Martin Scorsese | Spielberg and Cinematography

Posted: January 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema, Quotes

Empire of the Sun, 1987, Steven Spielberg

Empire of the Sun, 1987, Steven Spielberg

It took me a long to understand about cinematography and lighting. I was talking about it to Spielberg one time and he said he grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. And he realized one morning on Empire of the Sun, he saw the mist on the ground and he realized the sun was going to come up like a red ball. He got the shot of the last kamikaze going out, silhouetted against that red ball.

And I’m like, if I see mist on the ground, I run. I’m a New Yorker.

- Martin Scorsese


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John Ford | The Searchers

Posted: March 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema, Quotes

John Wayne in John Ford's The Searchers, 1956

John Wayne in John Ford’s The Searchers, 1956

This no happy ending though. There is no home, no family, waiting for Ethan. He is cursed, just as he cursed the dead Comanchee. He is a drifter, doomed to wander between the winds.

- Martin Scorsese


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Kodak | Film Stock Used in Best Picture Nominees

Posted: February 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema, Film

A nice note in the Wall Street Journal about Argo and Lincoln being shot on film.

Read the blog post here.


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Vernon Wells | Road Warrior

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema, Quotes

Vernon Wells in George Miller's Road Warrior, 1981

Vernon Wells in George Miller’s Road Warrior, 1981

I was doing a play in Melbourne and George Miller’s girlfriend was at one of the showing. She suggested to George that I would be perfect for the role of Wez. I had no idea what the “Road Warrior” was about so George came down for a meeting and after about an hour of telling dirty jokes we both went on our way. A month later I get a call saying I got the part. I still had no idea what the film or the role was even about. It wasn’t until I had to go to Sydney for my costume fittings did I start to figure it out. Originally I had thought that I couldn’t do the role and was in my own way trying to get out of the role. Once I got the whole costume on George stood me in front of the mirror and I was scared shitless. After George doing that I figured I could probably do the role.

- Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells in George Miller's Road Warrior, 1981

Vernon Wells in George Miller’s Road Warrior, 1981

Originally there had been a scene that explained I had raised the the boy on the back of my motorcycle, which would explain why I go mad when he is killed by the Feral Kid. However, in editing they felt the character played better without it, which would make everyone assume we were lovers. I respect what it did for my character, and because of Hosana, it wasn’t an issue for me if my character was gay, even if in my real life I am not.

- Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells in George Miller's Road Warrior, 1981

Vernon Wells in George Miller’s Road Warrior, 1981

Probably the most insane thing I did was when I was on the back of the snake truck, with one foot on it and one foot on the tanker, crossing to climb onto the tanker, and the snake truck veered away from the tanker to avoid hitting it and I nearly became a wishbone! But alls well that ends well.

- Vernon Wells


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R. Lee Ermey | Stanley Kubrick

Posted: December 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema, Quotes

R. Lee Ermey in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, 1987

R. Lee Ermey in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, 1987

Stanley told me he didn’t understand actors. He had no actor friends — they were basically working associates, and he thought they were a little bit strange, totally spoiled and in most cases had to be begged to give him a decent performance. Half the time the actor would argue with him. Vince D’Onofrio didn’t like Stanley’s “craziness look.” He wanted to try it some other way. The problem with Vince was this was his first film, and he’s telling Stanley Kubrick how he thinks this look should be. They stand there arguing. Stanley finally said, “Look, do it my way and we’ll load back up and we’ll shoot it your way.” Well, when they shot it Vince’s way they didn’t have any film in the camera

- R. Lee Ermey

Vincent D'Onofrio in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, 1987

Vincent D’Onofrio in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, 1987


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The Prophecy | Christopher Walken as Gabriel

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel and Amanda Plummer in The Prophecy, 1995

Christopher Walken as the archangel Gabriel and Amanda Plummer in The Prophecy, 1995


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Constantine | Tilda Swinton as Gabriel

Posted: December 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005

Tilda Swinton as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine, 2005


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Watabe Yukichi | A Criminal Investigation

Posted: November 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Books, Cinema, Film, Photography

The book A Criminal Investigation released by Le Bal a few years ago, displays the work of freelance photographer Watabe Yukichi as he follows police detectives assigned to a grisly murder investigation in 1958 Tokyo.

The cinematic quality, the heavy noir tone, the procedural elements of the investigation harken to the great Hollywood noir classics but especially to the Kurosawa police procedurals, High and Low and Stray Dog.

Read more about the book here or purchase the book here.

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi

A Criminal Investigation, 1958 © Watabe Yukichi


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Arnold Newman | Portraits

Posted: November 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Architecture, Cinema, Film, Los Angeles, New York City, Painting, Photography, Quotes

Roy Lichtenstein, 1976 © Arnold Newman

Roy Lichtenstein, 1976 © Arnold Newman

If it’s a good photograph and says something about the person, than I think it’s a good portrait.

- Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Piet Mondrian, 1942 © Arnold Newman

I wasn’t mimicking it (Mondrian’s style), I was echoing it. I did it deliberately and when he saw the results, he loved it. He gave me the original drawings of Broadway Boogie-Woogie. It was the only thing he could give me. I was stunned at the time.

The thing is I was trying to say with my photographs what Mondrian meant to me. That I would copy his work or anybody else’s in order to do it to me would be horrifying because I would be copying and not creating. A lot of people do that. The man by the way is stiff, linear and very formal, just like his own work.

- Arnold Newman

Truman Capote, 1977 © Arnold Newman

Truman Capote, 1977 © Arnold Newman

Ayn Rand, 1964 © Arnold Newman

Ayn Rand, 1964 © Arnold Newman

Ava Gardner, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Ava Gardner, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Movie stars, actors…all they have is themselves. They have no other ability but to go on and portray somebody else. They don’t know how to be themselves. And it becomes a very difficult thing. Very rarely a great artist, not rarely, but only a few of them can say I don’t really care, I have warts, photograph me with the warts.

- Arnold Newman

Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe, 1962 © Arnold Newman

Carl Sandburg and Marilyn Monroe, 1962 © Arnold Newman

I was acquainted with Carl at that time. He was working on the west coast, working on the words of Jesus in the Greatest Story Ever Told. He said come on out, let’s start work. I stayed with a friend of mine, a producer on a film, Something’s Got To Give. And that was of course the film that Marilyn didn’t finish.

I never saw the glamorous creature. Oh, I saw flashes of her in public and all that. But in the privacy of the home and wherever we were at, and later at my home, I saw nothing but a sad, sick girl.

- Arnold Newman

Leonard Bernstein, 1968 © Arnold Newman

Leonard Bernstein, 1968 © Arnold Newman

Max Ernst, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Max Ernst, 1942 © Arnold Newman

You wait for things to happen. Let’s say, I think I would like to photograph you over here, how about you standing behind the desk for a moment for me, and they’ll do that. Now, let’s face it, if you’ve got a very irritable subject or a man who is pretty rough and tough, President Johnson specifically, why don’t you just stand there for a few minutes, you just can’t do that. As a matter of fact, he gave me fifteen minutes, of course I took forty five. The idea was was that I was loosening him up, to get him used to the idea of photographing. I had to take a risk, my first risk shots, my insurance pictures at the beginning. They were not bad, but they were stiff and he was uptight, looking at his watch mentally.

Later, I got him to relax, we were kidding, he leaned sort of like this as he was waiting for me to get my camera ready again, which before he was very upset that I wasn’t ready. I was doing this on purpose. Finally, when he was like this, I said, don’t move.

- Arnold Newman

Alfred Krupp, 1963 © Arnold Newman

Alfred Krupp, 1963 © Arnold Newman

The worst people in the world, the real villains of today very often as Hitchcock said, hide in broad daylight, you just don’t recognize them. That’s the way Krupp was. He looked like a nice distinguished gentlemanly human being and he looked at my pictures and said, “Mr. Newman, I love your photographs so I think maybe we should take photographs.”

I worked this out where I got the lights to come under him, the usual thing. The result was that when I got him there, it was working but not really working. I had built a little platform of about two meters high, long enough to accommodate the both of us, him straddling a chair. I didn’t want to over do it. The lights were working beautifully but it just didn’t give me what I wanted. I went to Herr Bolen, that was his family name, “would you lean forward” and he leaned this way and my hair stood on end. There was the devil.

And they declared me persona non grata in Germany.

- Arnold Newman

Arthur Miller, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Arthur Miller, 1947 © Arnold Newman

John F. Kennedy © Arnold Newman

John F. Kennedy © Arnold Newman

Portraiture is a term that has taken on all these barnacles, all these terrible things that have happened to portraiture, on canvas, on stone, on metal, and then in photography. It’s something that is done to please the subject. A photographer is nothing more than a whore who does nothing but sit there thinking, will it please the subject, will i be able to sell him this picture, or will I be able to please him so he will buy it.

And the result is that little by little, people have begun to look down at portraiture, forgetting that the greatest artists in the world from Rembrandt, to Holbein, on up to Stieglitz and Strand, what have you, have all done portraiture and loved it. I happen to particularly love photographing people.

- Arnold Newman

Bill Clinton © Arnold Newman

Bill Clinton © Arnold Newman

Ansel Adams, 1975 © Arnold Newman

Ansel Adams, 1975 © Arnold Newman

Man Ray, 1948 © Arnold Newman

Man Ray, 1948 © Arnold Newman

Well, I didn’t mean to make a series of photographs on artists. My intent was explicitly to experiment with portraiture. And I hate the word portraiture. I prefer to call it photographs of people.

When I came to New York, you have to understand, in 1938, things were still bad from the depression and there wasn’t much money. I was unknown. I had this desire to make photographs of people but I didn’t know anyone. The ones that I wanted to meet, the ones that seemed to me, gave me the greatest opportunity…the artists were absolutely perfect.

- Arnold Newman

Salvador Dali, 1951 © Arnold Newman

Salvador Dali, 1951 © Arnold Newman

Henri Cartier-Bresson, NYC, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Henri Cartier-Bresson, NYC, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Cartier-Bresson is not a photojournalist. He takes individual images if you really look at them.

- Arnold Newman

Marc Chagall, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Marc Chagall, 1942 © Arnold Newman

Course Stieglitz was a man who I greatly admired and I had no idea that I was going to meet him. I do remember the fact that kept using words like inventive but the word that he kept using was honesty. He kept urging me then and later to be honest.

- Arnold Newman

Jean Dubuffet, 1956 © Arnold Newman

Jean Dubuffet, 1956 © Arnold Newman

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Great photographs are not made with a camera. They are made by a human being with a mind. And he uses a tool. If that tool cannot make a great work of art, then he discards the tool. As long as the tools are available to us to make something that satisfies us, we’ll use it, no matter how imperfect it is.

- Arnold Newman

I.M. Pei, 1967 © Arnold Newman

I.M. Pei, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Claes Oldenburg, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Claes Oldenburg, 1967 © Arnold Newman

Igor Stravinsky, 1946 © Arnold Newman

Igor Stravinsky, 1946 © Arnold Newman

It all came to head in just a moment. I had been going to concerts and looking at various instruments. I had already photographed musical instruments in part and in whole and that sort of thing. Suddenly I realized that I had been admiring the shape of the piano and suddenly it hit me The piano shape – strong, hard, sharp, linear, beautiful in this strong harsh way was really the echo of Stravinsky’s work, his own music. When I thought about that, reflected on that, I thought where can I get a piano?

We found an editor who had a piano with a very simple wall, very simple background. I was able to manipulate the light on the background by simply taking one 1,000 watt light and moving it around until I got the exact light I wanted.

- Arnold Newman

Marcel Duchamp, 1966 © Arnold Newman

Marcel Duchamp, 1966 © Arnold Newman

Jean Arp, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Jean Arp, 1949 © Arnold Newman

Isamu Noguchi, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Isamu Noguchi, 1947 © Arnold Newman

Pablo Picasso, 1954 © Arnold Newman

Pablo Picasso, 1954 © Arnold Newman

[For the Picasso image] I used a small portion of a 4×5 negative which was part of a series that I did. I love the whole photograph, I still think that that is a successful photograph. What I realized in examining the photograph, the most exciting thing was face and his eyes so I decided to blow up that little section and make that the full image. And I blew it up and it was so successful, the old story, less is more. The impact of that closely cropped head with those fantastic eyes increased the value of the picture instead of decreasing it and it probably became one of my best known photographs.

- Arnold Newman

Louise Nevelson, 1972 © Arnold Newman

Louise Nevelson, 1972 © Arnold Newman


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Raising Arizona | Hi’s Letter to Ed

Posted: September 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cinema

Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona (1987)

Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona (1987)

My dearest Edwina,

Tonight, as you and Nathan slumber, my heart is filled with anguish. I hope that you will both understand and forgive me for what I have decided I must do. By the time you read this, I will be gone.

I will never be the man that you want me to be, the husband and father that you and Nathan deserve.

Maybe it’s my upbringing. Maybe it’s just that my genes got screwed up. I don’t know. But the events of the last day have showed amply that I don’t have the strength of character to raise up a family in a manner befitting a responsible adult.

I say all this to my shame.

I will love you always, truly and deeply. But I fear that if I stay, I would only bring bad trouble on the heads of you and Nathan Jr. I feel this thunder gathering even now. If I leave, hopefully, it will leave with me.

I cannot tarry. Better I should go, send you money, and let you curse my name.

Your loving -

Herbert

Randall 'Tex' Cobb in Raising Arizona (1987)

Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb in Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona (1987)


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