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Broken Flowers


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#1 Alain LeTourneau

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 03:28 AM

Went to a afternoon screening of Jarmusch's latest, Broken Flowers. Shot by vetran Fred Elmes.

First thing I noticed was how dark the images were. I mean dark in terms of the shadows were really falling off. I haven't read any tech articles on this film so I don't know if it was shot in super 16 or 35? Maybe someone out there can answer this question pour moi?

At on point I though maybe the xenon lamp in the projector was going bad. It was a multiplex after all and I wouldn't put it past the theater to make such a mistake. It also seemed a little soft, the images that is, as the title sequence was sharply in focus. So I wondered again if this is super 16 since s16 has looked soft to me in wide shots I've seen in other 35 blow-ups.

An interesting film for Jarmusch. A cast of celebrities that would make most producers drool, but despite that an interesting film. Somewhat out of character for Jarmusch as well as the celebrities in the film (although Murry was his typical late-career laconic self). I think I enjoyed the music most, something I usually find annoying in most films, but also something very characteristic of Jarmusch's other films (John Lurie scores, etc).

I'll probably go see it again before it leaves the theater. Surprisingly, the film is simultaneously booked into two theaters at this multiplex I went to. Something which will probably change after opening week (just opened last Friday). I guess the theater was pulling for Murry's star power.

Anyway, please let me know stocks and super 16 or no...if you know.


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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:22 PM

Although the previews on TV sure don't look all that sharp, a behind-the-scenes shot of the production shows what appears to be an Arricam, which would thus make it a 35mm shoot. Jarmusch definitely puts his emphasis more on content than getting a 'Hollywood' look, quite possibly by intention.
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#3 Alain LeTourneau

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 01:19 PM

Although the previews on TV sure don't look all that sharp, a behind-the-scenes shot of the production shows what appears to be an Arricam, which would thus make it a 35mm shoot.  Jarmusch definitely puts his emphasis more on content than getting a 'Hollywood' look, quite possibly by intention.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>




Your comment "Hollywood look" is sufficiently vague. I don't know what that means. Sharp images (as opposed to shooting with a pro mist, diffusion, or nets) is not simply the pervue of Hollywood movies. But of course it all comes down to taste, and I don't particularly care for shooting with diffusion, unless is really slight. The great thing about 35mm is its resolving power, and I like to see that used to the fullest. Doing something else is fine too...I often just don't care for it.


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#4 Matt Pacini

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 01:24 PM

I like some of Jarmusch' stuff, (loved coffee & cigarettes) so I'm not in any way slamming him, but I do think it's funny that when someone is known as an "artsy" filmmaker, when they make mistakes, do stupid things, or anything technical goes wrong, people automatically say they intended it as an artistic decision.

The most simple explanations tend to be the right ones;
maybe the projection lamp is old, or there was something wrong with that particular print you saw.

MP

Edited by Matt Pacini, 16 August 2005 - 01:24 PM.

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#5 Greg Gross

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 12:52 PM

Viewed "Broken Flowers" yesterday and I enjoyed it very much. There were
about 50 people in the cinema room I was in. Hardly anyone laughed at all.
They just did not get it! I thought the scenes were a little dark myself. I was
wondering myself if the print I was viewing was not done properly for project-
ion. Although someone here said they thought it was dark also. I am not a film
school graduate so please forgive my stupidity as I have a lot of catching up to
do on the subject of projection. I'm thinking now that he chose that overall mood,
darkness, to convey the story. Don obviously was not a real happy character. I
personally do not perceive him as being depressed,I think he was hopeful as to
what his travels might reveal. In the beginning there was some real story telling
without any dialogue. The letter being placed in the mailbox(we see just a hand
at the lid of the mailbox) we don't see who the hand belongs to. We see the letter
travel through the post office process and finally, the letter carrier drops the letter
through the mail slot of Don's door. I liked Mr. Elmes use of the camera and light-
ing with Don. Early on he did a close-up of Don seated(holding the letter in his
hands). Don was facing the camera straight on and the short side of his face was
in shadow(some detail could be seen). Three quarters of his face was lit. I really
liked the ending, here is some dialogue(not exact but close):

Don
So I get the idea you're thinking that I'm your dad,isn't that so?

Teenage Boy
(shocked,excited,overcome,surprised,afraid,shy)

You're crazy old man! What are you talking about?
(He jumps over a railing,runs down an alley and turns on to a street,
running down the middle of the street)
Don
Hey!, come back here!,lets talk!
(Don gives chase, looks up the street then looks down the street,
sees him running down the street at some distance(master shot).
We see Don again by himself. FADE OUT/The END.
Does Don really have a son? If so will he ever find him again? Later saturday
evening I viewed the documentary on Nick Ray("Lightning Over Water") done
by Wim Wenders,shot in 1979. Nick Ray was dying of cancer at the time.

Greg Gross
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#6 Dan Goulder

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 12:23 PM

I like some of Jarmusch' stuff, (loved coffee & cigarettes) so I'm not in any way slamming him, but I do think it's funny that when someone is known as an "artsy" filmmaker, when they make mistakes, do stupid things, or anything technical goes  wrong, people automatically say they intended it as an artistic decision.

The most simple explanations tend to be the right ones;
maybe the projection lamp is old, or there was something wrong with that particular print you saw.

MP

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I saw the same movie the rest of you saw, and it looked the same way to me as it did to you. I don't think we can hang this one on the projectionist. When most of the guy's movies look that way, one can't help but be left with the impression that it's by intent, whether the rest of us like it or not.

In this particular case, most of the exteriors were shot in dark, overcast weather, thus the dark daylight interiors to match. Furthermore, someone based in New York's East Village may very well tend to have a darker view (literally, as well as figuratively) than one based in the generally brighter and snappier daylight of LA. This is what a steady diet of low footcandles can do to ya.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 02:27 PM

Remember that this is the DP who shot "Blue Velvet" and parts of "Eraserhead" so I believe the dimmer, dusky look of many interiors and some exteriors are intentional. It did not bother me -- it just gave the movie the look of taking place under overcast, foreboding weather, with depressed people who sit in rooms as the sunlight fades and don't have the energy to turn on the lights. I kinda of liked how dark he was willing to play interiors. You're MEANT to notice how dark it's getting.

Of course, if you have a dimmer image and THEN it goes to a theater with a dimmer projector bulb, it will look too dark. "Twin Falls Idaho" is a somewhat dark film, and when it played at the New Beverly, the theater owner actually warned me in advance that because he had to use a mirror periscope system to shine the image on the screen (the building was originally a nightclub, not a theater), the print looked about a stop dark.
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