Enhanced Reality: Exploring the Boundaries of Photo Editing
Matthias Krug and Stefan Niggemeier, Spielgel Online, 8 May 2013
Even top news photographers have their work digitally enhanced these days. Mounting competition in the market for news images is forcing photo-journalists to make their output as dramatic as possible. But where are the limits of cosmetic improvement?
Any one twiddling with Picasa realises that a photo often seems more lively if tweaked with HDR-ish – a recent new feature.
The Gaza photograph looks very much as if it has been HDR-ished. Or something similar.
Picasa tutorials explains what it is and is not.
In a sense using HDR-ish turns a photo into a painting. And this to me is the feel of the Gaza photo. There is a line between creating this art effect and moving back into photograph. Slide the fade control – it’s obvious there is a perfect point to get what is pretty much in this photo. Too little fade it’s art, too much and you’re back into photo.
Sure, other things may have been done to it to get this effect, but that’s pretty much it without even touching Photoshop.
Film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert’s 2003 review of Three Colours: Blue, White Red, was the first time I read one of his reviews. From then on I always checked him out for any film I had watched. If you’ve never read on of his reviews that would be a good place to start. These are not easy films for the inexpert to come up with cogent explanations and assessments of. He does a very good job here.
It’ll be strange not finding his concise reviews via Rotten Tomatoes.
Roger went on to have his own website, rogerebert.com, on which others like Jim Emerson wrote about film.
There are umpteen obituaries and assessments of him as film reviewer. It hardly seems worth laboriously putting up masses of links to these. I’ll take my time looking through them and make a small selection.
29 April 2013
In the meantime one on Ebert and one of his reviews:
Talmud Meets Cinema Studies: Roger Ebert as the Rashi of Movies
Daniel Ross Goodman, 20 April 2013, Bright Lights Film Journal
Synecdoche, New York A 2008 review of the film when it first came out.
The gulls are the people, you see, and she is the bird.
Hitchcock on Tippi Hedren in Julian Jarrold’s The Girl.
 Jim Crace, Guardian Review 29 Dec 2012 : Beauty and the beastly Hitchcock: a peerless study of sexual obsession
 Deborah Orr, Guardian, 28 Dec 2012:
If only Alfred Hitchcock himself could have directed The Girl
–The BBC-HBO drama about Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren was fascinating, but it lacked the psychological drama only the man himself could have provided
More as I find them
screenwriter : Gwyneth Hughes > 2008 BBC profile.
Bourgeois Nightmares -Gilberto Perez on Michael Haneke
LRB, Vol. 34 No. 23 · 6 December 2012
“I don’t care if a director tells me to take 10 frames off—because I don’t take 10 frames off. I take off what I think would be appropriate. Most directors have no idea what 10 frames looks like. If you work with Sidney Lumet, he knows what 10 frames are. Milos Forman does, too. But most directors, when they say “take 10 frames off,” they’re just kind of showing off to you. I’ve learned through the years you just do what you think is right. And they’ll think that’s great because they’ll never count the frames.”
Anne V. Coates
Along with other well-know films, Anne edited Lawrence of Arabia.
David said to me in the end, ‘That’s nearly perfect. Take it away and make it perfect.’ I literally took two frames off of the outgoing scene and that’s the way it is today.
A two-part interview in Flickering Myth:
Cutting Edge: A conversation with film editor Anne V. Coates [part 1]
Twice Around: Anne V. Coates talks about Lawrence of Arabia [part 2]
There is a BBC Radio 4 interview from 2007
Leni Riefenstahl in the cutting room
Becoming a Professional Film & Video Editor -5 Tips to Think About When Getting Started as an Editor
By Lawrence Jordan
in Hollywood Reinvented
“The basic rules of film editing, first established in the silent era, still govern the industry today: maintain your eye lines, preserve continuity, respect planarity (the rules governing the transposition of three dimensions onto a two-dimensional plane), find a good rhythm, and, most important, always advance the story.”
The first frame, unedited, would be called a “Sequence shot”-This is one long recording of time in a wide shot of the entire scene. This recording would be considered more “realistic” because the footage would not be cut and the audience would have to make the interpretations themselves as to who is them most important person in the frame. The final edit would not be nuanced and intrusive with the relationships between actors.
The second frame shows the editor’s options if they were to a apply a Classical Hollywood Style to the edit . This style involves cutting that reflects the psychological cause and effect relationship of connected shots. By using continuity techniques like the 180 rule, eye line match and axis matches, an editor can choose what face to show next, and in essence be telling the audience who to focus on in the communication of the emotion in the scene.
From : Advanced Editing Notes Art of Video – Capuchino High School
[This page has listings of the various parts of the course. Mainly not hypertext, with most pages coming to a dead end. Sources page pretty comprehensive]
Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious  – constructive editing in scene where Alicia infers she is being poisoned
Constructive Editing in Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket
A 12 minute video by David Bordwell
Borwell covers this in a post as well:
What happens between shots happens between your ears
Book Film Art: An Introduction
In collaboration with Kristin Thompson. Ninth edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
This was a post in a previous blog of mine called Moleskine modality, which is linked to from here. Looking for a post I did on Bliar and the Iraq invasion of 2003, I also had a quick look at what I had written in Moleskine. It’s defunct as a posting site, but has a great many links to all sorts of things that might be useful. It was as much about books and writers as film. I decided to move on to a dedicated film (and a bit of photography) blog instead of book/film. It was partly because I was getting fed up with Blogger. It seems a lot better now, and has even got pretty good free themes which tend to show up WordPress.
So here’s the post on screenplays as literature, or not:
It’s his title, not mine. This essay has three parts:
Are Screenplays literature? Part I
Are Screenplays Literature? Part II
Are Screenplays Literature? Part III
This came about because of a decision suddenly – the decision version of a flash memory which had a simple, clear nachrechtfertigung to drop a very absorbing and pleasurably expanding (the polite word for ideas-creep) novel in favour of a very ancient screenplay/novel project which began in the late 80s.
Without getting through the first part of this essay on the screenplay I was already running with the notions. Yes, of course, the film = the novel. Then: what, if we are drawing tables of analogues, is the novel equivalent of the screenplay? Reading on I see the publication of screenplays as if they were literature has become the thing.
I have never seen the screenplay as the finished product. The bit that we do when we read the book (because it is the reader input which adds the final touch to the skill and insights of the writer) is what the writer (constantly readjusting his script to the needs of the film), director, actors, cinematographer, stage designer, location manager do. Then, as I have hinted at in some of the links under screenplay/scripts, there are later adaptations of the original screenplay floating about which the novice would have no idea are not the start point. It can be difficult to see which is which when someone hasn’t been careful enough at the time to record what is what, and/or because things get lost.
I have mentioned something I noticed when doing a generalised screenplay foray a while back: often what you see online is someone’s transcription of the film, not the screenplay itself.
To make the screenplay as much like the finished novel ( = [novel] + [readers cognition]} necessitated the writer’s instructions. Stating the bleeding obvious, though a perfect dialogue by itself can work pretty well given an imaginative reader, without ‘stage’ direction something of what is in most novels has been left out. Strictly speaking like is not being compared to like.
The money quotes come from part III:
What is Literature?
The 19th-century novelist George Eliot (a woman writing under a man’s name) defined literature this way: “the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds (=limits) of our personal lot (=fate).”
Terrence McGiver, a teacher, expands the definition: “Literature helps us grow, both personally and intellectually. It provides an objective base for knowledge and understanding. It links us with the cultural, philosophic, and religious world of which we are part. It enables us to recognize human dreams and struggles in different places and times that we otherwise would never know existed. It helps us develop mature sensibility and compassion for the condition of all living things — human, animal and vegetable. It gives us the knowledge and perception to appreciate the beauty of order and arrangement, which a well-constructed song or a beautifully painted canvas also gives us.”
Other observers have pointed out that literature is written to be read aesthetically; that it emphasizes character over plot; that it must be worth re-reading; that it contains enduring human themes; that it is the opposite of trash.
All these definitions give clues why it’s so easy to conclude that screenplays are not literature.
The Wages of Truth: Close-Up on “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”
Duncan Gray, MUBI, 23 August 2012.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Philip French, Observer, 18 March 2012
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest film, a thriller as challenging as Antonioni’s Blow-Up, is his finest work to date
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Peter Bradshaw Guardian, 15 March 2012
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s new film is long and difficult, and perhaps not for everyone, but I can only say it is a kind of masterpiece: audacious, uncompromising and possessed of a mysterious grandeur in its wintry pessimism.
– Flying in the face of consensus — A selection of 250 mostly obscure,
mostly overlooked, and/or mostly unloved films.
From They Shoot Horses Don’t They? With an intro by Bill Georgaris. 29 February 2012. Update of 2010 compilation.
Useful: a thumb-nail graphic for each film, so it’s easy to run through the three-column layout. Each potted review has a few links to other reviews.
Screenwriting 2.0 in the Classroom? Teaching the Digital Screenplay
Andrew Kenneth Gay, Frames Film Journal, Issue 1 2012 [University of St Andrews]
Table of Contents Issue 1
Carloss James Chamberlin
Senses of Cinema, 5 October 2003