i think cinematography is an essential part of film, not just icing. maybe there are films that are good or great in spite of poor design or execution but not b/c the camera doesn’t matter.
Of course cinematography’s essential, but it doesn’t always need to beautiful and/or excessively stylized, in order for the film to be great. The same goes for beautifully written prose. They’re not always necessary in the crafting of a great novel.
In a way. But the creation of great cinematography and the creation and great prose and so different…
I read fiction books for prose.
No. I have a very different reaction to beautiful images that are devoid of a deeper emotional or intellectual meaning to me than I have to words of an analogous situation. I like can pay attention to images more easily too.
Similar in the graphein, I guess, but cinematography is easier to translate.
Part of the reason I asked this was because I know that Nabokov would hate on Dostoevsky, since he didn’t believe him to be a great prose stylist, but I felt there were other aspects of Dostoevsky’s writing that made him great whereas Nabokov seemed to be believe fiction and writing was about prose above all else, and I wasn’t so sure I agreed with that view. I feel other things besides prose can make a novel great, whether the novel has beautifully written prose or not. In my opinion, criticizing a novel for not containing greatly styled prose is like criticizing a Rohmer film for not containing exquisite photography.
Nabs didn’t like Conrad and Hemingway either. Yeah, I would agree that there’s no prescription for a great novel. Doestoevsky didn’t write like Nabokov who didn’t write like Hemingway who didn’t write like Faulkner who didn’t write like Joyce who didn’t write like Flaubert. Same goes, more or less, for cinematography—a very precisely stylized look is very important to Welles and to Anthony Mann’s noirs, but not so much to Rohmer, to Cassavetes, to Sam Fuller.
Wasn’t Dostoevsky’s work originally intended for mass consumption, however?
No more so than was Nabokov’s.
the analogy is flawed, but i tend to sell visually oriented films to people that aren’t convinced on this basis. i.e that the effect is similar to good poetry, then i ask ‘is poetry shallow too?’
you get the picture.
Yes, but the most revered poetry usually has something more to it than pretty, unique language.
^^and the best film doesn’t? Are you telling me that images in films aren’t shaped by ideas?
Of course they are, but not all great films have beautiful, illustrious visuals, a la Wong Kar Wai, Bernardo Bertolucci, etc. Everybody’s visual style is different the same way everyone’s writing style is different. I happen to notice that not all, but many literary buffs and perhaps some critics will criticize certain writers for not being great prose stylists, but I don’t think that’s always a necessary component in the construction of a great novel, even if nice prose could sometimes add to a great novel. Some writers are concerned with other aspects of the art form aside from meticulously styled prose I would say. What I’m trying to say is it would seem ridiculous to criticize a filmmaker for not featuring beautiful, unique images. Pialat’s and Rohmer’s films are not visually illustrious, but then again stylized visuals are not necessary to the construction of their films. In my opinion, it’s the same thing with writers who have heavily stylized prose vs. those who don’t.
Define ‘beautiful’ as it relates to the types of film you’re describing THISLIFE.
“are you telling me that images in films aren’t shaped by ideas?”
Personally, I would argue that, in some films, the inverse is true.
A Woman Under the Influence is just as beautiful, from a cinematography standpoint, as Tree of Life.
“Personally, I would argue that, in some films, the inverse is true.”
obviously there is a close relationship between the two
how do you upload pictures to threads?
UGLY put ! in the front and end of the link.
like so: !( link )!
make sure the ! is right the ends. not spaces
“She looked up at him and her face was pale and austere in the uplight and her eyes lost in their darkly shadowed hollows save only for the glint of them and he could see her throat move in the light and he saw in her face and in her figure something he’d not seen before and the name of that thing was sorrow.”
This may be so, if you assume your film is in prose: but even so surely the most beautiful prose is effective, imaginative, evocative prose and that’s a bit more than the icing on the novel’s cake. Otherwise, you might as well just read the synopses of all the great novels.
But there is also the possibility of making your film as poetry.
Welles, Denis, Wong, Melville, Michael Mann, Cronenberg, Godard on occasion, Herzog sometimes, Murnau, Eastwood, David Lynch, Brian DePalma, Tarkovsky, Fellini.
^^now i officially have no idea what you mean because at least half to 3/4 of those film makers work from ideas first in my book. especially Cronenberg.
WHy only Herzog sometimes? He is probably the most intuitive film maker of the whole list you provided.
Eastwood i have no idea what you mean. none at all. To me he just tells good stories. only on the odd occasion is that something else going on. e.g White HUnter.
“i officially have no idea what you mean”
But do you have an image of what I mean?
^^I did, until some of those director’s threw me off!! ;-)