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Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist


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Went to see this today out of curiosity. Was somewhat better than the Harlin version, more intellectual, but still not particularly good. The basic plot doesn't hold together I guess. The concept of tracing Father Merrin's spirtual journey to being an exorcist was a good one, but no one could really write a decent story for it, I guess.

 

Storaro's photography for the Rennie Harlin version was darker (more night scenes, more stagebound) but curiously greyish, desaturated, as if Harlin tried to make it more like Darius Khondji in timing the D.I.

 

The Schrader version has more daytime scenes, more Moroccan landscapes, more classic Storaro orange sunset interiors -- overall much more in Storaro's line. More classically composed and edited.

 

But the releasing company cheaped out and did this latest version by transferring an HD master to 35mm anamorphic (trimmed to 2.39, rather than a scope print side-matted to Storaro's 2:1 framing in 3-perf Univisium.) And it looked like an HD transfer; not enough contrast (a no-no for Storaro photography), scenes timed too bright for night, Storaro's rich colors somewhat pastel (but at least not all greyish monochrome like the Harlin version), poor blacks, and a LOT of edge enhancement artifacts. I almost thought I was watching something shot in HDCAM.

 

But buried in all that poor post work was the ghost of some nice work by Storaro, nothing showy, but rich nonetheless, sometimes a little like "The Sheltering Sky."

 

To be screwed by the release prints of two different versions of the same project... I'd be pretty pissed off if I were him.

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uh so storaro shot both versions ? wow then im going to watch it. nothing beats the first exorcist i think, but exorcist the beginning had some great moments i thought. i especially like the scenes in the little hospital and the scenes in the church under the sand. i was surprised that storaro agreed to shoot it in the first place.

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Any idea if it was an HDCam, HD D5, or HDCam SR master?

 

Probably HD-D5 but it looked so bad, I would have guessed PAL Digital Betacam! It looked like sharpened standard def video, it was so edge-enhanced. I doubt it was HDCAM-SR unless it was a terrible color-correction job.

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