Wednesday, March 04, 2009




That is all.

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Blogger daveysomethingfunny said...

I like the Crudup Hoover voice. The period setting with the digital footage is an odd fit.

9:45 pm  
Blogger David N said...

Nooooooo!! Why is it an odd fit? Why? I've been reading that all over the net, and I don't get it at all. The past has to be shot in that treacley sepia tone, does it? Ron Howard stylee? If a shooting style fits the modern world, then why doesn't it suit a period setting? Makes no sense. Visual conditioning. Its just what people are used to. God bless Mann for being, well, a visionary. Visionary enough to realize how awesome muzzle flashes look in DV, anyway.
Crudup always has and always will be a class act. Good in bad films. Great in good films. Never bad.

11:48 pm  
Blogger daveysomethingfunny said...

Yeah, you're right with the visual conditioning thing. I know it's not going to be a concern when I'm actually watching it - but there isn't really anything else period set that's been shot on DV that I've seen, so it wasn't what I was expecting.

I wasn't expecting sepia.

Maybe more blue.

12:39 am  
Blogger David N said...

If you watched this YouTube version, you really should go and watch it in hi-def Quicktime here:

Makes all the difference.

1:05 am  
Blogger Ross said...

Where's the beach? Did Dillinger have a beach house?
I feel lost and confused.

10:48 am  
Blogger David N said...

I think he left out the blue beach house this time not because it's period but because he's already using dialogue ("we're here for the banks money, not your money") and images (a sack of loot sliding out of a safe), not to mention themes (symmetrical kinship between obsessive cop hunting master-thief) familiar from Heat. I forgive him.

1:24 pm  
Blogger Monsterwork said...

The production stills I'd seen all had a weird painted quality to the colours, and from that I assumed it was going to be shot in a faux-technicolour.

The digi will take some getting used to. I see it costing me the first fifteen minutes of the movie.

And Cotillard...? Nah.
Browning Automatic Rifles...?Yesss.

5:13 pm  
Blogger David N said...

I really don't understand you people. First scene you'll forget digital and be there, trust me.

People were like this about the first talkies, I imagine. And Technicolour.

I like that Mann hasn't used the Viper like Singer on Superman Returns or the Red like Soderburgh on Che. They both do digital that looks, basically, like celluloid. Mann wants to explore the different visual possibilities of DV, that weird sharpness, the way it captures light, the way motion sometimes drags. I like that, and its exciting that he's doing it on a period film.

Some of it (around 5%, from what I've read) is celluloid, anyway.

11:17 pm  
Blogger Ross said...

I'm perfectly fine with the DV.
It's Depp that throws me off. For Dillinger I'm thinking more along the lines of Clark Gable.
Present-day equivalent?

12:38 am  
Blogger Monsterwork said...

The Red is an exceptional camera. He should shoot on it. Visual association shouldn't be denied. Miami Vice and Collateral worked with that Cloverfield-like digi look, because of the associations with surveillance equipment and even news footage, giving the impression that what we are seeing is in the now. A period piece 'in the now' I'm worried will seem awkward.

I'm fine with the casting of Depp. It's how Mann handles him. I can't remember a Mann film that follows such a flamboyant protagonist. It will be interesting to see what we get.

I'd like to refer you all to this image:

It's a collection of weapons found in John Dillinger's room at the time of his death. Near the middle there is what appears to be a custom-built fully-automatic Colt 1911, complete with Tommy-Gun foregrip.

Mann had better have included this in the film. It is the new Squid.

6:19 pm  
Blogger David N said...

The Red is exceptional, no argument. But aside from its flexibility in terms of the actual shoot, its most attractive quality is how film-like the results are. Che looks like Celluloid. That Peter Jackson WW1 short - that looks like celluloid.

Mann isn't interested in that. He wants to push the boundaries. He wants to explore the possibilities of digital grain in an aesthetic sense. He likes the amazing depth-of-field high quality DV provides, especially in nocturnal shots.

Visual association is an individual thing, I guess, entirely subjective. I don't think DV gives the impression that what we are seeing is in the now. Mike Figgis shot Miss Julie in DV, the BBC's Bleak House was in DV, it wasn't remotely an issue in either case. Both of those pieces were predominantly handheld, too, another stylistic choice that used to provoke controversy when used in period drama, because it seemed too contemporary. It'll work here.

That gun - Johnny Depp probably uses that actual one, the one out of the photo, in the movie.

I can't think of a present-day Gable. That kind of masculinity doesn't really exist anymore - Gentlemanly but virile, gentle but somewhat brutish, urbane yet rough-hewn. Its unfashionable. In John Milius' terrific debut, "Dillinger"(1973), he uses the Gorch brothers from "The Wild Bunch" as Dillinger (Warren Oates) and Purvis (Ben Johnson). Oates is great, and he's got less Gable about him than Depp does...

11:27 pm  
Blogger Monsterwork said...

What a dolt. Of course I can remember a Mann film that follows a flamboyant (real life, historical) character. And it's arguably the best film of his career. Cretin.

4:36 pm  
Blogger David N said...

The latest issue of Sight & Sound is a cinematography special and there's an interview with Dante Spinotti - who shot Manhunter, Last of the Mohicans, Heat and the Insider - about digital photography, with specific reference to Public Enemies. It was shot on the Sony F23 which Spinotti lauds for it's ability to capture everything in scenes where there is limited lighting available. He also discusses how they aped Newsreel lighting techniques by using flaming torches (which made me think of Monsterwork's point about Miami Vice and surveillance culture visuals) and describes how they shot a central gunfight on the historical location. No mention of whether digital is suited to period material. Or what guns they use. But it's interesting nonetheless.

4:59 pm  

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