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Art House trends that went Mainstream


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 02:03 PM

I feel this'd be useful to a film historian.

 

The analogical way I could put this is, in music; "underground" artists will have certain elements in their songs that don't work as a whole, but get cherry-picked by pop artists and implemented into a more widely consumable product.

 

Could anyone tell me certain things we see in modern films today that were originally only found in indie/art-house titles?

 

Examples of things could be (not saying these started as indie): the 360-shot, short burst grunge editing, having a one word title and the film shows a slate of the dictionary entry of that word, etc.

 

Thanks.


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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:17 PM

Handheld. See Pennebaker.


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#3 Michael Rodin

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:20 PM

Well, those long hand-held shots. Sergei Urusevskij did it splendidly, then the French New Wave did it less so, now everybody does it, usually not splendidly at all.

 

I worked with a first-time director who would prefer to shoot everything hand-held. I kind of respected that choice, but kept the camera on sticks. Once the AC changed the batteries on the camera (F900 w/external recorder), cycled power, which triggered the recorder, and carried it to the location on his shoulder. The resulting shaky-cam shot was screened and impressed the director. "This is how you should shoot". The guy wasn't joking.

 

Edit: Phil, you were faster :)


Edited by Michael Rodin, 06 November 2016 - 03:26 PM.

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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 11:48 PM

I think you can trace handheld shooting much further back than Pennebaker or Godard, probably back to the release of the Eyemo in 1925, and other compact 35mm cameras that came out shortly after like the De Vry and Kinamo. There's a great shot in one of Joris Ivens' early films from 1929 that was taken with a Kinamo over  the handle bars of a bicycle, for instance. Lots of handheld footage in WWII reportage too of course.

 

It probably depends on your definition of "indie/art-house", but directors like Abel Gance experimented with plenty of unconventional techniques including split-screen pictures, extreme close-ups, distorting mirrors and low angle shots during his early film career after WWI. Bunuel and Dali's famous surrealist short Un Chien Andalou from 1929 has probably influenced the horror genre with it's eyeball slicing scene that must have been pretty shocking in it's day (actually it still packs a punch). Godard' editing of course, if you can call Breathless an indie feature.  Richter's Rythmus 21 from 1921 starts the abstract animation ball rolling all the way to Fantasia, 2001 and beyond.


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