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James Steven Beverly

One From the Heart!

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I'm I the only one who truly finds the much maligned, highly stylized "One From the Heart" visually incredible? Francis Ford Coppola's critically annihilated art film fascinates me in a way few films have. It was playing in the wee hours of the morning, THIS morning. I had see the film a long time ago and every time I have heard about since then, all I kept remembering is that I really liked it, which is why I couldn't understand why it was so universally panned so as it almost NEVER comes on, I decided to watch it at 5:00 AM this morning with a critical eye. Being a registered insomniac, I do that sort of thing more often than I probably should. NOW here's the thing, my opinion of the film didn't chance at all. I found it visually stunning! The story needed a few more re-writes but from a purely visual stand point, it was amazing. The use of lighting and color, the stylized Vegas sets, the wonderful optical effects just overwhelmed me. I had read an interview with Coppola where he expressed regret on not sticking to his guns for his original vision of using a 3 camera, live action style production technique to film the piece and I can only wonder what might have been. B)

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OH YEAH!! and the way the he used double exposure overlays and dissolves to create 2 shot dialog that morphs into monolog. The high-wire scenes and with Nastassja Kinski also for some reason stand out for me. The film's use of light to express emotion, is positively inspirational. It actually seems similar to what I want to do with Blood Moon Rising, using red light, starting as a light rose which grows in intensity to a blood red as the film progresses to it climax, all be it for different emotional effect. The stylized sets, particularly the neon sign and classic car graveyard scenes, just blew me away. I kept thinking about the stills from your film, Manure (The Smell of Success, 2009). It bares many stylistic parallels with One from the Heart. Both shot entirely on sound stages with stylized sets, backgrounds, color and lighting, though your film uses muted,desaturated color and One From the Heart used super saturated color. I have a lot of respect for guys like you and Vittorio Storaro, who are able to artistically push a film to the next level through it's cinematography. B)

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