Thursday, November 18, 2010

In the City of Sylvia ( José Luis Guerín, 2007)

It's difficult to choose a short clip from a movie that consists mainly of long sequences of carefully orchestrated and edited together shots. But this clip is a good illustration of Guerín's method. In his search for the elusive Sylvia the main character observes all the women surrounding him and it's as if he's only surrounded by women, each one of them a viable candidate for Sylvia. Even the billboards are big close-ups of female faces. The stunning last shot of this clip was also used in the poster below.

imdb | amazon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Intentions of Murder (Shohei Imamura, 1964)

A nearly three minute continuous tracking shot in this scene from Intentions of Murder (a.k.a. Murderous Instincts). An impressive technical feat, especially the coordination of the arriving and departing train with the movement of the actors. Unfortunately there are no subtitles but the urgency of the scene still translates well and is enhanced by the uninterrupted take. Notice the wide angle lens distortion and the reflection of the camera (operator) in the train windows.

imdb | amazon

Friday, November 5, 2010

Terror in a Texas Town (Joseph H. Lewis, 1958)

A classic shootout with an unusual weapon! Very overt symbolism with the bad guy clad in black standing isolated while the Sterling Hayden character is surrounded by a crowd.

imdb | amazon

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The International (Tom Tykwer, 2009)

Here's another example of creative sound design and editing in the opening sequence of this conspiracy thriller by Tom Tykwer.

imdb | amazon

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)

Bresson's minimalistic less is more style might take some getting used to, but is ultimately highly rewarding. The outcome of this prison escape movie is already made clear by the title (even more so in the original title: Un condamné à mort s'est échappé), but this takes nothing away from the tension. In the opening scene Bresson skillfully builds up the tension through the use of close-ups and sound.

imdb | amazon

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951) *SPOILER*

Billy Wilder's classic film about a journalist who finds a man trapped in a mine suddenly became very relevant again with the recent story of the trapped Chilean mineworkers. The grim ending is very fitting to what happens before and Wilder realizes it in a stylistic perfect manner with Kirk Douglas almost falling into the camera.

imdb | amazon