watching



Stefan Rohner

Yesterday, I took a couple of test shots of the picnic set up and had a terrible time in Chinatown with my DSLR. People react far more suspiciously to a large touristy digital than the Canonet. (Incidentally, I actually saw another person with a Canonet, though they weren’t using it. It looked rather fashion accessorized.) And I’m just not used to seeing the horribly blown highlights of digital after shooting film there the last few times. I suppose I could fix it since it’s RAW, but I dunno, with the crop I also feel like I’m not getting nearly as close as I should. Grr.

I really should be shooting more on a daily basis, but my head is so full of parallel projects it’s dizzying. Better get used to it. I’m working on the website, reading about Photoshop, trying to keep 3 or 4 projects in mind at once, shooting and processing constantly, and to top it off, I decided I should move before mid-September and dunno if that means I should sell my car. In the car on Wednesday we started fantasizing about one of his roommates moving out so I could move in. We almost started mentally rearranging the furniture before I caught myself… heh.

Watched Suspiria (I wouldn’t’ve rented it if I’d known someone had put the entire thing online!) and Barry Lyndon, which were somehow similar in my mind. Both start off with a bit of violence and narration, and both have a somewhat slow pace and foregone conclusion, even in Suspiria – there’s something methodical and drawn out about the suspense and tension. I liked use of colored lights and the musical score a lot. It really threw the tone of the movie from cheesy into offbeat with a vision. The ADR was terrible though. Was this before they got the idea of using room tone or reverb to make it sound like it’s actually taking place in the visual space?

Apparently Barry Lyndon is (was?) Brian Eno’s favorite film. !! It goes slowly but somehow it’s not boring even though you know pefectly well what the plot arch will be the typical rise and fall of a social climber. What I like is that it doesn’t have a single surprising moment in it. Excitement is at a low ebb and there isn’t the feeling of being pulled one way or another emotionally. You simply watch things happen to these people. The tone of the narration helps in this respect. That’s not to say there’s no emotional weight in the movie – one of the most quietly sad parts is the repeated sight of Lady Lyndon quietly signing away her fortune to the men who use her by turns. I think it’s more true to the feeling of those semi-epic 19th century novels than most period pieces in which heroines wail and heros die valiantly. That’s not to say that heroines don’t wail in the novels, but the telling always feels somewhat muted, grounded in the larger perspective that the narrator gives.

It is surprising to find out this was the Kubrick film that came before The Shining and Full Metal Jacket. Less surprising that it came after 2001 and Clockwork Orange. The content is different but I think the way the stories are told are very similar, especially compared to 2001. And I suppose Barry Lyndon has some Eyes Wide Shut moments too, of costumed groping and period piece settings.

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~ by Jin on August 18, 2008.

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