was fairly benign, projected.


Edited by cole t parzenn, 19 December 2014 - 11:42 PM.

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#13 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 02:32 AM

I’ve watched a handful of interviews with Pawlikowski, who made the very deliberate choice to shoot Academy monochrome because that’s how he remembered that time. And the film was intended to be shown on the big screen, not small (according to one interview, he even feared making the image too dark that in some larger halls it would look too dark on the screen). 

 

And I agree with David, to the point that the empty space speaks volumes to the film’s story. There were ~3.5 million Jews in Poland before the war, roughly 90% of whom perished. While Pawlikowski is not explicit about the film being about one thing or another (in fact he resents the question according to interviews), my personal interpretation was that the blank space propels a narrative of a country being a shell of its former self. It lets us color in the details that many still debate. 

 

Interesting how polarizing this film has been. Even in the New Yorker - Denby praised it while Brody tore it apart. 

 

Personally, I felt that film would have been a stronger choice, particularly in some scenes that begged for the blacks of 5222. But who knows - the film looked to be very austerely made and, especially considering the DP was a novice, came out pretty well. In the end it remains a statement that, like it or not, resonates with the viewer. I look forward to future movies from Pawlikowski.


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 20 December 2014 - 02:34 AM.

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#14 Albion Hockney

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 03:31 AM

Yea I just read the brody review....its really harsh, but I think he makes really good points.  This kinda summed up some of my thoughts

 

"The subject of the film and Pawlikowski’s aesthetic converge in peculiar ways. Pawlikowski’s shots strain after a sense of originality with off-center framings and herald their own gravity with their stillness. The director advertises the seriousness of his approach by filming in black-and-white. But the aesthetic also embodies a historical idea: not only is “Ida” a film that could have been made in 1962, but, more important, it’s one that should have been made in 1962"

 

Considering Pawlikowski framed all the shots I think the DP did a tremedous job with the lighting, no faults there


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#15 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 09:59 AM

My point was simply that it being shot on the Alexa is irrelevant

 

Would you also argue that the choice of film stock is irrelevant for a project being photographed on film?  Because that is essentially what you are saying.  As we all know, the Alexa is a digital capture camera so - with the exception of any grading that is done in post - the camera (or rather, the sensor in the camera) is the main source of what kind of image is generated since there is no medium running through it.  So it's not at all irrelevant since the camera or format used had a direct impact on the final image.

 

Ida had a very mid-toned, digital look to it, which I assume was intentional (perhaps to indicate the way Ida's sense of identity is suddenly thrown into question,) but it was a little too obvious.  I think the film would have benefited from some very harsh photographic contrast.  In the end, that is what a large part of the story is about.

 

and it did indeed seem you were seperating the "quality" of the images from the storytelling as if they were seperate things to talk about, which I beleive they are not....and I think you do to?

 

I already clarified this in my previous reply.  I won't repeat myself.


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#16 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 10:35 AM

My perception is that 4:3/Academy, when projected, appears to be a paradoxically large frame, lending itself to more complex compositions and heavy use of negative space.

 

It all depends on how you compose the shots and how careful you are about the mise-en-scene.  I've never felt that negative space was a native aspect to 1.37:1.  That is a function of whoever is framing the shot.  Look at all the negative space you have in a film like 2001 with an aspect ratio of 2.20:1.  In this film, (whether it worked or not) the negative space was quite obviously an aesthetic choice.

 

But I agree that the compositions on the small frame can be quite interesting.  For me, the master of that was Ingmar Bergman.


Edited by Bill DiPietra, 20 December 2014 - 10:36 AM.

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#17 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 09:30 AM

What is the name of the diffusion frame covering what I think is an Octodome?

 

7aba61abb3b11d728100e026c9065234.jpg


Edited by Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos, 24 April 2016 - 09:32 AM.

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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 09:46 AM

http://www.lighttool...gcrates-do.html
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#19 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 10:18 AM

Yippie. Thanks. I hoped you would jump in.

 

In part because I wanted to ask you this: Do you perhaps have the issue of American Cinematographer from May 2014? It’s the issue where the film’s cinematography is discussed at length, as mentioned above. What I’d like to know is the following: On page 61, in the topmost photo, where the nun is holding one of the two yellow candles, there is a whole lot of stuff going on in front of and behind her.

 

Is that diffusion frame on the left what is called a butterfly silk? What is that net behind her? Another Egg Erate?

 

That tiny HMI, or whatever it is, in front of that frame behind the nun is pointing towards one half of a flag – is that why it is white in the picture? I.e. there exists no flag with one half of it black and the other white?


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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 05:48 PM

On the left edge of the photo is one of those Octodome units with an egg crate partly hidden from view by a 4'x4' (maybe?) frame of diffusion -- I can't tell if the diffusion frame is partially covering one side of the Octodome but more likely is just next to it with a weak light behind the frame to further wrap the light of the Octodome around the face of the nun.

 

Behind her is another diffusion frame (4'x5'?) with a soft egg crate with a light behind it.  There is another light on the right side of the photo creating the hard slash of light on the wall next to the window.

 

There is a 4'x4' beadboard (also called poly, for polystyrene) next to the window, not sure what it is doing other than adding some more soft light reflected from the window light onto the wall to fill it a little, but since it is lined up with that diffusion frame behind it, I'm not sure why the card is being used unless the egg crate on the diffusion frame is cutting it off of the wall to create more of an edge on something else, and in the last minute, the DP added the white bounce to bring up the wall a little more.


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