I agree that some flaws make the film better – the Stormtrooper example is a great one, it involuntarily gives a sense of spontaneity and realness to those guys in suits, that there’s some sort of individuality or confusion among the mass order and conformity.
The aforementioned death of Arbogast in Psycho absolutely kills me, and I can’t give it a pass like some here have. I don’t buy the technology argument either – a cut to black just as he is falling off the top step, with terror in his eyes, would have been perfect. As it stands, it’s just terrible and cringeworthy. Try sitting through that scene with a friend, who you’re trying to convert to old movies, and feel yourself cringe in embarassment. I don’t see how you can see anything endearing in that – it takes you out of the moment.
On Psycho, the epilogue is a stinker as well – that terrible actor of the police character who we’ve never seen before explaining everything down to a minute, logical and boring conclusion is regrettable, I’d like to think Hitchcock didn’t put it in by choice. The last shot however almost makes up for it.
So yeah, most of these flaws are just that – elements of negligence or oversight that stop the film being perfect. For me, I don’t see these sort of flaws helping the movie at all.
Mystique is lost when stories are sold so precisely. Flaws as Freudian Slips.
I like Kane and Godfather for their use of sound. Welles was able to explore sound through his radio work in the ’30s, and it still feels experimental in Kane.
Godfather has the elevated train effect in the scene where Michael retrieves the gun from behind the toilet.
I think this is exquisite. The police chief’s voice echoes in the empty restaurant – there is so much space for violence to fill, like water gushing. “Don’t take too long.” The train sound begins immediately, Sollozzo’s words are given no time for consideration. Sound continues gently, like white noise, building focus, concentration, then ebbs away as Michael’s focus switches to finding the weapon. He finds the gun. Cut back to the restaurant, space juxtaposed with the cramped toilet stall; quiet save the clattering of cutlery. The train sound and Michael association should now be fully embedded. Palms behind the head, train rushing like water – no thought, only building preparation of mental state. Michael walks back into the restaurant – zen-like calm; Sollozzo’s words dissipate into nothing. Michael conjures the train one last time. Piercing all.
Zen-like calm? I thought he was ready to shit himself.
I don’t think his head was there in that sense. His eyes darting to not see (rather than an expression of fear – the train association dehumanizes him adequately enough to carry out the task rather than be held back by emotion. Becomes more simple than fear or revenge). But the hands on the neck and train, all building/illustrating stress and tension.
Calm is the wrong word. A momentary stillness".":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael
Blade Runner has been known to have a few flaws. Take, for example, the scene where Gaff and Deckard rise from the ground in the spinner at the start of the film. If you look closely, you’ll see the wire pulling up the car. And another scene I can think of from the film is the killing of Zhora where you see a completely different looking stunt woman than Joanna Cassidy being shot by Deckard with a fake wig on. When Ridley Scott was restoring Blade Runner for the Final Cut version, he was told about some flaws within the film as they were restoring it, but he kept some of them in anyways. I guess he considered that it is some of the big Blade Runner fans like having the flaws anyways in the film. I really can’t remember all of the flaws, but it is covered on the fifth disc of the 25th anniversary edition which has the workprint version and includes with that the differences between the different versions of the film and the restoring of the film to the Final Cut version. Also, The Exorcist has a scene where Regan rises off the bed and they achieved that effect by suspending Linda Blair with wires. I don’t know about later versions, like the Director’s Cut version, but at least in the regular version you can see some of the wires. They were meant to be painted out of the film, but a few escaped and were released out into the theater and on home video as well.
@Scubadonc In regards to Citizen Kane fudging things up, I can recall the scene with Kane at Madison Square Garden. There is this huge wide shot of the whole auditorium, Kane being a tiny figure in the screen. I have a book about the making of Citizen Kane and they put up something like cardboard or wood or something to use as the heads of viewers out in the audience and moved them around to make them look that they were real human beings in the auditorium. Is that what you mean by fudging it?
Sure. That would be a good example. But with “Citizen Kane” the majority of shots that involved cheats are pretty seamless. Even the few composite deep focus shots I mentioned take a real keen eye to notice. Welles was the master of making the most out of his budget. He could fake anything convincingly.