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Where is the cutting edge of film-making now?


kye

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Almost from the beginning of cinema history there were established rules / conventions / approaches that were simultaneously being used to commercial effect and also being rallied against by innovators who felt stifled by the mainstream and were looking to innovate and push things forward.

Bringing that logic to the current day, what does that look like?

What are the 'rules' and who is breaking them?  

Are the rules so broad now that breaking them can remain watchable?  Experimental art is always possible, but often it is so far from the mainstream that it's not applicable in a more widely consumable context.
For example, the French New Wave managed to break the rules in a way that was still palatable to audiences, thus having a lasting impact on cinema more broadly.  Is that possible today?

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58 minutes ago, kye said:

What are the 'rules' and who is breaking them?  

The rules are three-act narratives (preferably with a hero's journey) on 100 script pages, shot/countershot blocking, continuity editing etc.etc.
The breakers and benders today are filmmakers like Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Harmony Korine, Nicolas Winding Refn, Abbas Kiarostami, Michel Gondry, Paul Thomas Anderson, Lars von Trier, Hayao Miyazaki, Bela Tarr, Gaspar Noé, Kim Ki-duk, George Miller, Joshua Oppenheimer, Guillermo Del Toro, Miranda July...

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1 hour ago, kye said:

Bringing that logic to the current day, what does that look like?

What are the 'rules' and who is breaking them?  

- Khalik Allah is one name that comes to mind with his film Black Mother. Not to say that his approach hasn't been done before... but this film is fairly recent and funded by some bright folks outside the mainstream.

1 hour ago, kye said:

Are the rules so broad now that breaking them can remain watchable? 

- Good question. But of course it's reasonable that the answer depends entirety on the level of audience sophistication. And in an age of bean counters foisting Spiderman 10 etc.... it's hardly been dumber.

The good news is that we can now vote with a click... and that has shaken things up quite nicely. 

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3 hours ago, HockeyFan12 said:

Ten years ago I would have said Tim and Eric.

I would second this. Today so much of comedy has heavy influence of these guys. But who is cutting edge today? I don't think I can say. 

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I took the question more literally.

Projected virtual sets make for a near perfect visual product.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUnxzVOs3rk 

My next move is to put a VR headset on my camera to rotate my green screen set when my camera pans and tilts 😉 ... does this already exist in the form of capturing gyroscopic data as it relates to the camera position (like steady xp) and then be being able to drive the rotation/pan and tilt of a 360 degree video or virtual rendered set in computer.  I have not done the research. Someone please school me on this topic if you know about it. Thanks!

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Someone needs to remake Charlie’s Angels again.

Or maybe not, but that seems to make up so much of ‘cinema’ these days, endless remakes of; Godzilla, King Kong, The Mummy, Charlie’s...

Apart from a few recent gems (1917 Springs to mind) ‘TV’ seems to be more creative these days such as certain Netflix series and Amazon Prime one’s. Of course there is some utter dross there also.

I don’t think it’s a case of ‘everything has been done’ as it can’t have been, but more a case of so much has been done and there is less to explore.

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Look up Bi Gan's Long Days into journeys night. Incredible. Also Pablo Larrain's Ema. 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiewire.com/2019/04/long-days-journey-into-night-bi-gan-interview-3d-long-take-1202057813/amp/

 

In addition to Rawshooter's fantastic list. I woul like to mention filmmakers; Roy Andersson, Sion Sono, Claire Denis, Leo's Carax and yorgos lanthimos.

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1 hour ago, Xavier Plágaro Mussard said:

One ultra-modern film for me is "Otto e mezzo" by Fellini. Maybe even more advanced to it's time than 2001 Space Odissey. 

Or "8 1⁄2" as it's known in English speaking countries. It still feels fresh today, perhaps because the ways in which it bends the familiar rules of narrative have already been absorbed and reproduced in popular culture.

You could make a link between Fellini's film and the original self-referential and rule breaking masterpiece, Laurence Stern's 1759 "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman".

People have been playing with conventions for a long time, are doing it right now and will continue to do so. Don't disregard contemporary experimental cinema as too obscure, because this is where it's all happenning. It requires a rewiring of your brain, but once rewired it's a joyride.

The vast majority of film festivals pander to mainstream tastes. And it's difficult to sit and watch cutting edge experimental stuff at home. I like a screening environment where you sit amongst other people and watch something from start to finish. I had my mind blown at Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin.

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8 hours ago, majoraxis said:

My next move is to put a VR headset on my camera to rotate my green screen set when my camera pans and tilts 😉 ... does this already exist in the form of capturing gyroscopic data as it relates to the camera position (like steady xp) and then be being able to drive the rotation/pan and tilt of a 360 degree video or virtual rendered set in computer.  I have not done the research. Someone please school me on this topic if you know about it. Thanks!

I've been working on this. It's pretty tough. I have mounted an Oculus controller onto my camera and tried to simply record the movement and rotation. I think that it will take some sitting down and doing some math to figure out the exact X, Y, and Z axes of the controller because it doesn't line up quite right "out of the box". I think those "puck" things from the HTC Vive would be better suited, but the Rift is what I have so I'm trying to get it to work with that. I'm not even sure the tracking is accurate enough anyway. The Rift only samples movement at 30 FPS.

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Good discussion.

On 6/12/2020 at 8:44 AM, User said:

Good question. But of course it's reasonable that the answer depends entirety on the level of audience sophistication. And in an age of bean counters foisting Spiderman 10 etc.... it's hardly been dumber.

The good news is that we can now vote with a click... and that has shaken things up quite nicely. 

I guess this is the aspect that I am more interested in, as the limits of the current box office seem to be more related to audience sophistication rather than the progress in cinema.

How do you see that "voting with a click", as you elegantly summarise it, has pushed things?

20 hours ago, MrSMW said:

 

I don’t think it’s a case of ‘everything has been done’ as it can’t have been, but more a case of so much has been done and there is less to explore.

What else do you think hasn't yet been done? Or, to ask a less impossible question, what are the directions you think still have fertile ground for exploration?

 

18 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

 

People have been playing with conventions for a long time, are doing it right now and will continue to do so. Don't disregard contemporary experimental cinema as too obscure, because this is where it's all happenning. It requires a rewiring of your brain, but once rewired it's a joyride.

I remember watching Russian Ark attend home, that was fun! Cool film.

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3 hours ago, kye said:

How do you see that "voting with a click", as you elegantly summarise it, has pushed things?

It's clear that the web is changing the nature of how and what we watch. And it is here, in the stats, that funding decisions can be made in the indie realm where there is the perception of avant guard. I'm closely watching outfits like Cinereach (doc funding) A24 and Dogwoof (distribution) as I know they have their finger on the pulse of mostly original ideas that can 'actually' make money. That's important. And I like to think that most of us can appreciate it when far out media artists cross over into this area with something fresh and right off the rails - this is a highly coveted space that only a select few can crack - but when they do, you know it's going to be good.

Truth be told, the most exciting material I'm witnessing these days is security camera footage from largely 'failed states.' But I digress ;)

Uncle.Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - 2010 - Small.jpg

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12 hours ago, kye said:

What else do you think hasn't yet been done? Or, to ask a less impossible question, what are the directions you think still have fertile ground for exploration?

No idea really... I wouldn't say I was a sheep as such, but I don't think I have ever had an original thought myself.

If anything, I take bits and pieces of things that I like from all kinds of places and merge them (try to) into my own thing.

But that's my own stuff. For anything bigger, as most things are, I really don't know.

What I do know is that the older I get, the less I like 'Hollywood' or 4k, 6k, 8k, 3D, etc (watched the movie 'Extraction' the other day and the body count was just ludicrous) and the more I appreciate good scripts, good acting and especially good cinematography.

Also, slower paced stuff. I thought the Amazon Prime series 'Tales From The Loop' was excellent as just one recent example.

I know MeTube is a massive sea of dross, but there and on Vimeo, are some very finely crafted productions on tiny tiny budgets that just showcase that for something to be good, it does not have to have 17 minutes of rolling credits at the end.

I hope we see more smaller scale, lower budget, movies and think we probably will.

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43 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

What I do know is that the older I get, the less I like 'Hollywood' or 4k, 6k, 8k, 3D, etc (watched the movie 'Extraction' the other day and the body count was just ludicrous) and the more I appreciate good scripts, good acting and especially good cinematography.

Also, slower paced stuff. 

+1

That's something I can wholeheartedly agree with.

 

What really spoke to me and what I found truly mesmerizing in the couple of last weeks was the Qatsi trilogy, that consists of Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982), Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation (1988) and finally Naqoyqatsi: Life as War (2002).

An audiovisual poetry. Lovin' it.

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On 6/12/2020 at 8:22 AM, AlexTrinder96 said:

Look up Bi Gan's Long Days into journeys night. Incredible. Also Pablo Larrain's Ema. 

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiewire.com/2019/04/long-days-journey-into-night-bi-gan-interview-3d-long-take-1202057813/amp/

 

In addition to Rawshooter's fantastic list. I woul like to mention filmmakers; Roy Andersson, Sion Sono, Claire Denis, Leo's Carax and yorgos lanthimos.

Started watching long days journey into night yesterday, did not finish yet. But I expected more though. I like the long one angle camera scenes, but there are far too many long B-roll shots with an voice over(which comes across a bit lazy) and I feel a lot of scenes could have been cut entirenly(or maybe im not far enough into the story to understand). But the film is not an easy sit through as I was confused a couple of times, but not the kind of confusion memento gives for example. But great cinematography and the cast is great also, this kind of filmmaking does require a cast that can hold its own, but I guess I am a bit lost at the storytelling itself. 

You could check "Too Old to Die Young" which has similar long shots, but was for me anyways an easy sit through.

I also like what the safdie brothers are doing. (good time, uncut gems) They have this raw energy thing going for them. 
 

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1 hour ago, zerocool22 said:

Started watching long days journey into night yesterday, did not finish yet. But I expected more though. I like the long one angle camera scenes, but there are far too many long B-roll shots with an voice over(which comes across a bit lazy) and I feel a lot of scenes could have been cut entirenly(or maybe im not far enough into the story to understand). But the film is not an easy sit through as I was confused a couple of times, but not the kind of confusion memento gives for example. But great cinematography and the cast is great also, this kind of filmmaking does require a cast that can hold its own, but I guess I am a bit lost at the storytelling itself. 

You could check "Too Old to Die Young" which has similar long shots, but was for me anyways an easy sit through.

I also like what the safdie brothers are doing. (good time, uncut gems) They have this raw energy thing going for them. 
 

I agree that it's not the easiest film to watch. Many films that are categorised as slow cinema are not Friday night flicks as such haha. You have to be in right frame of mind.

You can see in this and his first feature (Kalli Blues) that Bi Gan is influenced by Tarkosvky!

Have you seen any films by Tsai Ming Lain, Jia Zhangke,  Pedro Costa etc? They also create films within the realm of slow cinema.

Is it possible that trailer sold you something it's not? 

When you say Broll? Do you mean flashbacks? The narrative is meant to be incoherent throughout the first half! I would recommend finishing it and maybe researching it afterwards? It might make more sense...took me two times and after watching a few videos on the film I began to understand what the film was trying to say ( I think) haha. 

 

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1 hour ago, zerocool22 said:

I also like what the safdie brothers are doing. (good time, uncut gems) They have this raw energy thing going for them. 

Fully agree. Both films are fantastic! I really like how they use many real life workers and first time actors in uncut gems/good time. Adds to the rawness! Will be interesting to see what they do next, as they've just signed a deal with hbo for the next few years.

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2 hours ago, AlexTrinder96 said:

 

Have you seen any films by Tsai Ming Lain, Jia Zhangke,  Pedro Costa etc? They also create films within the realm of slow cinema.

I have not, will check them out.

2 hours ago, AlexTrinder96 said:

 

Is it possible that trailer sold you something it's not? 

Well I was hooked on the trailer for the cinematography, so this might be the case here.

 

 

2 hours ago, AlexTrinder96 said:

 

When you say Broll? Do you mean flashbacks? The narrative is meant to be incoherent throughout the first half! I would recommend finishing it and maybe researching it afterwards? It might make more sense...took me two times and after watching a few videos on the film I began to understand what the film was trying to say ( I think) haha. 

 

By B-roll I mean the the shots where there are no actors involved, like following a part of a train, or a piece of car. There is a lot of voice over on this movie and it is always on those parts. Yeah I need to finish it, its good news that the first half is meant to be incoherent, maybe I will like it better by the end. (I think I was at the part where he was lost in the cave, with the ping pong battle, which was quite weird as well, and not sure why the film needed these scenes).
 

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