Talking Movies

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Introduction

Talking Movies this week is going to analyse low-key cult ‘70s movie Walkabout. I am going to select two scenes from the movie and examine them, highlighting the ways in which the director has arranged his shots for maximum visual impact. I’ll then look into how visual techniques from cinema can be applied in street photography, to maximise the creative and compositional power of your street photography. I’ll also show a photograph of my own to go with each scene, and compare and contrast the differences between my shots and the movie scenes to explain how examining movies has influenced my street photography. As always, the complete collection of the Talking Movies articles can be found on the blog section of the Street Hunters website.

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Introduction

This week Talking Movies is going to be taking a look at the critically acclaimed 2008 motion picture The Wrestler. I’ll be poring over two carefully selected scenes from the movie and looking at how they’ve been carefully orchestrated and arranged in order to attack the viewer’s eyeballs and leave them with a visually arresting image. I’ll deconstruct the scenes and explain how you can make use of the techniques and tricks they employ when you’re out on the streets trying to create some great street photography. I will choose two of my own pictures to compare with the movie scenes, and discuss the ways in which my shots compare to those from the movie that have influenced me. For every previous installment of the Talking Movies series you can visit the Talking Movies section of the blog.

Introducing The Wrestler

Helmed by acclaimed director Darren Aronovsky, and starring Micky Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, The Wrestler charts the travails of an over-the-hill pro wrestler Randy Robinson (Rourke), who has endured a sad fall from grace since the heady days of the 1980s when he enjoyed star billing as celebrity wrestling star “The Ram”. The movie won a brace of Golden Globes as well as a BAFTA award, and was also nominated for double Oscars for both its lead and supporting actors. Cinematography for The Wrestler was deftly handled by French cinematographer Maryse Alberti, winner of both Sundance and Independent Spirit awards, who is best known for her work on documentaries. She was chosen by Aronovsky on the basis of her documentary work, as he sought a “documentary style” look for the movie, an effect which is greatly emphasised by the widespread use of handheld 16mm cameras throughout the production.

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Introduction

Talking Movies makes another return, and this time I’m aiming almost as high as you can get! I’m casting my photographer’s eye over a movie that is regularly regarded as one of the finest pieces of cinema ever. I am talking about a cinematic epic that is the daddy of all daddies, or more accurately, THE GODFATHER! This Talking Movies series shows you how you can take inspiration from some of your favourite movies (or even some you may not have come across before) and use it to further your street photography techniques when you head out shooting. This week I’ll choose two scenes from the movie to analyse, and I’ll compare them with two of my own photos to examine the similarities and differences between the shots, and describe how the movie has influenced how I shoot. As usual, you can visit the Talking Movies section of the site for a complete list of all previous articles.

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Talking Movies

Introduction

Talking Movies returns for another week, and with this instalment I will be examining the hugely praised Brazilian movie ‘City of God’. The Talking Movies series shows you how you can get more out of your street photography by studying movies and learning from the composition and lighting effects movie-makers use to make visually arresting art. As usual, I’ll choose three scenes from the movie to look at, and then I’ll show three of my own street photographs to highlight the similarities with the movie and illustrate how cinema has influenced my photography. I’ll also point out differences between my shots and the movie stils, to emphasise how I’m yet to be able to put all the ideas from the movie into practice! Previous instalments of this series can be found on the Talking Movies section of the website.

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Talking Movies

Introduction

Critically acclaimed motion picture No Country for Old Men is the focus of this week’s instalment of Talking Movies – a guide for how to use cinema to get the best out of your street photography. I have chosen 3 of my favourite scenes from the movie to analyse, and I will explain exactly what it is that I think makes them powerful pieces of imagery. I will then show a selection of my own images and explain how the movie’s style influenced my street photography. Check out the Talking Movies section of the blog for the previous articles.

Introducing No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men (2007) was adapted from prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel by the celebrated directors Joel and Ethan Coen, who also directed the movie. It centres on the discovery of a suitcase full of money by Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) who stumbles across drug deal gone wrong in the wilds of 1980 rural Texas. After taking the money for himself, Moss is pursued by the bloodthirsty psychopath Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), who ruthlessly dispatches his victims with aplomb. Following this trail of carnage is local sheriff Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Jones. No Country for Old Men was awarded four Oscars, including the much-coveted ‘Motion Picture of the Year’ and ‘Best Director’ gongs, as well as two Golden Globes and two BAFTA wins. Director of Photography Roger Deakins’ was acknowledged with a BAFTA for ‘Best Cinematography’ for his brooding and low-key depiction of the scorched earth of southern Texas and early 1980s Americana.

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Introduction

This week’s Talking Movies will be looking at the cinematic masterpiece that is Blade Runner, and will talk you through how you can analyse some of the scenes in this movie and use them to help you compose some stunning street photos. I will look at some of my own photos and describe how this movie influenced my own shots. Visit the previous segments of Talking Movies for more info.

Introducing Blade Runner

This Ridley Scott helmed gem is quite possibly my favourite movie of all time. Released in 1982, Blade Runner is a sci-fi movie of truly epic proportions that muses on the grandiose theme of what it means to be human. Based on the 1968 novel ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ by legendary science fiction author Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner is about quasi-detective Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) hunting for a gang of escaped artificial humans called Replicants, and is set against the moody, dingy, rain-drenched backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. The doleful Vangelis soundtrack makes for melancholy tone to the movie, while the spectacular special effects and production design are perfectly showcased by Jordan Cronenweth’s excellent cinematography, and play just as much as a part of the telling of the movie’s story as the characters themselves. Blade Runner suffered a complex and fraught production for numerous reasons, not helped by director Ridley Scott’s manic attention to minute details in each scene and shot. This obsessive approach paid dividends in the end, while the movie was not a critical or box office success, it is now widely lauded as one of the most iconic movies of its genre, with a die-hard following of devoted fans.

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Tha Graudate

Introduction

Welcome back to Talking Movies – a guide to how you can use scenes from famous (and not so famous) movies to ignite your creative juices and develop your artistic vision in your street photography. The first instalment of Talking Movies took a trip down memory lane into ‘80s nostalgia with Manhunter, and for this week’s column we’re winding the film spool right back to 1967 and the truly brilliant piece of cinematic storytelling that is ‘The Graduate’.

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Getting inspiration from Cinema - Manhunter

Introduction

Movies are a great way to take inspiration for your street photography. A truly great movie will be a piece of true escapism for the viewer, as they are immersed wholly in the experience and world the director is presenting them with via the magic of sound and vision. A brilliant movie will leave the viewer with a stream of memorable scenes that will leave a lasting impression. The sheer complexity and cost of movies means that each scene is planned and arranged down to the last detail, and when you watch a well-made movie with a critical photographer’s eye you can start to spot all sorts of hidden details and elements in each shot. With thought and practice you can use what you spot to inform and better your photography. The incredibly fluid nature of street photography means that a street photographer doesn’t have the luxury of time to plan their photos – you need to be able to act fast and instinctively. By improving your visual and artistic literacy through watching and analysing movies you can ensure that your brain remains sharp for when you are able to hit the streets and start shooting.