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#1 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 11:21 AM

I just saw the new Todd Haynes film "Carol" which was photographed by Ed Lachman, ASC. 

 

I really enjoyed the use of the Super 16 format here, which lent itself to a sense of visual intimacy that I similarly felt when I first saw "Chinatown" – tight frames, close action. 

 

Haynes has many visual references to Sirk, which is undeniable in this film, but what I most appreciate is how well the zoom lens is used. It lends a very modern feel to a story so deeply set in the past (both in time, and in morals). Oddly enough for a story set in 1953, it'd be only twenty years later when zoom moves like the ones he uses were in vogue and ubiquitous. 

 

Some memorable sequences included the first ride Therese takes to New Jersey through the tunnel, and later when they're inside the home at night. There is quite a bit of naturalism in the lighting, with occasional flourishes of Lachman's trademark style that borders surreal/dreamy in some instances. 

 

I look forward to hearing what others here thought of the film. 

 

 

 


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#2 Giray Izcan

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 02:07 PM

I just saw the movie at arclight. I thought the film was pretty good - maybe dull at times but good. I thought s16 served the film really well. It looks painteresque and poetic. It was great seeing how s16 holds up on the big screen - even the 500 stock. Also, I like the fact that the DP chose to use older Cooke lenses...
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#3 Manu Delpech

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 02:51 PM

Cooke Panchro S2 yes, the movie has an article in the December issue of AC.


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 07:50 PM

Just saw "Carol" -- looks fantastic, the closest I've seen to someone emulating Saul Leiter's photographs published in "Early Color" (it helped that he was shooting in NYC in the same period as this movie).  Great images shooting through glass with reflections, glass that is fogged with water droplets, etc.  The Super-16 really helped create the feeling of 1950's color street photography.


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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 30 November 2015 - 04:10 PM

Here's a great interview with Lachman, in which he discusses "Carol" among other works and ideas. 

 

I agree on the use of glass and reflections – a hallmark of Haynes' work (and to some extent Sirk). It created a great sense of foreground and separation. 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 30 November 2015 - 04:11 PM.

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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 03:18 PM

What a great cinematic experience 'Carol' is. I thought Lachman did a wonderful job, not only making a very simple story visually interesting, but also using the small format to his advantage. To me, he lit the film perfectly in every way. The lighting was always motivated and spot on during every single shot, which to me is pretty amazing. I think the locations were spot-on and truly helped the film maintain it's cinematic style throughout the piece. Where I wasn't initially in love with the composition, as the film moved on, I began to understand the meaning of what he was doing and agreed with much of it. Lachman's subtle use of the dolly and zoom lens was spot on. There were a few moments I would have reached for the dolly, but usually right when I thought that, he'd start moving the camera. Some of those shots looking into the car from outside whilst driving, those were just gorgeous and amazingly properly lit. Some of the interiors looking outwards were interesting, as he let the image over-expose instead of lighting to help smoothen that out. I thought that decision was spot on and looked great.

In terms of the S16 look, I must admit it looked pretty darn good. It clearly went through heavy noise reduction as the image was a bit on the soft side, the grain wasn't so crisp. Yet, it didn't really bother me because it was so pretty anyway, it didn't matter. The exteriors were wonderful, clearly shot on fine grain 50D in most cases.The 500T was noticeable, especially in Carol's house at night when Therese was playing the piano. However, it didn't pull me away from the film in any way, 7219 is a great stock.

In terms of the story, I thought it was a bit on the weak side. They could have added a bit more conflict, which would have made it more interesting. It was a bit too soft for my liking, which pained me because I flat-out loved the filmmaking, the pacing, the cast, everything on screen, but the core story. It makes me wonder how much hit the cutting room floor.

In the end, 'Carol' is by far one of the best uses of modern motion picture film and a must see for any cinematographer. I truly hope Lachman gets some nods for his work and preservation of celluloid. An interesting side note, his last few films were all 16mm. He also used "Technicolor NY" for his processing, which was closed down 2 years ago. I heard a rumor he bought the lab and is using it for his own projects.
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#7 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 03:33 PM

He did acquire the lab after it closed in December of last year (they were the last show to process there), but it's currently in storage. There was one 35mm festival print made, which showed at NYFF and Cannes.

Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 24 December 2015 - 03:35 PM.

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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 03:47 PM

Ohh got ya, so it's not operational. Dang! I'm glad he was smart enough to buy it.

Thanks for the update!
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#9 Giray Izcan

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:59 PM

Tyler, do you think it went through noise reduction? or it's on the soft side because s16 isn't necessarily a sharp format blown up to begin with? Plus, he shot the movie on older 35mm format Cooke lenses that aren't necessarily as sharp as ultra 16 lenses for example.


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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 08:30 PM

Wow...and I wanted to see this film before I came across this thread!


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 08:45 PM

Tyler, do you think it went through noise reduction? or it's on the soft side because s16 isn't necessarily a sharp format blown up to begin with? Plus, he shot the movie on older 35mm format Cooke lenses that aren't necessarily as sharp as ultra 16 lenses for example.


You can tell buy the grain structure. It's all down to the scan and projection. I saw it on a small screen in 2k digital. The grain particulates were muted and soft, not crisp like the film is. That's a dead give away for noise reduction. It's just common place today to add noise reduction to anything shot on film. This is mostly because our highly compressed distribution methods can't deal with all those moving sliver elements.

I bet the 35mm blow up looked amazing.
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#12 Giray Izcan

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 09:53 PM

Hmm ok. Anyways, I'm going to see Hateful Eight on 70mm print tonight at ArcLight at 1:30am. I'm pretty excited.


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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 04:14 AM

Just caught 'Carol' at a late night screening and had the whole theater to myself while 'Star Wars' and 'Hateful 8' in 70mm were packed next door. I'm so glad I got to see it on the big screen; the textures, colors, framing, and movement were all orchestrated beautifully. I particularly loved Ed Lachman's subtle use of lens height, unconventional framing and focus choices, and mixed color temperature combined with the incredible softness of leko bounce and overhead china ball sources, all in service of the story. Having just watched the series 'Mr. Robot' which also had odd framing and color temperature choices in a wintery New York setting, I found 'Carol' refreshing and masterful in it's relative simplicity.

 

There was one shot that looked underexposed by a few stops and printed up, a medium long shot of Therese sitting at a piano. I thought it was ballsy of Lachman to just let it go and not fix it in the DI by removing the blue grain in the shadows. The only thing that I thought went too far was the use of handheld camera at the very end of the film. It literally made me seasick, which I'm sure was the intention but it took me out of the story. Nevertheless, I had a great time and if I had a vote for Best Cinematography this year so far, it would go to Mr. Lachman. Have not seen 'Hateful 8' or 'The Revenant' yet so we will see!


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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 05:16 AM

Here's a great interview with Lachman, in which he discusses "Carol" among other works and ideas. 

 

I agree on the use of glass and reflections – a hallmark of Haynes' work (and to some extent Sirk). It created a great sense of foreground and separation. 

 

I didn't know about this thread and posted about this same video in the cinematographers section.

 

I've not seen carol yet but the video that Kenny links to above is really worth watching if you are at all interested in cinematography.

 

Freya


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