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Andy O'Neil

Conrad L. Hall

Which of these films has the best cinematography?  

145 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these films has the best cinematography?

    • Morituri (1965)
      0
    • Professionals, The (1966)
      2
    • In Cold Blood (1967)
      12
    • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
      7
    • Day of the Locust, The (1975)
      6
    • Tequila Sunrise (1988)
      2
    • Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
      9
    • Civil Action, A (1998)
      1
    • American Beauty (1999)
      24
    • Road to Perdition (2002)
      75


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I went for Day of the Locust. I first saw it a few years after it came out, just after I'd read the original story. It has a great feel of the seedy side of LA, reminds me a bit of Chinatown.

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I love Conrad Hall because he loved the happy accident and readily admits to it... sometimes I feel as though many DP's make everything their idea. It is all so organic to Conrad. He still inspires me to this day.

 

My favorite is "Searching for Bobby Fischer".

 

z

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I've noticed that generally many cinematographers are noted for their work in earlier/mid career films to be their best, however I think with Conrad Hall, it was a continuous bettering of work and style. Clearly seen here because his last film is voted to be his best.

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The Lighting in 'Searching for Bobby Fischer' just blew me away. The way faces and interiors were lit, made me pause the film more than a few times just to stare at the frame. Conrad Hall's work is just wonderful.

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And I haven't even mentioned his color films like Strangelove, Lolita, the Killing (genius use of bare lighting), and the best for last, Paths of Glory. Forget the dolly shots, the great zooms, even the mindblowing framing that goes on. His choice of lenses is just fantastic, especially in the trial sequence.

Speaking of which... do you know what lenses were used in "Paths of Glory", especially in the above mentioned trial sequence?

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Iam sure Conrad Hall would have been pleased to have shot "Paths of Glory " but he didnt and was still an operator when that film was made ! As for lenses does it really matter ? unlike today there wasnt a huge range of lenses to choose from so most likely Cookes or Bauch+ Lombs that was about it .

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Speaking of which... do you know what lenses were used in "Paths of Glory", especially in the above mentioned trial sequence?

 

The camera for the sync scenes was a Super Parvo. It was shot in Germany with a German DP.

& that was one of the few reflex studio cameras availiable then.

 

Find out what lenses were usually standard for it.

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The camera for the sync scenes was a Super Parvo.

 

According to the 1956 AC Handbook, the Super Parvo was availiable with Kinoptik, Angenieux and B&L Baltars. I'm sure Cookes were also availiable, The Super P has the same lens mount as the Parvo.

 

18/18.5 mm were the widest lenses availiable for 4 perf 35mm in 1957.

So Cooke or Angie were most likely for the trial.

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Dare I mention Conrad Hall's great photography in the first season of Outer Limits? There are a couple of surreal scenes in "The Man Who Was Never Born" (with Martin Landau) that have the most incredible diffusion I've ever seen, as if the scenes had been shot through a carefully oiled sheet of glass instead of a standard filter. These early episodes are among the best black and white television I've ever seen. I can't imagine the network was happy with the harsh lighting and extreme contrast in many of the scenes.

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According to the 1956 AC Handbook, the Super Parvo was availiable with Kinoptik, Angenieux and B&L Baltars. I'm sure Cookes were also availiable, The Super P has the same lens mount as the Parvo.

 

18/18.5 mm were the widest lenses availiable for 4 perf 35mm in 1957.

So Cooke or Angie were most likely for the trial.

Thanks Leo.

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I just wanted to point out that there is only one comment that includes "Fat City", and that is David Mullen's.

this movie is very modern, and ahead of its time. after I saw it I could not believe it was shot in 1972, in America. even now there are only few such movies. the cinematography is very naturalistic and very content related. even the way it was shot in location is very modern.

in an interview I read Hall states that the only thing he doesn't like about this movie is that people (he could not explain why) didn't go to see it; he used to bring it in schools for students to discuss it, to find out why people didn't go to see it.

maybe John Huston is the visionary here, but they did great.

I think this one is my favorite.

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i have only watched Road to Perdition..............and tell you its an awsome piece of work by Conard Hall. Before watching Road to Perdition i had only read bout Conard Hall, but after watching this film i have become his admirer. Awsome work

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When considering a "best" film or tech. approach in film -- memory is a key. What we remember, what impressed us.

 

However I also have to realize that as time moves forward, things change. Newer film, advances in lenses, in studio on location. camers, etc. Also, what the filming team learns and improves upon.

 

On the list of Hall's films -- I jumped to The Professionals. I think that is because of the outdoor shooting. Kind of like Freddy Young with Lawrence in the desert. One does not have control of nature, the sun, or clouds, or missing equipment.

 

Add to the film, the music, and story, the action -- all influence me as I watch what a film-maker shows me on the screen.

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I found this quote by Conrad Hall in the book "Film Lighting", I think it's truly inspirational and something we could carry with us always.

 

"AFTER YOU HAVE DONE A PICTURE YOU FORGET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN, SO THAT YOU BECOME A CHILD AGAIN, OR AN INFANT OR A VOID INTO WHICH THE NEW PICTURE CREATES A WHOLE NEW EVOLVEMENT, A WHOLE NEW GROWTH, A WHOLE NEW DEVELOPMENT, SO THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP DOING THE SAME THING ALL OVER AGAIN. IN OTHER WORDS YOU TAKE YOURSELF BACK TO GROUND ZERO. OF COURSE YOU CANNOT UNLEARN WHAT YOUR BRAIN KNOWS. BUT I MEAN IT EMOTIONALLY, I MEAN THAT YOU JUST BECOME SCARED AGAIN, AS IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING. INSTEAD OF HAVING A SENSE OF ARROGANCE THAT MAKES YOU FEEL YOU ARE THE MASTER, YOU FEEL LIKE THE OPPOSITE. I NEVER FELT ON TOP OF IT. I NEVER FELT THAT I KNEW SO MUCH THAT I COULD SIT BACK WITH A CUP OF COFFEE AND IT WOULD TURN ALL WONDERFUL. I ALWAYS FELT THAT UNLESS I WORK REALLY HARD AT IT AND PAY REALLY CLOSE ATTENTION TO IT EVERY SECOND OF THE WAY, THAT I MAY NOT END UP WITH SOMETHING THAT SOMEBODY WOULD LIKE"

 

 

FILM LIGHTING, PAGE 181

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