Friday, December 19, 2014

American Cinema: The Modern Era

In my opinion, American cinema is in a transition between the Digital Era to an Ultra HD Era.

In the last decade, technology in film has been developing at an exponential rate. From the introduction to the first digital cameras that shot in HD to curved televisions, more and more stuff just keeps getting put out to "enhance" the movie making experience.

Like the Hollywood Renaissance, studios nowadays have to compete with each other to make sure the public buys tickets to see their movies. With audiences no longer having nearly as much time as they used to, marketing teams have to make their films look worthwhile.

It started with James Cameron's Avatar. Everyone saw that film. It was in 3-D and was made basically just with computers.

Nowadays, if a film doesn't have enough pixels, is it even worth seeing? Of course many indie shooters are still shooting 1920x1080 but a regular theater would never show a film like that next to their 6k blockbusters unless it was a national sensation.

Indie filmmakers are now getting access to the big guns the studios are using. 4k is no longer an impossible goal for the low budget shooter. DSLRs are now looked down upon instead of looked up toward. Looks are now just as important as story.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The French Cinematic Movement as seen in The Passion of Joan of Arc


 Carl Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc is difficult to classify. While the film combines many visual aesthetics seen in German Expressionism, the film incorporates many of the cinematic techniques of the French Impressionist movement.

The film takes many lighting techniques from German Expressionism to differentiate sequences with and without or protagonist, Joan. Shots of the council who are trying Joan are lit very sharply and with high contrast. On the other hand, shots of Joan are lit more softly and evenly across her face.

To capture the raw emotion of the film, Dreyer used many of the cinematic techniques that were commonly used during the French Impressionist movement. Using many close-ups and different angles, we are able to see the pain and confusion of Joan and the demonic representation of the council.

I recreated several different kinds of shots commonly used in the film. Dreyer uses many moving shots, push-ins, low angles, high angles, and even sporadic zoom to convey emotion.

 Cinematography of the Passion of Joan of Arc

Sources:
Our Textbook
http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/81387|0/The-Passion-of-Joan-of-Arc.html
http://cinecollage.net/french-impressionism.html