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Guest Christopher Wedding

INSIDE MAN

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Guest Christopher Wedding

Hey guys,

 

Just saw a sneak preview of Inside Man on Wednesday and it was great....(I promise not to give anything away.)

 

However, after seeing the film I'm wondering what sort of detriment a short shutter angle can cause to panning. I know the DP, Libatique, chose to contrast the stories of Denzel and Clive with one being frentic, chaotic feeling while the other is smooth and premeditated. And it works. However, some stuff was so disorienting and I'm wondering if it was the short shutter angle that might cause a severe stutter effect on some of the pans. It was the only thing that really brought me out of the film as there are a few points with this stuttering pan going on and a few shots that are just nauseating in their movement without much narrative reason. It was like Blair Witch without the Witch.

 

Anyone care to answer or share their thoughts about the visual feel of the film?

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Just saw it and I thought the cinematography looked great and, for the most part, natural.

 

There were a couple of long pans that were hard on the eyes, but it looked intentional to me. I only noticed the fast shutter a dozen times during heightened scenes, and I thought it worked well.

 

I didn't see anything that warrants a comparison to the Blair Witch.

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I thought the photography was brilliant. Only shot that didn't work for me was Denzel rolling toward us like he was on roller skates. What were they thinking?

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I like the movie too, but I have to say the shot of Denzel on the dolly was one of my favorite shots. Ballsy yes, but it fit the mood and the moment for me. Besides, would it be a Spike Lee movie if his actors didn't ride on the dolly? I also, like the shots of Clive Owen and Christopher Plummer on the dolly. The one with Plummer and his desk was stellar. The X-light was pretty great too.

 

Travis

Edited by travisclinedp

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Hey guys,

 

Just saw a sneak preview of Inside Man on Wednesday and it was great....(I promise not to give anything away.)

 

However, after seeing the film I'm wondering what sort of detriment a short shutter angle can cause to panning. I know the DP, Libatique, chose to contrast the stories of Denzel and Clive with one being frentic, chaotic feeling while the other is smooth and premeditated. And it works. However, some stuff was so disorienting and I'm wondering if it was the short shutter angle that might cause a severe stutter effect on some of the pans. It was the only thing that really brought me out of the film as there are a few points with this stuttering pan going on and a few shots that are just nauseating in their movement without much narrative reason. It was like Blair Witch without the Witch.

 

Anyone care to answer or share their thoughts about the visual feel of the film?

 

Hey-

 

I'd have to agree with you about the short shutter angle on some of those panning shots. It really pulled me out of an otherwise decent film. There is a shot that pans around a room over some pictures on the wall, something that we've seen in other films for sure, but due to the short shutter angle, it was mostly out of focus and kind of pointless. I understand the artistic decision to add a hyper-active quality to the film in certain moments, thus enhancing the story, but during a shot that is basically expositional, it seemed mis-used or even a mistake. Also, when arbitrarily intercut with footage shot with a longer shutter angle, it just didn't work. Other than that, good job Mr. Spike Lee, and good job Matthew Libateque, very entertaining, dolly-shot and all.

 

RBG

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Hey-

 

I'd have to agree with you about the short shutter angle on some of those panning shots. It really pulled me out of an otherwise decent film. There is a shot that pans around a room over some pictures on the wall, something that we've seen in other films for sure, but due to the short shutter angle, it was mostly out of focus and kind of pointless. I understand the artistic decision to add a hyper-active quality to the film in certain moments, thus enhancing the story, but during a shot that is basically expositional, it seemed mis-used or even a mistake. Also, when arbitrarily intercut with footage shot with a longer shutter angle, it just didn't work. Other than that, good job Mr. Spike Lee, and good job Matthew Libateque, very entertaining, dolly-shot and all.

 

RBG

 

Is there some sort of esthetic movement going on where producers want things to have an Internet video look? More and more I'm seeing pictures that stutter like mad and are very unsettling visually. IMHO that Internet look is pure garbage - we've got a motion picture technology that can produce pictures equivalent to gazillions of pixels per second - why does anyone think I want to see pictures with horrid amounts of compression, stutter, posterized color palettes, etc. etc.? Give me three strip Technicolor or give me death!

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I saw it recently and had to say that I was surprised how good it was when you have some critics back in mind...

 

I noticed this effect especially on the scene (I think it was already mentioned) where you can see pictures and the camera moves along a guy's face while he's eating a pizza!? Man, I got headache because the motion was so... I don't know the english word for it, but is it the thing you're talking about? It's not a problem of the cinema or something else? Maybe they had to pay too much to Foster, and couldn't afford the right equipment anymore? ;-) It doesn't happened accidently?

Edited by georgl

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I just saw the movie today and I really liked the simple lighting throughout the film. Does anyone know what kind of lighting setup did the DP use? From what I saw seems to be mainly single source lighting from outside the bank windows and practicals. I did find the shutter angle on pans quite annoying tho and a few soft extreme close ups. Overall really enjoyed the movie and great performance as usual from Denzel Whashington.

 

Regards

 

Alex Sapienza

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Guest Christopher Wedding

Hey Guys,

 

I think the movie was very well shot, I was just wondering if it was the short shutter that caused the strobing I saw. I said Blair Witch only for the two times I got a but unsettled during long, unfocused pans. I wasn't trying to trash the whole look which overall was great and unique.

 

As for the lighting inside....I think I read in ICG that Libatique used 3 4K Tungsten cube shaped ballons inside (which can also be used as 2K's) and one 8K tungsten or Metal halide (which he had custom built) depending on the look outside as well as some special LRX rig outside as well.

 

Would anyone please comment on the look and process used for the interrogation room?

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For the interrogation scenes...(based on the new AC mag issue) they shot uncorrected Ektachrome 100D 5285, cross-processed it AND did a bleach bypass. Lee uses cross-processing in many of his movies, and gets pretty good results!

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For the interrogation scenes...(based on the new AC mag issue) they shot uncorrected Ektachrome 100D 5285, cross-processed it AND did a bleach bypass. Lee uses cross-processing in many of his movies, and gets pretty good results!

 

Ah! It was quite grainy indeed! Interesting. I was assuming it was Super16 and some really fast film stock or something.

 

I liked the effect to be honest.

 

love

 

Freya

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Just dropped by to post about this film. I saw it a preview on Tuesday :P and had a really good time.

Nice to see you guys are already talking about it!

 

I was very worried as it turned out to be in a different cinema than I was expecting and I had invited a friend along. I knew it was going to be a trashy genre movie, but I thought it might be fun anyway, but I was worried when my friend and I had to race across town to the other cinema, that it wouldn't have been worth the effort. Thankfully it was really good.

 

As soon as the film started a big guy sitting next to me, said "hey it's spike lee" and I was like thinking, "you came here for some other reason?". Anyway I've been thinking about it more and more over the last few days and I really liked it. It is a trashy genre movie. In fact it is a trashy genre movie to the max. More of a parody really. When the guy who plays the bank owner says that he has something that no-one must know about in a safety deposit box, you already know exactly what it is, because of the guy playing him. Then Jodie Foster goes into the bank to talk to the hyper intelligent maniac character, and Denzil Washington plays this good black cop in a world that's bad kind of thing. It is so stereotypical that it's really entertaining.

I wondered for a moment how he got these actors to play such roles, but then of course, it's Spike isn't it! ;)

 

A lot of the time you know what's coming next, and you are just like noooooo! You don't want to be doing that! :) The whole film isn't really laugh out loud funny, but kind of witty make you smile fun. It's all made with a lot of fun. (Hence that silly dolly shot).

 

I think my favourite bit, that really did make me laugh, was the bit when the bank manager talks about all his good deeds and gestures in the direction of all his trophies and pictures and the camera pans across them. I loved that! Go Spike!

 

Somehow Spike has managed to totally make this film his own. Real auteur stuff. He works his political points in there at the same time, as you might expect and it's all done with a sense of humour. There is something about the film that is really optimistic too, like yeah things can be better in spite of the bad people. In some ways it might be his most political film in that it is just such a totally hollywood movie yet Spike still gets his message across.

 

This film is a lot of fun, and a good film to go and see with a friend, but if you don't have one, then what the hey, see it anyway! :)

 

What is that genre called anyways?

 

love

 

Freya

Edited by Freya

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I thought the photography was brilliant. Only shot that didn't work for me was Denzel rolling toward us like he was on roller skates. What were they thinking?

 

... Lee likes to use the actor on a dolly at some point in most of his films... In Malcolm X: Malcolm seems to float along the sidewalk on the day he was assassintated. I saw an interview with Lee where he mentioned it signifying Malcolm knowing that on that day he knew something terrible was going to happen to him so I guess the shot means an out of body experience... What was happening in the scene it was used in in The Inside Man?

 

Rupe Whiteman

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... Lee likes to use the actor on a dolly at some point in most of his films... In Malcolm X: Malcolm seems to float along the sidewalk on the day he was assassintated. I saw an interview with Lee where he mentioned it signifying Malcolm knowing that on that day he knew something terrible was going to happen to him so I guess the shot means an out of body experience... What was happening in the scene it was used in in The Inside Man?

 

Rupe Whiteman

 

It was something like that actually! The Denzel character sort of moves at high speed towards the front of the bank. He is having a total freak out episode and he is very upset. Hard to explain, you will have to see the film! :) It kind of represents his emotional state but I think it's supposed to be a little bit funny too. I laughed anyway, and a few people in the cinema did.

 

love

 

Freya

Edited by Freya

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I really enjoyed the film.

 

It was essentially a throw back to 60's/70's bank robbing films. In the film they referenced "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Serpico". I wouldn't call this a trash genre especially in the sense that Sidney Lumet's films dealt with real corruption and social issues of the time.

 

What I really enjoyed about "Inside Man" are the people and witty dialogue. I laughed as I watched the film and kept thinking to myself, that is New York. You got a genuine feel for the real people in New York. Its a mixture of many different cultures and ethnicities all existing in the same space. You witness the beauty and animosity of that situation.

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SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I miss something? Why did Clive Owen's character go to such great lengths to get these diamonds and black mail Mr. Case? How did he know about his Nazi past in the first place? It sort of bothered me that none of this was explicitly stated in the film. Also, how did Detective Frazier know something was fishy with Case after procuring the ring? Seems like so many things the audience has to assume to make the film work.

 

Overall it was entertaining. Very funny - especially the Grand Theft Auto parody - a grenade in the mouth - damn, is that satire or what? And yeah, that Denzel dolly shot didn't work for me - very silly. That effect only really works at a slow, dreamlike pace. But again, I had a good time. Thumbs up from me.

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SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

Did I miss something? Why did Clive Owen's character go to such great lengths to get these diamonds and black mail Mr. Case? How did he know about his Nazi past in the first place?

 

I guess he either knew because he is hyper intelligent, has x-ray vision, or he saw that photo on Mr Case's mantlepiece! ;)

 

On the other hand, lets face it, the guy is a bank owner! ;)

 

It sort of bothered me that none of this was explicitly stated in the film. Also, how did Detective Frazier know something was fishy with Case after procuring the ring? Seems like so many things the audience has to assume to make the film work.

 

I just assumed he did some reasearch into where the ring came from, that bit didn't seem so bad to me...

 

Overall it was entertaining. Very funny - especially the Grand Theft Auto parody - a grenade in the mouth - damn, is that satire or what? And yeah, that Denzel dolly shot didn't work for me - very silly. That effect

 

But surely it was supposed to be silly! The whole film is kind of silly, that is why it is fun. It's just a bit of a parody.

 

love

 

Freya

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SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

Did I miss something? Why did Clive Owen's character go to such great lengths to get these diamonds and black mail Mr. Case? How did he know about his Nazi past in the first place? It sort of bothered me that none of this was explicitly stated in the film. Also, how did Detective Frazier know something was fishy with Case after procuring the ring? Seems like so many things the audience has to assume to make the film work.

 

If you'd paid careful attention...

In the last scene with Jodie Foster and Chris Plummer (Mr. Case)...

Mr. Case mentions that he got those diamonds from a Jewish family that was killed by the Nazis.

They were friends of Mr. Case but he betrayed them to get rich.

 

It doesn't take much to assume...Clive Owen and the rest of the gang have some relations with that family

Especially when one of the bank robbers is an orthodox Jewish man...

So they obviously knew about the betrayal and research the bank and the safety box...

 

When Denzel Washington discovers the ring he traces it back...

Since you can do this with many diamonds (particularly the rare and expensive ones)...

And he must have discovered that it belonged to a Jewish family that was killed by the Germans in WWII...

 

Being a dectective he doesn't need to go on an internet forum ( :) ) to put two and two together...

He obviously figured it was hidden there by the bank owner who stole it from the family...

 

These events are actually happened (not the bank robbery)

Stolen fortune from WWII is recovered by relatives of the deceased family.

I hope that clears everything up.

 

I found the movie to be very well made. It's the best movie I've seen this month.

I don't think it's too silly like some folks do...but it is fiction afterall.

I enjoyed it.

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If you'd paid careful attention...

In the last scene with Jodie Foster and Chris Plummer (Mr. Case)...

Mr. Case mentions that he got those diamonds from a Jewish family that was killed by the Nazis.

They were friends of Mr. Case but he betrayed them to get rich.

 

It doesn't take much to assume...Clive Owen and the rest of the gang have some relations with that family

Especially when one of the bank robbers is an orthodox Jewish man...

So they obviously knew about the betrayal and research the bank and the safety box...

 

 

Yeah, I caught all that. But see the problem still is nowhere in the film does it say that Clive Owen's character had any relation to this Jewish family that was betrayed. You're doing exactly what the film made you do - you're assuming because an orthodox jew was a part of the crew that they had some relation to the family. Clive Owen's character says at one point "I did it for the money." He states he left the ring to maintain some sort of dignity, and then goes on to accuse Mr. Case of not having any left. He doesn't say he betrayed his family. He doesn't say he betrayed his friends. He gives us no window into what motivated him to put into motion such a complicated heist.

 

When Denzel Washington discovers the ring he traces it back...

Since you can do this with many diamonds (particularly the rare and expensive ones)...

And he must have discovered that it belonged to a Jewish family that was killed by the Germans in WWII...

 

So essentially you can read a diamond much like a fingerprint? I didn't know that, that's interesting.

 

These events are actually happened (not the bank robbery)

Stolen fortune from WWII is recovered by relatives of the deceased family.

I hope that clears everything up.

 

No, not really. :lol: You conjured up a theory and because you weren't involved in the making of the film you're not getting me any closer to what the truth is . After my post, I thought about it some more and figured the bank robbers somehow found out about the diamonds and knew Clive Owen's character could safely walk out with them inconspiciously (because of their location as well as their size). Leaving the ring behind could be a way of clearing his conscious. But of course, my guess is as good as yours.

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There are a lot of times in films where all of that minutia isn't explained because it isn't important to the story at hand. Trying to explain it would be a long digression from the point of what's going on in the present.

 

We know somewhere before the story we witness he found out about the diamonds and figured out a way to steal it. We saw the plan in action we didn't see how it was planned. It really doesn't matter how Clive Owen learned about the diamonds, its not really important to the story that was told.

 

You could go on to ask what does he do with the diamonds after he stole them?

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There are a lot of times in films where all of that minutia isn't explained because it isn't important to the story at hand. Trying to explain it would be a long digression from the point of what's going on in the present.

 

We know somewhere before the story we witness he found out about the diamonds and figured out a way to steal it. We saw the plan in action we didn't see how it was planned. It really doesn't matter how Clive Owen learned about the diamonds, its not really important to the story that was told.

 

You could go on to ask what does he do with the diamonds after he stole them?

 

 

He said it - "sip pina coladas". No, I'm just kidding.

 

I understand where you're coming from. And yes, there are films that end with a certain ambiguity and I feel it couldn't have ended any other way (case in point, "A History of Violence" has a great ending that really doesn't tell you where the charcters stand).

 

I viewed "Inside Man" more like one of those movies that contains those scenes that make you go "A-ha!" (like in Oceans 11 when we see the air freshener in the mocked up Swat team bus and we realize what they've been up to all along. Also, the motivation is clear there because Danny Ocean and Tess have a past and now Tess is with the Casino owner).

 

So yeah, I was waiting for that "A-ha" moment and I never got it. I feel like the movie has holes, but again, I had a great time and thats what really matters (Though I will say a much better, current Spike Lee film is "25th hour". For anybody that hasn't seen that one, you have to check it out...now!)

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What were the holes you saw?

 

You didn't feel any surprise at the end?

 

Clive Owen said he was going to walk right out the front door of the bank, through the entire movie we never knew how he was going to do it. Through the entire film he and his crew set up his escape, but we didn't know what they were doing until the end of the film when he walks out of the front door of the bank.

 

Through most of the film we are never even totally sure who is Clive Owen's crew, even though we do see their faces throughout the movie. Nor do we know how his crew is going to get out of the bank with diamonds and not get arrested.

 

Oceans 11 was fun movie. But it was a cute tongue-in-cheek caper film. The robbers used elaborate scientific machinery, computer gadgetry, a fake bank vault set, and several different costume disguises. Its highly unlikely this can be done successfully in real life.

 

Owen's plot used much more simple means to achieve misdirection, smoke and mirrors. Their methods were fairly low tech using common technology. How he ends up getting away is so simple that no one thinks of it.

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What were the holes you saw?

 

You didn't feel any surprise at the end?

 

I have to say that personally this didn't suprise me either. I don't see that as being a problem however.

 

Clive Owen said he was going to walk right out the front door of the bank, through the entire movie we never knew how he was going to do it. Through the entire film he and his crew set up his escape, but we didn't know what they were doing until the end of the film when he walks out of the front door of the bank.

 

It's quite clear how they are going to do it as it shows them digging a hole, so clearly they are going to hide in the hole or the hole is some kind of distraction and they are going out the front door when they evacuate. In the end they do both. It's quite clear what is going to happen a lot of the way through the movie because Clive tells you, and you are also shown things. It's also a genre movie. The bit that suprised me was that the parking tickets weren't bugged but I guess that would have been a little out there.

 

For me part of the movie was the frustration that the police were going to do all the wrong things even tho it seemed obvious they shouldn't. It was just like "noooo!" and the urge to bang your head against a wall. :)

 

As I say I really liked the film and see all of the above as good points not bad. :)

 

love

 

Freya

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No, the hole itself wasn't for hiding anything, or used as a distraction, nor an escape tunnel. It served a very different function.

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