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The Return (of masterful cinematogarphy)


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#1 Ger Leonard

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 11:02 AM

Andrei Zvyagintsev's masterful debut THE RETURN, photographed by Mikhail Krichman, has to be one the most exquisitly composed and lit films of the last few years, if not of all time.
"The Film of the film" documentary on the dvd is extremely enlightening and moving as all of those involved in the film clearly felt deeply about what they were trying to achieve.
The film has a religious luminousity similar to NÎstor Almendros's magic-hour cinematography in Days of Heaven. The return was shot in an area of northern russia that experiences 24hr sunlight.. In an interview the director explained that "For our color solution, in search of a common language, we used examples from movies and painting. Finally, Mikhail suggested a chemical process of film development that allowed fading colors to such an extent as to make a picture in sharp contrast and as close to monochromatic as you can see in pictures by Vermeer and Rembrandt. "

Does anyone know what chemical process they could have used or which film stock?
Any information would be appreciated.

Another film that I would love to learn more about is the non dialogue hungarian film HUKKLE by Gyorgy Palfi...How did they make such an extroadinary film?
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#2 Ger Leonard

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 08:10 AM

Has noone seen The Return? ... no replies to original post..
the cinematography, direction, actors, score are magnificent
it has won many awards including the golden lion 2003 for best film & best first film
Lovers of Malliick's Days of Heaven, Kieslowski, Bergman, or Tarkovsky should see this beautiful film..
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#3 coolbreeze

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 02:30 PM

Mikhail suggested a chemical process of film development that allowed fading colors to such an extent as to make a picture in sharp contrast and as close to monochromatic as you can see in pictures by Vermeer and Rembrandt. "

Does anyone know what chemical process they could have used or which film stock?
Any information would be appreciated.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Sounds like they used a Silver retention process like Bleach Bypass, ENR or ACE/CCE on either the camera negative or the release prints - this would desaturate your colours and increase your contrast dramatically.
Hope this helps,
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:55 PM

Has noone seen The Return? ... no replies to original post..
the cinematography, direction, actors, score are magnificent
it has won many awards including the golden lion 2003 for best film & best first film
Lovers of Malliick's Days of Heaven, Kieslowski, Bergman, or Tarkovsky should see this beautiful film..

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


OK, I just put it in my Netflix queue.
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#5 Tim Tyler

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 05:26 PM

I saw a film print six months ago and it IS a very beautiful looking film.
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#6 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 05:31 PM

I saw The Return on the big screen last year, but I have to say I'm not all that enthused by it. Kind of felt like "Tarkovsky-lite." Sorry. (No one ever replied to my posts about "Nostalghia," or "Distant," (Turkey 2004).)
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#7 Ger Leonard

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 05:47 AM

I saw The Return on the big screen last year, but I have to say I'm not all that enthused by it. Kind of felt like "Tarkovsky-lite." Sorry. (No one ever replied to my posts about "Nostalghia," or "Distant," (Turkey 2004).)


Tarkovsky-lite.....ok i appreciate where you're coming from, but for me The Return worked on it's own merits and although I hugely admire Tarkovsky, rarely do I find myself fully engaged, but rather at a remove, in awe at his technique.

I have seen Dizak (distant) on the big screen. Tarkovsky's influence is apparent here again, yet here I entered its rhythms easily.. (perhaps you felt this to be Tarkovsky-lite too?)

Maybe its as simple as the fact that I have not seen any on Tarkovsky's work on the big screen where they can better work their spell..

An director similar to Tarkovsky(sequence shots, slow pensive camera choreography) is Bela Tarr (hungary) whose Werkmeister harmonies , which I saw on the small screen, I would highly reccommend..


Sounds like they used a Silver retention process like Bleach Bypass, ENR or ACE/CCE on either the camera negative or the release prints - this would desaturate your colours and increase your contrast dramatically.
Hope this helps,


Hi Stephen.. yeah I presume they used a silver retention process, but I am really looking to find out which one exactly, when, and on what stock etc...
Cheers though..
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#8 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:09 AM

Well, "Distant" does contain some comic relief: Remember that the movie the older cousin puts on the TV in order to get his guest to leave the room is none other than "Stalker." I really like "Distant;" I think it's very visually witty. Remember when the young cousin heads out to look for a job on the docks, snow's falling, and the camera pans across a ridiculously huge, rusting, abandoned frieghter? But is it Tarkovsky-esque? I don't think so. Is every film that's slow and pensive influenced by The Master?
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#9 Ger Leonard

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:40 AM

Well, "Distant" does contain some comic relief: Remember that the movie the older cousin puts on the TV in order to get his guest to leave the room is none other than "Stalker." I really like "Distant;" I think it's very visually witty. Remember when the young cousin heads out to look for a job on the docks, snow's falling, and the camera pans across a ridiculously huge, rusting, abandoned frieghter? But is it Tarkovsky-esque? I don't think so. Is every film that's slow and pensive influenced by The Master?


My mistake the turkish title is Uzak and not Dizak as I had mistakenly believed for some reason...

I guess the explicit use of "Stalker" and much of the press labelling the director "the turkish tarkovsky".. lead me to compare the two..
You ask the question "is every film that's slow and pensive influeneced by the master?"
To an extent I would say yes. He certainly lead the way...
But they are obviously also very different filmakers expressing their own concerns..
Tarkovsky is a reasonable reference point while discussing Distant or The Return but they should be appraised on their own merits..
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