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DJANGO UNCHAINED - Anamorphic is Tarantino's preference - how DP Robert Richardson shot masterpiece 'spaghetti southern'


Andrew Reid

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I'd further add that the fall of our civilisation is on the cards in my opinion.

 

We are being watched and judged by other societies Some becoming quite hostile to our loss of values. We are also spreading this poison around the world. In our evolution only now have we actually managed to build a society that seemingly works. Its incredibly hard to do that To create law and order to have education and scinece that allows us to progress to a fantastic future.

 

We are in my opinion in danger of throwing it all away. Unless we accept society must have rules to enable freedom and civilisation to exist. We cant co exist with part of our culture thinking it is okay to murder maim torture others and yet already we have that. Where do you think these people who have no morals no scruples get it from and I'm not just talking about your average thug I mean all the politicians bankers and big business who are taking everything for themselves and leaving nothing as the poor get poorer and the rich richer Where do you think they are getting their morals from. WHY DO you think SAW 5 is shown at 10pm on TV NOW?

 

We are seeing where the morals of bad is the new good and good is the new bad is getting us all. Isnt it time we as film makers reset our moral compasses and understood what we are doing?

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Image credits and further reading: Django Unchained / Robert Richardson at The American Cinematographer Magazine ~ Django Unchained echoes spaghetti westerns at Kodak camera and telev

Axel   Kids upbringing is a whole other debate.   Inglourious basterds was also shown ON TV where children can watch.   So lets separate this into how I feel.   Tarrantino films should not be

If Tarantino is subverting the traditional ideal of good / bad then he's doing so in a fictional portrayal of life, not reality. Films are a reflection of life and subverting the norm is part of art.

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I will second the advice to go see Django Unchained even if you didn't like Inglorious Bastards. To be honest, I HATED Inglorious. Thought it was terrible. I wasn't able to buy into the story, and it wasn't particularly funny. It did feel like several different stories unsuccessfully rolled into one film. (Although, that is what he did so successfully in Pulp Fiction, so I'm not sure what went wrong). From the first moment I heard that he was doing another period piece to the moment a gun went off in the first scene, I was preparing to be dissapointed again . . .

 

But I wasn't. And it was awesome. Tarantino was at the top of his storytelling game. The whole film is very tight, and most reminds me of Kill Bill. 

 

I'm super stoked for his next film which is starring Christoph Waltz and is yet another period piece: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/new-tarantino-movie/n32896/

_____________________

 

Also, A question for you, Andrew . . . I am shooting 2X anamorphic on the FS100 soon, and I'm cropping to 2.39. But the 4:3 screen guides don't seem to match up with the crop from 3.55:1(16:9) down to 2.39:1(should be 4:3 . . . isn't?)

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Unless we accept society must have rules to enable freedom and civilisation to exist.

 

That sounds more like imposing rules that limit our freedom than anything else.

You're going in circles. People are not evil because of art, if anything it's the other way round, art is portraying the evil in people.

People were evil and did atrocious things way before Tarantino or even movies in general came up.

 

What you're defending is called censorship, and unfortunately it still happens in a lot of places around the world.

They're not any better than us, and not free from evil at all.

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You're going in circles. People are not evil because of art, if anything it's the other way round, art is portraying the evil in people.

People were evil and did atrocious things way before Tarantino or even movies in general came up.

 

What you're defending is called censorship, and unfortunately it still happens in a lot of places around the world.

They're not any better than us, and not free from evil at all.

What your defending is evil and the right to promote it. Censorship is a neccesary tool to stop sick perversions becoming mainstream. You can join the Tarrantino fan club and carry on. I have given my argument and the reasons for it. Yes all around the world tyrants reign supreme Oppressing there people with murder mayhem and always led by those without humanity compassion those people you love having as role models and heroes for your new found entertainment. Be careful it doesnt come back to bite you on the ass.

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I dont think you're understanding the difference between horrific violence good and evil which in itself can be okay.
 
I am talking here about the corruption of good to evil and evil to good. Forget horrific violence thats not the real issue The real issue is about the corruption of right and wrong. Good and bad and the throwing away of good's need to be accountable/responsible/decent in exchange for good becoming evil.
 
I know sadly we see it all around now. No more fair play. Intolerance. Beat the other person regardless of right or wrong. Treat your fellow man with contempt. In it for what you can get. Do down the little guy. Jealousy greed selfishness. All the time others are doing it to you so you are justified.
 
However as film makers we do have an influence on society and we presumably all want to see a fair and just world where helping each other is the default setting. By subverting good to bad and bad to good and calling the man responsible a Master is really worrying.

 

If Tarantino is subverting the traditional ideal of good / bad then he's doing so in a fictional portrayal of life, not reality. Films are a reflection of life and subverting the norm is part of art.

 

If it were a literal portrayal it would be boring and it wouldn't be as artistic.

 

Artists have a creative license. You can't go round telling filmmakers that they have a moral influence and therefore should fundamentally alter their films, their visions and their writing based on what is best for society. That leads to totalitarianism, where the film industry is controlled by moral guardians like it is in China - where everything different or risky that gets off the ground in the TV industry is crushed or censored by the government "for corrupting the society".

 

Look you can't fuck with society like this.

 

It is an organic thing, wildlife. Just as a documentary filmmaker wouldn't interfere with nature whilst shooting a piece on a starving elephant in the Congo, you wouldn't as a filmmaker take on the role of police or teacher.

 

Tarantino has given us characters.

 

It is up to us whether we accept them as role models or not.

 

Django is actually a pretty good role model for a lot of people.

 

He hasn't reversed the role of the "good guy" so that he has become a white-guy hating gun wielding savage. It is about freeing the repressed from their shackles and about speaking out for what you believe to be right and just. Those that don't do this risk becoming Samuel L Jackson's character in Django.

 

Even if there was concrete evidence of filmmaking subverting an entire culture and damaging society it is impossible to police, especially in the internet age. You can censor Tarantino, not give him that oscar or that accolade on the basis that he's damaging society somehow, castigate him and not give him the title as master like I have here - but what good would that do anyway!? The most irresponsible form of culture is not Tarantino's work far from it, and sometimes 'the cure' is worse than the ailment.

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Tarantino was at the top of his storytelling game. The whole film is very tight, and most reminds me of Kill Bill. 

 

I'm super stoked for his next film which is starring Christoph Waltz and is yet another period piece: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/new-tarantino-movie/n32896/

_____________________

 

Also, A question for you, Andrew . . . I am shooting 2X anamorphic on the FS100 soon, and I'm cropping to 2.39. But the 4:3 screen guides don't seem to match up with the crop from 3.55:1(16:9) down to 2.39:1(should be 4:3 . . . isn't?)

 

This is one of the stranger things with anamorphic - that actually 2x anamorphic from digital 4:3 gives you 2.66:1 - it is 2.40:1 on film because the sound track takes up part of the 4:3 frame making it even squarer.

 

When you crop your 16:9 material to 4:3 in post it should be cropped to 1440x1080, then squeezed to 1440x540 for 2.66:1. My advice is to make a 1440x1080 template in Photoshop and drop it in behind your video track so you can crop the clip by percentages to match 1440x1080, as not all NLEs allow you to scale a clip on the timeline by giving values in pixels, stupidly.

 

For the final format I recommend upscaling the 1440x540 to 1920x720 and adding a film grain scan so the resolution loss from the side-crop isn't as noticeable.

 

Ideal situation would be to have the camera give us more than 1080 lines to play with a native 4:3 output but the manufacturers JUST DON'T GET IT

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Well they are two very different films. If an 8 year old is up at 10pm watching them, that is bad parenting. But the reality of the world today is that whilst SAW 5 is on the TV downstairs, some kids are upstairs on the internet watching REAL scenes of torture and sexual violence.

 

Yet the answer is not censorship. It is all about values and self control, taking responsibility for what you and your children value and take an interest in.

 

I would want my kids to be upstairs playing with a camera and making little theatre performances, not doing something unproductive.

 

There's absolutely no evidence that a violent popular culture creates a violent society though.

 

You are right that our civilisation seems to be getting more amoral - but I'd put that down to the steady discrediting of religion by scientific progress. I am not religious myself and never have been but I still think spirtuality and storytelling play a role in building strong bonds between us, which we're then less likely to want to smash to pieces by murdering or mugging someone.

 

We need less alienation, stronger social skills and a new religion that doesn't involve shopping. The most secular places like cities have far more crime than the small town with a church at the heart of it and whilst some of that is down to the fact there's more opportunity to commit crimes in a city and more population, in a small town you are accountable to your fellow human beings and to the church.


When people aren't directly accountable for their actions you have a problem.

 

When someone commits a violent crime I don't believe it is because mainstream culture is too violent and they've been corrupted - it is because they're not being held accountable to society for the bad deed, and they're not even responsible to their friends or parents for it.

 

I think filmmakers need to be really careful here that we're not going to be held scapegoats for these people's lack of responsibility. They'd quite happily blame someone other than themselves and so would their feckless parents.

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Thanks, Andrew. the sound track was my first suspicion as to the difference from film 4:3 to digital 4:3. The director/producer wahts to crop to standard 2.39 (or 2.40), but I will mention the 2.66 and see what he thinks. On all my own stuff, I find myself just using the full 3.55:1. It sure is wide, but it is beautiful. 

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Interesting comment from the actors round table from Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), John Hawkes (Lincoln), Richard Gere. and Alan Arkin (Argo). I've embedded it if you want to watch the whole thing (highly recommended) but if you click the link you go straight to 44m 50s which is the point they begin to debate violence in movies and its effect.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTi634iZ7o8&t=43m50s

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTi634iZ7o8&t=43m50s

 

What Arkin says is that it isn't the violence itself that is the problem, rather people's reaction to it.


When people in a theatre are revelling in it, it shows a lack of moral code, a lack of values.

 

It also brings that violence out of the screen somehow - you become part of their values system. It's the same thing when an audience laughs at a joke that you don't get. You can't identify with these people, can't emphasise and that is frightening when it is 100 vs 1. "Hey - you're laughing at amorality, you're laughing whooping at this trash?!" I have had this experience myself many times in a cinema.

 

He also says that when it is shown dispassionately - it scares the hell out of him. I.e when a film shows a violent act with no consequence, no commentary and no judgement.

 

A lot of mainstream films do this - and yes it is indeed worrying. I know one trailer that just consists of a lot of nastiness, and ends with the sound of someone getting their head blown off by a shotgun. "Movie out August". Crowd whoops. I sit there thinking - what the hell!? That is just nasty, and people - they're embracing it!

 

So where I agree with Mark on the forum here is with the films that use violence in exactly this way - like some kind of disposable visual FX. Where I disagree with Mark is on Tarantino and that filmmakers should still have the creative license to hold a mirror up to life and show how it actually is, the good and the bad - and that sometimes the bad wins out.

 

In the recent Hansel & Gretel (Witch Hunters) by the way - which is an awful bloody film - they use violence against woman almost as a background visual FX. This is completely different to the way Tarantino is handling it. The Human Centipede is another example of a filmmaker who lacks a moral code in his work. It is done to grab attention and profit. Filmmakers do have responsibilities to the audience in terms of quality - but I still wouldn't go as far as saying they needed to be responsible for people's reaction to violence and the weird way in which some will revel in the wrong things and take the wrong influence from it. As I said, filmmakers have a creative license to tell a story however way it goes whether it has any morality in it or not, they shouldn't change to suit society or to conform.

 

As far as the trash goes - yes, I think it's bad for culture, bad for society. But you still can't censor it. It is impossible in the age of the net.

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Killer Joe for those who don't know is by the director of The Exorcist, William Friedkin is now a 77 year old guy. As if extreme violence was somehow unique to this generation of filmmakers? Violence was pretty bad during Friedkin's upbringing. WWII and Vietnam and a very violent society with less equal rights as we have now. That generation didn't end up sending us to the dogs, rather they look like angels compared to how most young people are painted as villains today.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzRa3GAqNBY

 

Not seen the film but it looks interesting.

 

Though the trailer has a bad case of BANGING STEEL DOORS from the sound FX library.

 

In Iceland there's an effort underway to ban all pornography (online and in print).

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/28/iceland-porn-ban-free-society

 

Is this really a world we wanna live in?

 

Experience shows that if something is repressed, it goes underground and becomes a much bigger problem.

 

The mainstream actually makes it more insipid, more watered down - as soon as something is banned it is seen as being more potent somehow.

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Killer Joe is an excellent film.  It's far more reminiscent of his earlier works, like Cruising.  It's very subversive.  Amazingly so for a filmmaker of his vintage.  That he can still produce work that outrages so many people, I can only hope I'm half the filmmaker he is someday.

 

I saw this film at a fairly packed, late night screening at the Alamo Drafthouse.  It's very funny.  That was the aspect of the film that Mathew M. missed the first time he read the script and thought it was the most deplorable thing he'd ever read.  It took him a few days of stewing over the story before he took a look again.  There are practically no characters you can really like here, aside from Juno Temple's Dotty (she played Selina Kyle's roomie in The Dark Knight Rises), but she only gets a pass because...well...she's not all there.  Though she's obviously, from the trailer, a party to the crime being planned she's still an innocent who lacks judgment. 

 

What's truly subversive about this film isn't that it's a story of sociopathic, moronic red necks, it's that, in the final reel, the audience is made to pay and feel guilt for the hoots and laughs and cheers that they let out during the film that came before those final moments.  They're lured in and then, at the end of the fun house, they're shown a mirror.  Not everyone can take it and so, at "that moment" there will almost invariably be a few people who get up and leave the theater.  

 

Those people though, they're not of higher moral stuff.  They'll outrage and they'll cry for the film to be done away with or say it should have never been made.  But the truth is, if they made it that far they're no better than anyone who stayed.  No better than anyone who participated in its creation.  They're just self-righteous boobs.

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In Iceland there's an effort underway to ban all pornography (online and in print).

 

Why?  Some crackpot claiming it promotes violence against women and rape?

 

Those people need to visit Japan.  Pornography is produced on an absolutely EPIC scale there, in all forms of media, to extremes that would literally render some critics of pornography into a catatonic state or convince them that "the Rapture" had to be just around the corner.  Yet they have, compared to us and several Western countries, a sub-fraction of the rapes committed.  Also, unlike in the USA, they have an 80%+ conviction rate for those that are reported. 

 

They have only a few bizarre, MacArthur given (the General) rules about content, some of which have been repealed, some of which are still observed for, I don't know what reason.  The content creators and consumers find ways to circumvent these rules, though, ultimately, they just have to visit US and European sites to see what's "illegal" there...which is a crazy notion because they have sub-genres filled with demons who rape and all kinds of tentacled monsters that rape (lots of rape) and just...crazy stuff...I guess they have to be that crazy with it because they can't seem to pull off Zalman King-level soft core and their straight, meat-and-potato hardcore makes me feel like I'm watching special ed kids exploited.

 

Virtually any kind of bent is portrayed for their highly cultured, highly educated, highly civic, highly formal, heavily repressed society to consume and somehow the world keeps turning and women aren't (contrary to some of the stories they make) viewed as prey animals.  

 

Groping on subways and buses...well...yeah, there is that.

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Interesting, what you say about the Friedkin film. In a way the most vile films are those that feed the audience with what they expect, be it violence, pornography or romance. The worst kind of cynism is when you tailor your script to do better at the box office. Though this definition surely fits to the kind of 70's exploitation movies that Tarantino likes to exploit, there is one thing to them that made them stand out of all the crap we see now: They didn't respect any rules, they were a direct reaction to the extreem censorship of the decades before and to the affirmativeness of the cinema then (although even then cinema was subversive compared to the upcoming television, which was nothing but a common sense brainwashing-machine).
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Tarantino and musicians have been the targets of neo-puritans on the right and thought nazis on the left and new leanings towards cultural censorship in the USA, coming on since the 1980s.   He left the Sundance program back before making Reservoir Dogs because those proto-hipsters didn't like his stuff.  Then there's the MPAA, which is both not the friend of the independent (either leaning or financed) filmmaker and a fairly right-wing organization governing a left-wing (supposedly) industry and its filmmakers.  

 

Tarantino basing his style on '60s and '70s films is no different than new blues-based hard rock duos and trios forming and creating new music.  Just because new styles have been created in the meantime it doesn't mean that contemporary artists must pick from whatever is the latest thing to use as a basis for their work.  Blues-based hard rock wasn't "used up" by the late 1970s it was the artists working in that style who were used up and out of ideas and not creating music to the same level as when they began.   Thank the Maker, for films in particular, we have plenty of neo-classical and neo-romantic composers like J. Williams, J. Horner and Basil P.  to create amazing, orchestrated scores.  The music wasn't, somehow, all used up.

 

Same goes for filmmakers.  

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Ideal situation would be to have the camera give us more than 1080 lines to play with a native 4:3 output but the manufacturers JUST DON'T GET IT

 

What's crazy is this aspect ratio goes back to somewhere in the early 1960s at NHK and the first demonstrated HD systems.  Only back then they were originally working with 1125 scan lines.  I think there was a Euro standard in the 1980s that also had 1100 lines or more but it was analog, if I remember right, and lost out to the slightly lower spec digital format in 1080.

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Films and TV impact our society That is a fact.

 

We are influenced by others That is a fact.

 

Children all the way through teens to about 21 have minds that test ideas and merge fact with fiction. This is why teenagers can be molded into soldiers. IE The excitement The glory of war. There is little doubt that films play a big part in this.

 

What use is a life if you cant be creative and use your mind to escape into alternative realities or be scared in a way that wont harm you. All the essential tools a film maker has at his disposal. And because of the influences a film maker can have on a society they must also be armed with a moral code. Just like teachers have to have training and rules so film makers should and if they can't do it because it's the right thing to then maybe they shouldn't be allowed to spread that what is detrimental to society.

 

Youngsters go out into the big wide world and want to shape a personality for themselves to gain respect and to be accepted.They look to film for answers not realising the characters work only because the writer lets them.

Some say thats rubbish people don't copy films and yet its right in front of you and fairly flipping obvious to anyone with the slightest common sense.

 

Saturday night fever and the nightclubs every one trying out the John Travolta dance routine Even now it is iconic

Kubricks Clockwork orange had to be banned because of gangs copying it.

Cars now meeting up at locations to race each other

Bruce Lee and the kung fu craze.

 

it goes on and on. NOW I wouldn't say any of the above is a bad thing because it promotes our society and people. And some will decide they want to copy the bad guys as a form of rebellion. Discounting drug users How many crooks rob because of need? Or because they want to be a part of a gang that likes designer shoes for example. During the tottenham riots kids had no idea No direction and just did what they wanted because nobody could tell them they couldnt. They felt they had the right to burn down shops and to take what wasn't theres because the nasty rich people IE Poor shop owners had more than them and were somehow responsible for their lot in life. So where do they get these ideas? Schools that give more power to the kids? Kids that are untouchable. Kids that know it all seen it all watched all the perverted so called porn had sex at 11 and challenged the grown ups and won because they are to afraid to confront them for fear of the law landing on the side of kids?

 

Even here I can see the sense that YOU cant tell me what to do. So many think they are above any moral law can sit in judgement of everyone else. Just the same as those feral kids. Feral because for them there are no rules.

 

Well I have news for you There has to be rules Kids have to learn boundaries so they grow into adults who respect society. But for many of us those opportunities are gone. For many there is no care or respect for rules and that is how their kids will be bought up. As that happens society too will break down. Not because of violence in films but because society as a whole is no loger working together instead working on individual needs that pander to a selfish greedy arrogant attitude that in itself leads to confrontation and the need to understand why. So films again become schools of learning. Why can't you be a succesful bad guy. Greed is good isn't it.

 

Programmes like eastenders are teaching society how to behave and often preposterous For example a muslim family acting as westerners. Where the east end is still as it was 30 years ago. Why do we watch this? Because we like to see situations that one day might affect us and how they deal with them. In other words Eastenders is educating us?? Obvious examples are the public outcries when someone loses a baby or police discrimination or homo sexuality WOW. Isn't that something that should be handled with care? Often a public outcry will start controversy and spots on TV So dont tell me there is no effect when clearly there is.

 

So When you were a kid who were your heroes Who did you most want to be like? Batman Superman Spiderman? Was it Mad Max Who influenced you musically Elvis Was rap your thing? Maybe gangsta rap? What was it you thought was cool and added to your belief system and maybe a part stayed with you right into adult hood. Until life gives you a proper kick up the arse and you lose a loved one or get ill and realise you are just a walking water bag that is totally vulnerable limited useless and a big fat zero in the scheme of things.

 

So the things you thought you believed or knew are lies. Your conditioning has been wrong. You are not who you thought you were.

 

As a society lets be open and honest with ourselves and see us for what we really are and lets make sure entertainment stays as escapism and not becomes who we are.

 

Although we mostly go through our teens and end up working it all out Lets not fkcuk kids minds up by altering the moral code. IE Good guys are good and bad guys are bad by turning them into Good guys are even more cool if they maim torture and kill. Lets make sure our moral code stays on the side of right and wrong for the good of our kids our civilisation and all of us.

 

Although film makers are not entirely responsible for society after all they are a product of that society They do owe a responsibility as they contribute greatly to the culture Film makers can also help bring change and should highlight our governments corruption and the worlds ills.

 

ANDREW

Religion being proved wrong is not the reason for the breakdown of society. Right and Wrong are not owned by religions it is owned by all of us and something that is taught through society what is acceptable and what isn't. Using the example of eastenders as an alleged slice of life For many those characters are the norm. Not everyone though can live up to the expectations and shy away prefering to live in an even more fantasy world where they can be who they want to be. The world of the internet can be a very dark place that allows those without the courage in real life to be superstars of extraordinary bravado on the web. Thats not living though is it thats a retreat from reality because you cant cope. More and more sad cases like this are happening.

 

Maybe Japans retreat into pornography has other reasons than just self satisfaction. Maybe its a society unhappy with itself forcing expression into something that are symptoms of a sick society.

Thats not saying  pornography is wrong. Thats saying everything is okay as long as you face it with truth and understanding.

 

So censorship in itself shouldn't be neccesary as long as those making films are not deceptively corrupting or influencing society to its downfall. Who should be the judge of that? ALL OF US. We all have an inbuilt knowledge of right and wrong that we can overide for the sake of getting what we want. Its about control of ourselves just like eating sensibly Like manners. Like getting along and contributing.

 

I guess what it all boils down to is Grow up!

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