Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => The Coffee Corner => Topic started by: KLaban on January 12, 2019, 05:53:24 AM

Title: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: KLaban on January 12, 2019, 05:53:24 AM
I've recently finished watching the complete boxed set of Breaking Bad and I'm now watching the spin-off Better Call Saul. Both series have distinctive imagery that could well be a source of influence and inspiration to those of us shooting stills. Great series, BTW.

Please see this as an invitation to recommend *21st century film and TV cinematography that could be a source of inspiration and influence in still work.

*I'm sure many of us have a mental list of earlier work we could recommend but I'd prefer to limit this to more recent cinema and TV, hence 21st century. Thanks.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Telecaster on January 12, 2019, 04:53:33 PM
One movie that comes to mind is Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. Shot mostly on 65mm film with his usual attention to detail.

-Dave-
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Rob C on January 12, 2019, 05:21:36 PM
I can't get into Breaking Bad at all; the main man has no charisma onto which I can latch. Consequently, the series remains started and - for now - abandoned.

Saul I have too, but not yet explored it.

I get a buzz from title sequences, often more than from the main stories themselves. The ones for Sopranos were interesting and made me swear that should I get back to Glasgow, I'll prevail upon my son to drive me around as I snap from the passenger seat. As you know, the French ones, such as Braquo, I found very influential and they spurred me to make my little rainy season shoot at the old power station. Trust me, that took some spurring.

I have long held that people making movies have a more advanced eye than most of us stills shooters, and it shows itself very strongly in nature and travel documentaries where the framing and pure atmosphere is way better than anything I see that's still. I accept that they have the money advantage with choppers etc. but even so, a chopper doesn't pick the light.

Another set of titles I always enjoyed was the CSI Miami lot; great colour for the purpose, and all the women looked great, and unless the blonde with the high-pitched voce spoke, all was well for a few minutes. Didn't much go for the other CSI locations. But I'm sorry, that's slightly off topic; maybe these are too old to suit the suggested theme, but as pointed out in another thread, time is elastic as one ages...

:-)
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 12, 2019, 05:35:42 PM
I can't get into Breaking Bad at all; the main man has no charisma onto which I can latch.

That is exactly the point and the inspiration for the title. You know, the "breaking" part.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: 32BT on January 12, 2019, 05:44:20 PM
If time is that kind of elastic, then these are my cinematic favourites:
- Shawshank redemption, great symbolics
- Memoires of a Geisha, always wondered whether it would be possible to capture the Fushimi gates scene and the dance scene as stills?
- Blood diamond, the atmospherics and the connection to the land comes through wonderfully and I don't think you can capture that in stills, perhaps not even in documentary stills.

I don't think any of that is 21st century though... ;-(
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Aram Hăvărneanu on January 12, 2019, 06:40:18 PM
The Revenant has great cinematography throughout. The hectic scenes in Children of Men are also something else, though I am not sure they'd translate easily to stills.

I am quite partial to David Lynch's movies, though most of them are not from the 21st century.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Peter McLennan on January 12, 2019, 11:07:24 PM
"Breaking Bad" is almost universally recognized by film makers as a masterpiece of storytelling.  As a retired film DP, I agree.

For an absolutely up-to-date look at pure visual material (storytelling notwithstanding) "Roma" is a feast for the eyes, especially those of us who love monochrome.  Photographed in colour and later converted to black and white, "Roma" uses the same camera as "The Revenant" - the crown jewel of Arriflex digital cinema cameras, the Alexa 65.

I agree on "The Shawshank Redemption", photographed by Roger Deakins.  In fact, virtually anything shot by this cinematographer is a master class lesson in the camera arts.  Unlike many cameramen, he insists on doing his own operating.  It shows.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 12, 2019, 11:10:20 PM
... For an absolutely up-to-date look at pure visual material (storytelling notwithstanding) "Roma" is a feast for the eyes...

Spent first five minutes on it. Not a second more.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Rob C on January 13, 2019, 05:13:07 AM
That is exactly the point and the inspiration for the title. You know, the "breaking" part.

Regardless of funny semantics, Slobodan, if I can't engage with characters there is no way I'm going to spend time watching them. I can do that here, in Puerto Pollensa, for real, any old day. I rather go for my constitutional, drop in for a coffee somewhere and read the free papers, sitting by myself in peace.

The older I become, not only does time accelerate, but the words of the main character in La Grande Bellezza ring in my ears: "the most important thing I discovered after turning 65 is that I can't afford to waste time doing things I don't want to do." He was right, and he had the great advantage of living in Rome!
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: KLaban on January 13, 2019, 05:17:57 AM
I can't get into Breaking Bad at all; the main man has no charisma onto which I can latch. Consequently, the series remains started and - for now - abandoned...

Rob, perhaps stick with it, as Slobodan has suggested, things change.

IMO, Breaking Bad is a masterpiece and V is in full agreement.

;-)
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Rob C on January 13, 2019, 06:46:45 AM
Rob, perhaps stick with it, as Slobodan has suggested, things change.

IMO, Breaking Bad is a masterpiece and V is in full agreement.

;-)

My daughter agrees with you, which is how the thing came my way in the first place. I did see about four or five episodes and had to abandon ship.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on January 13, 2019, 07:22:39 AM
Perfume. A German series and I think originally tittles Parfum. Story about a series of murders carried out by people influenced by the quite famous book Perfume by Patrick Suskind. A fantastic book by the way.

Anyway I loved the series. The photography is simply beautiful, lighting is wonderful. It’s all good. I don’t often watch things twice but I may give this one another look.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Peter McLennan on January 13, 2019, 09:42:46 AM
Spent first five minutes on it. Not a second more.

Ah, impetuous, impatient youth. :)

It’s not exactly “Mission Impossible” pacing, agreed.  But the OP asked for recent examples of good cinematography.  “Roma” certainly qualifies, however self indulgent the story.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: OmerV on January 13, 2019, 09:58:07 AM
The Grand Budapest Hotel. Great movie but considering anything and everything in it was carefully and exactingly set up and composed, as an influence for a In Public photographer it could be frustrating, to say the least.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: John R on January 13, 2019, 01:50:47 PM
I know you asked for 21century work, but I can only come up with two from before 2000.

The Last Emperor was beautifully filmed by Bernardo Bertolucci, known for his luscious cinematography; and the movie 1900. Talk about bokeh, that was his forte.

But the one I really like, unrelated to Bertolucci, is Jean de Florette. Beautifully filmed with a classic, almost Greek tragedy mythos, Land, love, betrayal, and tragedy, focused entirely on plot and character. Loved every minute of it. The still and landscape scenes are taken as if by a stills photographer.

Sorry Keith, I don't follow the modern stuff. The only one I did see was Mr Robot, the initial series and it was quite engaging.

JR
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Telecaster on January 13, 2019, 05:03:10 PM
At the other end of the spectrum from The Master (mentioned above) is the superb 2003–09 TV reboot of Battlestar Galactica. The look is gritty and dark and the framing style, especially during its first season, is heavily influenced by cinema verité. Robert M. Young, who's made documentary as well as fictional films, directed a handful of episodes.

-Dave-
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 13, 2019, 05:18:29 PM
This is 21st century: "Peaky Blinders," a crime TV series placed in the early 20th century Birmingham, England. Wonderful atmospherics, light, camera, chiaroscuro scenes.

Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Patricia Sheley on January 13, 2019, 06:13:42 PM
[quote author=John R

But the one I really like, unrelated to Bertolucci, is Jean de Florette. Beautifully filmed with a classic, almost Greek tragedy mythos, Land, love, betrayal, and tragedy, focused entirely on plot and character. Loved every minute of it. The still and landscape scenes are taken as if by a stills photographer.
JR
[/quote]

Ah John, I had forgotten this beautiful work.. I remember being powerfully pulled into every
 fiber of it  without any ability to understand the source of that power, but allowed myself, willed myself, drawn under again , .. repeatedly. Time to see it encore une fois~

Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: John R on January 13, 2019, 10:43:53 PM
[quote author=John R

But the one I really like, unrelated to Bertolucci, is Jean de Florette. Beautifully filmed with a classic, almost Greek tragedy mythos, Land, love, betrayal, and tragedy, focused entirely on plot and character. Loved every minute of it. The still and landscape scenes are taken as if by a stills photographer.
JR


Ah John, I had forgotten this beautiful work.. I remember being powerfully pulled into every
 fiber of it  without any ability to understand the source of that power, but allowed myself, willed myself, drawn under again , .. repeatedly. Time to see it encore une fois~
And Patricia, did you know there is a sequel called "Manon of Spring." Equally as good. Manon is the daughter of the Hunchback father and his actress wife. The story picks up from there and unravels to show the depth of the tragedy between all these characters. Like a Greek tragedy, and I won't say more lest I give up the story.

JR
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Patricia Sheley on January 13, 2019, 11:51:20 PM
Yes John,  and from " Des Sources", the flow carried me to the liminal worlds of Akira Kurosawa. His work became the noise removal filter for my life. Apologies to Keith, yet the 21st Century could really use a healthy serving of his gift.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on January 13, 2019, 11:56:21 PM
This is 21st century: "Peaky Blinders," a crime TV series placed in the early 20th century Birmingham, England. Wonderful atmospherics, light, camera, chiaroscuro scenes.

That’s a great pick Slobodan. The soundtrack is also very good. One of my favorite shows.  The only thing that bugs me is the industrial scenes where they insist on random belches of flam squirting out of u likely machinery. I worked in a foundary where some of that stuff is shot and it doesn’t look that that. A personal bitch.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Peter McLennan on January 14, 2019, 12:37:16 AM
That’s a great pick Slobodan. The soundtrack is also very good. One of my favorite shows.  The only thing that bugs me is the industrial scenes where they insist on random belches of flam squirting out of u likely machinery. I worked in a foundary where some of that stuff is shot and it doesn’t look that that. A personal bitch.

Agreed. An excellent series in all repects, save those egregious flame belches. Photogenic but gratuitous.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on January 14, 2019, 03:35:37 AM
I really enjoyed the film "Lincoln" with Daniel Day Lewis. The way scenes and actors are lit is something to savour.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: KLaban on January 14, 2019, 05:31:33 AM
The Grand Budapest Hotel together with Jean de Florette and Manon des Source are three of my favourite films and stand the test of repeated watching.

Another film with superb cinematography is Girl with a Pearl Earring, the lighting doing justice to the master, Johannes Vermeer.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: John R on January 14, 2019, 08:53:49 AM
Keith you should give 'Mr Robot' a look. I have only seen series one, then my cable was cut off. But I plan to watch the series somewhere else.

JR
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: KLaban on January 14, 2019, 09:32:49 AM
Keith you should give 'Mr Robot' a look. I have only seen series one, then my cable was cut off. But I plan to watch the series somewhere else.

JR

Thanks, John, it looks interesting.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: KLaban on January 14, 2019, 09:42:10 AM
The Grand Budapest Hotel. Great movie but considering anything and everything in it was carefully and exactingly set up and composed, as an influence for a In Public photographer it could be frustrating, to say the least.

I've a pesky head cold at the moment, so what better way than to spend the afternoon than revisiting The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I've just done. Still superb.

How to emulate though? Well, a super-wide lens with obvious barrel distortion would go some way to reproducing the look.

Anyway, thanks for the reminder.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Aram Hăvărneanu on January 14, 2019, 09:46:49 AM
Surprised nobody mentioned Longmire yet.
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Telecaster on January 14, 2019, 03:59:02 PM
Longmire is good for southwestern US landscape imagery and rustic interiors.

Another TV series I'd suggest is the Swedish version of Wallander.

-Dave-
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Rob C on January 14, 2019, 04:24:38 PM
Longmire is good for southwestern US landscape imagery and rustic interiors.

Another TV series I'd suggest is the Swedish version of Wallander.

-Dave-

Bergman in colour?

:-)
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on January 14, 2019, 05:40:19 PM
Another 21st century atmospheric crime drama, The Killing. Never has the brooding, perennially raining Seattle looked so bad that it is good.

Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Aram Hăvărneanu on January 14, 2019, 06:13:54 PM
I just finished The Killing a few days ago. Fantastic series with a very 80s cinematography. First couple of seasons were shot on film.

Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Rob C on January 16, 2019, 02:18:08 PM
Watched the second part of the Beeb's art-cum-foodie take on Rome, last night.

Again, it convinced me that cinematographers have better graphic vision than guys stuck in stills. There were some beautiful long-shots with great compression characteristics which you seldom see come from traditional landscape shooters who appear not to care about longer focal lengths. I've been to Rome a few times (long ago, worse luck) and the naked eye, which is how I figure most landscape/cityscape people think, didn't show me what later photographic representations in various documentaries manage.

There is so much more to be had than a rigidly held grip on normal or wider focal lengths can offer one.

How I'd love to live there today; so much visual scope.

Rob
Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: D Fuller on January 16, 2019, 03:52:23 PM
And speaking of food...

The Netflix series "Chef's Table" has, I think, some of the most luscious cinematography I've ever seen in documentary. And the content is interesting as well. It is a very good exploration of what it takes in personal terms to rise to the top of you field.

Title: Re: 21st Century Film and TV Cinematography Recommendations
Post by: Rob C on January 20, 2019, 04:01:38 PM
I have finished looking at the first (?) set of the Italian Gomorra crime series, and think that there are some pretty good scenes that evoke both Engrenages and Braquo, which leads me to suspect there must be a current European flavour of both directing and colour.

Gomorra has some impressive medium-to-long shots of low-grade housing blocks in Naples that are quite remarkable. They are reminiscent of a few old 50s hotels that grew up to embrace mass tourism in Mallorca, with each higher level receding to allow an open terrace area. In their cinematic, and probably real state of disrepair, they make for very interesting takes on cityscape art. No need, then, for nothing but beauty in that genre unless, of course, it's for a client selling that. Equally, not areas I'd ever want to be found with a camera.