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Sandra Merkatz

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About Sandra Merkatz

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  • Birthday 12/08/1985

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  1. Thank you :) I was unsecure because of things like "Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format)". I´m not into all that stuff, I don´t know all those different systems, cameras, lenses, film stocks, etc., but I´m very interested, how a film was shot, and what kind of material they used. For example, I found another modern movie that was shot with the "Red Weapon Dragon". I searched after it, and that is clearly a digital camera with no celluloid used. But in this case (Death Proof) I was not sure! Greetings, Sandra
  2. Hello! :) I recently bought the movie Death Proof (2007) on BluRay and watched it yesterday. Since I was interested in whether the film was digitally recorded or whether a real film reel was used for it, I went to Imdb to find out. Unfortunately I don't understand the technical data there. Maybe one of you can tell me whether the film was shot digitally or not? Camera: Arriflex 435 ES, Panavision Primo Lenses Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision Primo Lenses Panavision Panaflex Millennium, Panavision Primo Lenses Negative Format: 35 mm (Fuji Eterna 500T 8573) Cinematographic Process: Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format) Super 35 (3-perf) (source format) Printed Film Format: 35 mm (Fuji) Thanks for you help :) Greetings, Sandra
  3. Hello! :) I'm not a huge fan of Ridley Scott's 1985 movie “Legend”, but I've always liked the Dress Waltz scene (as well as Tim Curry´s performance as “Darkness”). In this scene, Darkness tries to seduce Princess Lily to get her onto the dark side by sending her a black, beautiful but somehow creepy dress, and making her dance with the dress. At first Lily is afraid, but the dress seduces her and makes her dance with it. I like this scene very much, the atmosphere, the mood, the acting, the music, the colors... (By the way, I prefer the European Cut to the American Cut because it lasts longer and I like the music of Jerry Goldsmith a bit better than that of the German band Tangerine Dream. But both versions have their advantages and disadvantages.) Now I have seen some videos on YouTube on the topic "How to block a scene", and also other videos about picture composition, camera movement etc. And now I don't enjoy the scene from "Legend" anymore, because I always feel like I'm missing interesting details! That's why I wanted to ask you if you could say a few words about it? Please don't get me wrong, I don't expect a detailed analysis of this scene, just a few thoughts, a few hints on how the camera is moved, how the scene or some shots are blocked. Maybe you can tell me which shots are well done, and why. And which shots are not that good, and why. I am happy about every answer I get :-) Here is the video (the dance sequence starts at 1:45): Greetings, Sandra
  4. Sandra Merkatz


    Michael Caine recently said in an interview something like this: "If the audience watch my movie and says ´Isn´t Michael Caine a wonderful actor?´, then I have done it all wrong. If the audience says ´I wonder what will happen next to XY, then I have done it right". But I´m not sure if I can agree with that. My "problem" is: whenever I watch a movie - no matter which one - I always see a couple of actors doing their job, and not the characters they portray. I don´t think that the actors are to blame here, but I don´t think I am to blame either. When you watch a movie like "Raging Bull", do you really see the character Jake LaMotta? Or do you see Robert DeNiro doing a great job, do you see the character, or do you see DeNiro acting? Do you think "Wow, LaMotta is really fat", or do you think "Wow, great method acting by De Niro"?
  5. Sorry for the double post, I couldn´t edit the previous one! I have another technical question: let´s pretend you do the exact same shot (same angle, same lighting, same object, etc.) with an HD camera and with a celluloid camera (of course a good one!). Which one can show more details?
  6. Thank you :) I was puzzled by the mention of "35 mm" and thought that maybe they mean the celluloid. Why do they use these cameras? Do they show more details then "celluloid cameras"? Or is it because they want a certain look that can´t be produced with film stock?
  7. Hello! I just saw "Sin City 2" on Blu-ray, and was interested how they shoot it, so I looked in Imdb and found this info: Camera: Arri Alexa M, Fujinon Premier Cabrio Lenses Printed Film Format: 35 mm (spherical) (Fuji), D-Cinema (also 3-D version) I don´t know any of them, but I wonder if they shoot that movie with digital camers (without negatives, without celluloid) or not. Maybe someone can help me? :) Greetings, Sandra
  8. I am surprised to read that! I only know the DVD and the Blu-rays, which were all bad. I´m curious how the 4K version looks and if they release it in Europe too. (But I won´t buy it, because there will still be this ridiculous censored scene - I guess you know which one I mean - and this scene is censored on every version. So I wouldn´t recommend it, except when the scene is uncensored now). Greetings, Sandra
  9. I want to add, "The Vampire Lovers" also has a little "insider"-joke. In the movie "Fearless Vampire Killers" by Roman Polanski, Ferdy Mayne played the main vampire who bites the woman. In VL, he plays a good guy, who gets bitten by the main female vampire. I think that was done intentionally, to switch the roles here. :) Greetings, Sandra
  10. I´m sorry, but doesn´t this discussion about Star Wars fit better into a new thread? :)
  11. I don´t want to go too much off topic, I´ll just answer your last reply in this thread if that´s ok for you :) I know about the loudness war, it´s horrible how they turn up the volume or the basses just to sound "modern" or whatever. I´m always very careful when a cover says "Remastered" ... however, I usually only buy classical music on CDs, and only then when it´s performed on period instruments in historic informed performances (HIP), there you don´t have that loudness war, at least I don´t see one. Of course we have different opinions in some topics, for example CGI, because I think a film should be made with a camera, not a computer, but that´s ok - let´s agree to disagree :) To return to the topic: it´s hard for the interested viewer to find out what Blu-ray did it right. Who knows what colors or lighting are correct? And the correct light and color is VERY important for a movie. It´s the same problem with HIP-CDs, by the way. I don´t want to buy a CD and just listen to it, I also want to know what instruments they used, if the conductor studied different sources, and to what conclusions he came. Usually in newer recordings they write about this, but it´s not easy to have fun with a movie or a piece of music if you are more interested in it. Since I read Michael Caines book, I´ll never see a movie without thinking about how it has been made. I just see actors now doing their hard job, tryin to make it look as if everything is natural and normal, trying to hide the fact that they probably waited for many hours to shoot this scene. And since I knew a little bit more about lighting (also thanks to the members here :) ), I begin to pause scenes and try to find out what they did. I ask myself, what do I see? What do I not see? What could be the intentions? But when a Blu-ray shows a movie in a wrong way, it´s hard to analyze anything, because I want to analyze the work of the director, not the failures of the movie company. Greetings, Sandra
  12. I just don´t buy Blu-rays that destroy the picture, and I don´t buy them when I have doubts whether the picture is correct or not. And: I don´t want to give the companies my money for what they have done, and support them. What´s up with the famous movie "La Strada"? Look at the difference between the UK and the JP- version. Maybe the director wanted it to be so dark, to have that intimacy, that mood, and the other BD is too bright. Or he wanted it to be bright, and the other BD is too dark and sets the wrong mood. As long as I don´t know which one is right (or if neither of them is right) I wouldn´t buy it. Who or what is "Bazin"? Greetings, Sandra
  13. I think the main problem is, that they use DNR to remove the GRAIN, because they think, it doesn´t look "modern" enough, or grain is some dirt. I absolutely don´t have a problem with removing dirt; for example, they did a wonderful job for the Indiana Jones movies on DVD, cleaned frame by frame, but they didn´t use DNR. When you remove the grain, you lost picture information, so the DNR-program has to "blur" it in order to fill the missing spots. That´s why so many details are lost on those Blu-rays. Speaking of Indiana Jones: "IJ and the Temple of Doom" and "IJ and the Last Crusade" are good on Blu-ray, but I hesitate to buy "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on BD, because I´m not sure if they changed the color. Look at these examples, a comparison between the old DVD and the BD: The Blu-ray looks too bright and artificial to me. Just some torches with small fire, and so much light? The DVD looks better to me. In this case I´m not sure too which one is correct. Indy is in a dark cave, the only light comes from a torch, but which one is correct? The BD-version looks too bright for me, and there are some details missing. Also, notice that the frame is smaller on both sides. (And notice the great picture quality on the DVD! That´s what you get when you only put the movie on the disc in order to minimize the compression. Of course you see the compression on the big screen and in close ups, but the IJ-DVDs are one of the best I know. The strange thing is, that the Blu-rays for part 2 and 3 are identical with the DVDs, no different colors. Greetings, Sandra
  14. A little off topic, but still: This funny but also sad picture from different rock-concert-audiences shows what´s wrong today: Greetings, Sandra
  15. (Warning: this review contains spoilers!) I just saw that movie now. Oh. My. God! That movie is awful!! I don´t even know where to start … I like the movie “The Vampire Lovers” from 1970 (I call it “VL” from now on) very much, it has a suspenseful story, good actors (especially Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla), of course some nudity, but it always fits to the plot and doesn´t seem uninspired. Also the settings and especially the mood is very good! And there is real erotic in that movie, full of fantasy, not like a soft-porn. Of course VL is not a really great, groundbreaking movie, it´s not “Nosferatu” or something like that, but I always compare movies with other movies who have the same goal. That´s why I compare “Twins of Evil” with “Carmilla”, both are from the HAMMER studios, both are made about the same time (1970, 1971). But let´s talk about “Twins of Evil”. The title itself is wrong, because only one of the sisters is evil, the other one is the “good” one. But of course “Twins of Evil” sounds better. The story itself (especially the ending) is absolutely predictable! The evil vampire dies, the evil sister dies, the fanatic witchhunter Peter Cushing dies, and the good sister is saved by her boyfriend. Boring! Compared to VL, ToE doesn´t have any plot twists or surprises. The actors, especially the two sisters, are disappointing (except for Peter Cushing, who is a convincing fanatic witchhunter, who later doubts his actions, when one of his own family is accused to be a witch). The sister, former Playboy models (because Playboy models are good actors …), act very wooden and facile. The evil one is rebellious and devious and shows that very point-blank, while the other one is the nice and shy one. Probably they didn´t act well, because both are dubbed by other women in the original English-version. You don´t even hear their voices. They also don´t have much scenes together, and when they do, mostly they stand side to side to each other and react to other people talking to them. The main villain, the vampire Count Karnstein (who looks like a young Jimmy Fallon btw), is played very poorly and so over the top and theatric, that you can´t take him serious. He isn´t creepy or scary at all. When I think of Ingrid Pitts much more subtle villain Carmilla … when you looked at her, you never knew what she is thinking, and she could be seductive, dangerous, but also tragic at the same time, without doing faces or laughing like the villain in silent movies, who bound the girl on the railroad track. Of course: both VL and ToE try to entertain the audience with erotic scenes too. But the question is HOW they do that. And VL does it right, in my opinion, because they worked very much with words, with the way someone looks or with gestures. But you won´t find erotic scenes in ToE, instead just a VERY ungraceful sex-scene between the resurrected Carmilla and Count Karnstein. (I´m glad Ingrid Pitt refused the offer to play Carmilla in a cameo again!). This scene is ridiculous: it is filmed in a bad way, in one shot Carmilla grabs a candlestick and does obscene gestures on it, which would be ridiculous even in a real porn-movie, and worst of all, the whole scene is absolutely UNNECESSARY to the plot! It slows the plot down, it´s not erotic, it´s just boring and unnecessary. But there are also some plot holes that annoy me. For example, why is the body of Carmilla in a big coffin made of stone inside the castle of Count Karnstein? In Sheridan LeFanus novel, Carmilla turned to dust at the end. At the end of VL she was beheaded and didn´t turn into dust (at least we don´t see her doing that), but we don´t get any explanation for that. Later, Count Karnstein stabs a girl who is lying on the coffin, and the blood is dripping on Carmilla, and she gets resurrected just because of that? Also, after the horrible sex-scene, what happened to Carmilla? She doesn´t appear again in the movie. But the biggest plot hole for me is this: when the castle is attacked by the angry mob, and the evil vampire sister is decapitated, Count Karnstein kidnapps the good sister and took her into the castle. But why didn´t he bite her? All he does is dragging here through hallways, and just when the hero of the story wants to save her, Karnstein tries to bite her. Why didn´t he bite her in the first place when he had the chance to? At least the mediabook is good. A well written booklet with lots of nice pictures and much information like the release dates in the cinemas, the name of the voice-actors who dubbed the movie, etc. etc.(they also say that both sisters were obviously cast because of their looks, not because of their acting skills, so it´s a good-researched and critical booklet, not full of promotion and praises of how good the movie is). There is much bonus material on the Blu-ray too, like a long interview with the actor of Karnstein, a Super 8-version of the movie, picture gallerys, an audio commentary etc. The sound format is 2.0 Mono, they didn´t do an upmix but release it in the original sound format, which is good for me. I wouldn´t recommed this movie, even to HAMMER-fans, because this is one of the worst. Better watch "The Vampire Lovers"! I added some phots I took with my mobile phone; it shows two pages of the booklet and the Blu-ray disc itself. They quality is poor, I know! Greetings, Sandra
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