Thursday, 15 January 2009

The interesting shot

I'm into film (very much!) and I'm into photography. So here are a few film shots, which I happen to love. Over at, Kris Tapley selects his ten favorite shots of the year and even though this year's list looks quite disappointing, last year's selection is impressive. The There Will Be Blood shot alone (the hand shot) is amazing. And Atonement reality vs. celluloid (film) shot is amazing. Here are some of my favorite shots.

This one is from Quiet City and is the story of two strangers who meet & spend some time together (in the park, at parties, at art shows etc etc). It's a very poetic shot & I love that about it. The two charactrs running against the sun just feels so fresh and hot and kind of liberating, but at the same time it just feels surreal and like a part from some action packed sci-fi film. The composition is pretty simple, but working. It just feels like somebody captured this happy accident on film. I'm not really familiar with lenses and stuff like that, but I have some friends, who's DP (director of photography) undergraduates & we had a long talk about this one. Anyway, it's really poetic.

The Atonement shot. It's from a scene at the end of the movie. Robbie (James McAvoy's character - I still feel obligated to point out that James's performance was to the cast standout & he gave such an honest and beautifully nuanced performance, that it's a shame he didn't get enough attention from his peers, but he's not yet 30, so I believe he'll have enough shots at being recognized in the future). In this scene his character Robbie - who's a soldier in WWII enters a deserted theater and in his depression & weak physical condition he just walks around & when he gets in front of the screen, he just gets overwhelmed by emotion. It's actually a scene, which is open to interpretation & James delivers a performance which happens to be both haunting & ambivalent enough to raise these questions. I love it. And the composition is pretty amazing. These days I'm reading a lot about compositon (with all the Susan Sontag photography stuff & reading about acting & the physical presence on stage and on screen) and I have to say that this shot delivers, because it's a shot, which points out contrasts - color & b/w, the big & small figures & the excitement of the lovers onscreen & the pain of the man off screen / in front of the screen. And it's beautiful, ain't it? I read somewhere that its director Joe Wright uses classic paintings as influence for many of his shots and I think it's a good idea. Stealing from the masters isn't stealing, right? ;-)

My favorite shot - from There Will Be Blood. Anyone who has not seen this film, go and see it! It's amazing! It's so much unlike other films, that after it, I felt like I've read a big epic novel. And Daniel Day-Lewis is an actors' actor & even though I think he went over-the-top, I think it just worked in this particular film. There was the need for a performance, which is strong and commanding enough to get the film working as a metaphor. But I loved it. And this shot - among many others - is amazing. It's this hand - covered with oil - against the light. There's the greedy nuance in there, there's the feeling of a human being becoming powerful & feeling superior. It's like a quest for a victory and at the same time it feels pretty empty. I love it.

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