Thursday, October 7, 2010

Visions of Light

We watched a movie in class called Visions of Light. It was a great movie about the use of light throughout the ages of cinematography. It went over many different movies like The Magnificent Ambersons, The Cameraman, The Crowd, The Locked Door, Gold Diggers of 1933, Camille, Possessed, Desire, Citizen Kane, Rebecca, The Long Voyage Home, Grapes of Wrath, and many more. There were many different film makers talking about a variety of influences throughout the movie such as the French New Wave and German Expressionism. In the beginning, every studio tried their hardest to be different from the rest by fabricating their own cameras and other things. They had to make the actors and actresses look stunning with no imperfections using sometimes hand held lights. Soon, Gregg Toland began to use a light unheard of...candlelight. It made the scenes quite dark but had a beautiful glow lighting to the actor. He also started making scenes that had great depths as he played with depth of field. A movie called The Killers had a great German Expressionism influence on films in that age. Then began film noir, where the filming was done at night. Then color was introduced in The Red Spectre was hand colored. The color movie they showed that sparked my attention was called The Last Emperor. It would slowly introduce new colors to the movie one at a time. Jules and Jim was a movie from the French New Wave. Easy rider was filmed on location across the country. Conrad Hall made a great scene in a move called In Cold Blood where a man is about to be hanged. He is talking about memories of his father and looking out a rainy window. The raindrop shadows formed tear-like streams running down his face. It is quite a  remarkably, memorable scene to me. The last thing I will say about this movie Visions of Light is that there was a definition of cinematographer and director. The director is the author of actions in the movie, but the cinematographer is the author of light in the movie. I enjoyed watching this and look forward to finding some of these classic movies to watch.

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