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Krystian Ramlogan

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About Krystian Ramlogan

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  • Birthday 02/11/1972

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    Film - everything about it, Media, Poetry, Computers and Technology, Music

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  1. Just saw it. It's no where near as bad as you guys have made it out to be. The story is ok: a little predictable at time, but overall not bad. The main weakness was a lack of development, both of the environment and the characters. The acting. Bad? Certainly it wasn't superb, but I've seen worse. I think it's an insult to say it's on par with a student film: both for students and for this film. Perhaps we can have a frame of reference? Could it have been better, I agree: yes, but what more could the actors have brought? I've always wondered how an actor/director would fare with a story that requires a lot of directing; perhaps on this occassion, Mr. Eastwood should have produced and allowed someone else to Direct, as I do agree the Directing was weaker than his normal standard. The dialogue, I'll agree was a mixed bag. I think the comedic effect was unintentional, but it's always easy to laugh when looking at a situation where different cultures and languages clash. The audience I was a part of laughed many times throughout the film, but there was a collective "ok, that was a good movie at the end". Sometimes you just have to appreciate a film for what it is; a modest attempt to tell a good story without falling back on meaningless visuals or action sequences. I'm not saying the film was successful on all fronts, but sometime films allow you to appreciate what other movies lack with their inflated budgets and eye candy. The cinematography. Hmm. I have to let that settle in, but I wasn't too impressed at certain points with the choice of angle, some shots were soft, and crossing the line at the bar when Walt and the Priest had their chat left me wondering "why do that?" There were some shots I liked, but it wasn't consistent and I didn't feel compelled by the camera work at any time. At the end of the day however, I would recommend it. K.
  2. No actually, all you've generated is a discussion about why you should look at the film, and about the eroneous assumptions you have made. You haven't offered or contributed anything that added to a discussion of the film. After all, what can (what have you actually said about the FILM?) you say about the acting, directing, pacing, production design, textures, colors, wardrobe, etc.? It's just another example of how the internet has changed things, in this case not for the better and also why so many filmmakers/critics today have nothing worth saying because all they do is regurgitate. Your comparison to hearing bits and pieces of music in commercials or ads and then judging the whole of an album or a musician does not address my point: certainly you are entitled to an opinion, but in a film discussion the foundation for valid discussion is to have screened the entire film. Again, I'm not disputing your right to an opinion, or to like or dislike something. But, to have an engaging discussion about the topic it must be discussed. So if I said, the Bird's Eye View Shot of the Slums, moving from wide to vista was pretty impressive, and quite sharp. I wonder what lenses they used? And, how did they maintain the framing - was it in camera or through repositioning the negative? Can you in any way speak on that? If you haven't seen the film, clearly you can't. And this is just an example. To examine the politics of the film, ideally you would have to screen it more than once because there are many ways to view the film based on your perspective or whichever ideology you adopt at each screening. So, are you open to that? Have you considered that there is/are another/other view/s you can adopt while screening this film which may allow you to appreciate it or at least enhance your understanding of what the filmmakers were attempting - even if they failed in your opinion? So, all I'm saying is maybe you should go see the film, and perhaps open yourself up to things a bit more: if you have an open mind you would be surprised at the things that pop into it and which may lead to inspiration of many types. Quite often as filmmakers we end up being closed to the very thing we love and that is a shame, a tragedy we should avoid at all costs. Again, this is just my opinion and I'm not married to it!! K.
  3. I'm normally much more reserved in my comments but this thread got me a little heated. Why would someone who has NOT seen the film believe their opinion is worth anyone's time? Conjecture and 2nd hand information are not valid sources for participating in any discussion. A trailer and synopsis? These are your grounds for offering an opinion and expecting it to be given any credence? Who wrote the synopsis you read? Why should any critics opinion be more valid than anyone else's? Appeal to authority is obviously a fundamental flaw in logic. In addition to which, if you already have an opinion on something you will seek and find validation of that opinion: yours is negative, so you will find and pay attention to negative reviews. I would be interested in knowing exactly what percentage of the negative opinions of the film you've heard are held by persons who are Asian. For the record I have Indian roots although I was not born in India and "every" person of similar persuation that I know (both born in India and not) have loved the film and seen it more than once. So tell me why your unvalidated opinion should in any way, shape or form be paid any attention? For every one negative review you've heard, I have five positive ones. Why stop at providing critical opinions on a film you haven't seen? Consider the following: If someone reviewed a book without reading it or music without listening to it what would we do with that opinion? Discard it like so much trash. To expect anyone to accept your opinion when you haven't seen the film is a ludicrous expectation. All films or works of art are political in nature; they present a point of view, some better than others. If you don't agree with the view presented that's fine, but don't criticise it if you haven't even taken the time to view/study/observe the work. That's pretentious. The film is not about the mechanism "Millionaire: the game show". The film is about survival and how surviving the events in your life propel you toward your destiny: life is a journey, not a destination, but realize there are stops along the way that ultimately help us toward our final destination. This film showed us some of the protagonists stops along the way to where he ended up at the end of the film, not the end of his journey. You really should screen it. Whether or not your opinions are validated or repudiated, at least you could then back up your statements on the film. Even bad films tech you things, if you are open to learning. Slumdog Millionaire was definitely not a bad film, quite the opposite. Just my 2c. Feel free to disagree, K.
  4. The film and its cinematography were very slick. I also feel that perhaps that worked against it: the entire film did seem to flow too easily, moving right along to almost a non-event. There was a certain amount of suspense at times, but not a whole lot of conflict; things seemed to go too well for the conspirators. But, then again War Films are really hit or miss. Maybe it's our expectations of what the film should offer? I remember "My Name is Ivan" and "Ballad of a Soldier": two films that nailed what war really meant, and with such different approaches. Valkyrie wouldn't hold up in comparison, but although I'm not sure where things fell apart: script or direction, even with the negatives, the film does have something to offer. It reminds me a bit of Jarhead, but most had positive opinions of that film in contrast to this one. K.
  5. This film was certainly a masterpiece. Danny Boyle's films always move you in certain ways and I always feel that sense of love in his work, both for the film and his craft. I can't recommend it enough, and I also need to see it again ;) I was so wrapped up in the story I forgot to do my usual over analysis! Lol. I agree the second half slowed down and wasn't quite as visceral as the first, but I didn't care at that point as I just wanted to see where we were heading. K.
  6. I'm not sure you really gave the film a chance: your opening statement already alludes to your perspective being affected by the media's fascination with Mr. Cruise, whether you think you are trying to be fair or to compensate for said attention. Your comments are also unclear. For example, "There is plenty of intrigue, conflicts of interest, and suspense. But, frankly there is too little." What is anyone to take away from that? Maybe you could re-exmaine your reaction to the film, move away from meandering opinion and provide a more valid criticism of the film? I've seen Valkyrie. While I agree it may not be as gripping or suspensful as other films (the Dirty Dozen being one of my favorites), particularly as you say - once the bomb goes off, the film has a lot more to offer than your "critique" suggests. I also disagree with your analysis of the films cinematography. We agree it told/supported the story, but it also invited us into the world these characters inhabit and there was no attempt to give us meaninglessly pretty visuals or money shots - what purpose would that serve? The choice of angle/shot provided good continuity, the sequences were well thought out, and each scene benefitted from what seems to be a refined and controlled approach to telling this story. Color Palette, I didn't have a problem with it, in my opinion it supported the story. What films are you comparing Valkyrie's cinematography to? Once a supporting character has fulfilled its purpose, then let's move on. Why should that be a detraction from the perceived quality of the film? Was Superman: The Movie any less because Marlon Brando was only there for a few minutes? Or Sophie Okonedo in Hotel Rwanda - her role is almost exactly the same as Carice van Houten in Valykyrie? As always feel free to disagree and to enlighten, this is just my 2c and nothing is cast in stone. K.
  7. I saw The Dark Knight late Friday night. It was an excellent film, with hardly anything to take you out of the immersive world Messrs Nolan and Pfister created. Much improved all-around over the first one. The cinematography: lighting, colors, textures, framing, angles and motion, was totally integrated into the story and helped move things along in a much more effective way than the first film (although that was a good film also). It also supported the editing and pacing of the film almost perfectly I felt. There were a couple times I felt - rather than "saw" - a hard/jarring transition and only a couple seconds after it happened, at which point the film had grabbed me again. Nothing to complain about really, the film was very smooth. I was impressed at the overall quality of the film and the superb consistency of the cinematography throughout, especially the night sequences. There were moments when I barely had time to reflect on what a great "shot" I'd just seen, because the film really grabs you and never lets you go. The middle did slow down a tad, and allowed you some space to breathe (perhaps a lilttle too much, though again I'm not complaining), but the climax really left you wanting more in a positive way: nothing anti-climactic or deflating, just...damn that was so good I want more. On a sad note, I was left with a sense of loss at the end because I forgot for a brief moment, the run of the movie, that Heath Ledger was gone. This film was a testament to his rising ability and huge potential. He outshone everyone, easily, and became such a force of nature in his interpretation as the Joker that it was hard to accept he would never be on screen again. May he rest in peace. I'll be going to see The Dark Knight again, and soon, for many reasons. One being to celebrate his performance for the breathtaking experience it was for me. K.
  8. There was some improvement I think over the first one, but overall I wasn't very impressed. There were some good moments here and there, but there were also some not so good moments and the acting rang a little hollow a number of times for me. The direction wasn't smooth and the orchestration of the charcters seemed poor. Motivations were all over the place and no one but HellBoy seemed to stay true to character, or to have any substance. Predictable and a bit of an anticlimax. There was some decent cinematography and I enjoyed the colors. The CGI/effects seemed inconsistent and that opening scene...I thought it was terrible. The editing was generally good, but there were times when I saw/felt that they needed more coverage and the poor editor/s was struggling to maintain forward momentum. I would like to see a third film maybe; focussed on HellBoy as I won't miss the other characters. Just my 2c, K.
  9. I agree with quite a lot of what's been said so far about the cinematography: unmotivated, inconsistent, framing or composition that could have been much better, and some weird colors. I loved the mushroom cloud shot and there were some moments when I thought, now if the Entire Film was like this it would look great. I'm not sure why things are as they appear but, as a fan of Mr. Kaminski I will file this away as a hiccup... The film is not a great one but it is fun and entertaining if you don't have too many expectations; it's certainly the least impressive Indy film but seems to be making a lot of bank. I did enjoy it, even with its problems. I have to say though, Cate Blanchett was not impressive in my opinion. Her constantly shifting accent which wanted to be either British, German or Russian without a claim to any was distracting and mediocre. Her expressions I've seen before and really didn't convey the best emotion. So what if she has decent skin? Or photographs well. That does nothing to improve her acting or distract from her lack of originality. Harrison did a good job, he's still Indy. The film would have sunk without him. Shia...hmm, he's got range. But, I wasn't too thrilled with his character arc which I guess I should blame on the writer. Not as much direction as I would have hoped for, and the story was weak: more traps, more trouble, more of what makes Indy a great thinker...Editing was paced weird at times, but the film did pick up from mid-way onwards. The CGI, hmmm...more originality needed and not quite seamless. Oh well. I say it gets a B- Although if I hadn't been a fan, I'm not sure it would have rated that high... K.
  10. La Haine. Studied that film for my Film Directing Class. I found some influences by Scorcese, and interestingly enough at the time, Raging Bull. Perhaps it was the Cinematography, particularly the B&W, use of Space, Composition, and the long take. Great Film.
  11. I haven't seen Juno yet but I will soon. From what I've heard however it seems to be finding its audience. As for this present discussion regarding Cinematography, I think everyone may be overlooking the obvious: film is a Visual Medium, and the Images actually Tell the Story. This is neither a Cinematography view or a Writers view; it's simply the nature of the beast. So, trying to say one or the other is More Important is like saying Any Image will Provide the Correct Story Information to the audience, or Any Writer Could have written this Story and it would be just as good. That's just not true in either theory or practice. I think the Exorcist Prequel demonstrated that there's only so much Cinematography can do with a weak Story, because it is part of the Story. The Cinematography basically brings to light the ideas and concepts implied within the script, and therefore itself becomes one piece of the Story. Films are the result of a team effort. And this applies to each element within the film as well. All parts contributing to a sum that is greater than each. I don't agree that this Cinematography Board or its members will automatically place the MOST focus on images, I think we place the most focus on Story and then try to figure out how to use Cinematography to best Tell the Story Visually. Just my 2c. K.
  12. The medium is not the message, it is the means by which you get the message sent to your target. Certainly, you cannot always separate the message from the properties of its medium, but they are two distinct things. Although the medium is very important, the content is still the critical element otherwise every movie shot on film would be a hit, and every movie shot on digital would suck. That is not the case, and I believe there is room for both to co-exist happily. More importantly, we should welcome and embrace anything that advances the art, the craft, and the language of cinema. Yes, we should be critical and studied in our appraisal and evaluation of new technologies, but we should not be close minded or inflexible; BTW, I'm not saying anyone here is close-minded or inflexible. For the moving image, we've seen many different mediums: everything from film to video (whether vhs or HD) each of which has its own aesthetic. Every individual likes a particular aesthetic, but generally certain mediums have become associated with specific things, like film for cinema and video for broadcast. That old delineation is now changing and we see a convergence where both film and video can exist in either industry; it now boils down to choice, which is itself predicated on many varying factors, whether cost, preference, style, aesthetic, etc. I don't think anyone can argue the potential the Red possesses as an additional tool, but I'm also sure that it is too early to really ascertain what Red's aesthetic properties truly are, and where/how it/they will fit into our lexicon. It's only now coming out of its birthing period. Celluloid has had years of development and therefore a significant head start. At this point, I'm sure most if not all of us, remember that it took lots of personal experimentation, in addition to screening many films, multiple times, to really figure out how we react as individuals to certain film stocks, and to also be insightful enough to know why we chose one film stock over the other. I suggest that with HD, and the Red, such experimentation and introspection will lead to a wider and more appreciative understanding of how they can be used effectively. Of course, that implies we're going to use it and subject it to the rigors of production under best and worst case scenarios. Debating Film vs Red or HD is not really going to get us anywhere, because it's just an analogy to analogue vs digital. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, it's up to us as rational and creative persons to utilize either medium in the best way possible to achieve our intended goal. With that said, my personal preference right now is still film. But, I'm open to changing that when I see something that appeals to me more. K.
  13. Something that looks more human? What's your context? Or in what way?
  14. I think it would be great to see a properly staged comparison of the Red versus all of the other HD Cameras available, and also 16mm, Super16mm, 35mm, Super 35mm. This would allow each of us to make a subjective decision about how we can use the Red, and I think would go a long way to showing what to expect from it. Although I also am of the opinion that at present Film Origination has an edge, I'm not going to lose any sleep if Digital acquisition advances beyond film and then becomes the standard. I'm a filmmaker, all I want are the tools which can help me tell my story in the best way possible. K.
  15. Hi. With all respect Mr Mullen, I have to disagree with the statement "Here is the confusion -- that somehow the goal of imagemaking is to "imitate life"" I am not confused, and it does not adress the sentiment behind my post. There are many opinions, views, perspectives, etc. on what is and is not art. I'm not entering into that debate here, because it is not relevant to this discussion at this point. I do understand that perhaps my post had some degree of vagueness but I was inviting dialogue, since it seems everyone else was going off on a tangent and I wanted to bring the discussion back to something more pertinent. Maybe I should have said, "Cinema is about expressing something about the human condition in a visual way, where the intimate or unobvious becomes exterior or obvious," but, I was not trying to get this thread off course again. I am merely trying to ask what can be done to emulate what is the standard - the convention, at present in terms of cinematic storytelling is film - with the Red understanding that is is not the same as film and it does have its own unique strengths and weaknesses, among them its look, resolution, etc. A lot of what Mr. Mullen says I agree with, in terms of the qualities of the images, but how can we see great digital art which rival paintings and are accepted but yet the HD video we see so far, does not truly capture our imaginations quite so easily? Evan mentions grain. Perhaps this is a fundamental difference which may not be ever totally bridged, but what can we do now? Are there any options aside from prime lenses, production value, lighting, etc.? Organic is a term often used and misused, perhaps I should have added in my usage I am mostly referring to the fact that film renders images in a more graduated and appealing way, with less sharply delineated lines and is therefore more pleasing to the eye. Straight lines do not naturally occur in nature, or that's what I've learnt in some of my classes; things are more or less curved in nature. So, we have somethign going here, maybe some others can weigh in? I'd like to learn some more what everyone thinks? K.
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