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Went to watch it twice today.

 

The plot is really simple yet really good, it has all the things that I love about Allen and, surprisingly, I thought that it was less dramatic than what I was expecting.

 

All the actors are amazingly well directed, especially Kate Winslet! although I have to say that Juno Temple stole my heart.

 

There is a sequence where she is looking for a purse that I just said: OMG!

 

It also has 5 or 6 shots that are amongst the most beautiful things I've seen on a cinema screen this year.

 

I don't think that the camera movements and the lighting design are as good as they were in "Cafe Society" because that movie was just a piece of art to me but I can expand on this later on when people watch it and we can talk about it! :)

 

Have a lovely day!

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I really enjoyed the film....regardless of the controversy surrounding Woody Allen these days, taken at face value I think he's a genius storyteller and I watch everything he does......add to that Vittorio Storaro and it becomes a must watch for me......

 

Film rating from me all things considered a very high: 8/10

 

.....but, looking with a technical eye 2 things of note:

 

1.did anyone else think the make-up was too apparent on the actors in parts...it was almost as if that mystical veil of secret sauce that makes a film look cinematic was lost in the photorealism of the digital medium used.....

......this should have been shot on Vision3 in my opinion......the capture was too realistic at times...

 

2. Storaro's penchant these days for CSI Miami saturation look as also seen in Cafe Society is artistic as opposed to realistic - opinions???

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2. Storaro's penchant these days for CSI Miami saturation look as also seen in Cafe Society is artistic as opposed to realistic - opinions???

 

Funny you should mention it, because just the other day, when I was checking if the Blu-ray is out (and it is), I stumbled upon some reviews. The critics are not amused:

 

1. The Irish Times:

 

 

 

If you thought Vittorio Storaro’s photography for Woody Allen’s Café Society was a bit on the hyperglycaemic side then you had best take a bucket of insulin to Wonder Wheel. Illuminated by the arcades of Coney Island in a post-war summer, most of the film exists in golden nostalgic twilight.

 

2. The Guardian:

 

 

 

Wonder Wheel has impressive production design; there is a painstaking and in some ways amazing artificiality in its colour and light. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro has taken the decision to suffuse almost every single one of his shots with a golden sunset glow. Bizarrely, there is a scene in a movie theatre in which two characters are whispering in the auditorium’s darkness and a slant of this golden light somehow falls across them. Is it sunset? Did someone open a curtain in there?

 

The weirdest moment of all is when leading lady Kate Winslet is delivering a post-coital speech to her lover under the boardwalk with the tide out. It is supposed to be night. Sure enough, that golden glow breaks across Winslet’s face – and yet, bafflingly, this coppery flare fades out halfway through the speech leaving just the silvery shade of, presumably, the moon. What happened to the fictional sunset? Was there a problem with the lights? Not for the first time recently, I wondered if Allen had used the correct take.

 

3. The Telegraph:

 

 

 

And though he’s hired another world-class cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, to give this the gaudy hypercoloured glow of a pastichey Douglas Sirk melodrama, the film’s look is pushy and unattractive, as if it’s wearing too much lipstick.

Edited by Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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the biggest turn off for me was the make up being very very very visible make up....shame Storaro is now so enamoured with Sony digital.....its far too pixel perfect

Edited by Stephen Perera

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He is enamored, or perhaps paid by Sony to use and promote this campaign. Who knows. I do wish he used other tools, just because I'm intrigued as to how that would look.

 

I actually like the look, because it's different. So many films today look so much alike. This is different. Of course, the problem is that even though he says he tries to make every one of the movies he works on look different, and invents a philosophy to back it up, they do look alike. What is with that backlight in hair?! It's everywhere.

 

And another of my pet peeves when it comes to Storaro is that he says he respects the story and the vision of the director, but it never comes out that way to me. Instead, I think he actually pushes his own thing whatever he works on. I don't mind. I just mind saying otherwise.

 

I wish he worked more. He is so unique, and I love a lot of what he does and did.

Edited by Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Critics can't be trusted with Allen movies these days, they all jam their self-righteous on something they know nothing about.

 

But to the movie: I liked it a fair bit, too. I've seen it a few times now and my question is: the diffusion. Does anyone know what diffusion Storaro is using? It looks more diffused than "Cafe Society", but I can't figure out what he's using. It looks a bit like a Classic Soft but there's no halation. It's not a low con and I think I can rule out Glimmerglass and tiffen black diffusion. So what's your guys guesses?

 

And I agree with what Stephen was saying about the make-up and I wonder if that had more to do with Storaro embracing HDR? Than any changes in make-up.

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Critics can't be trusted with Allen movies these days, they all jam their self-righteous on something they know nothing about.

 

But to the movie: I liked it a fair bit, too. I've seen it a few times now and my question is: the diffusion. Does anyone know what diffusion Storaro is using? It looks more diffused than "Cafe Society", but I can't figure out what he's using. It looks a bit like a Classic Soft but there's no halation. It's not a low con and I think I can rule out Glimmerglass and tiffen black diffusion. So what's your guys guesses?

 

And I agree with what Stephen was saying about the make-up and I wonder if that had more to do with Storaro embracing HDR? Than any changes in make-up.

 

Storaro goes on and on about how great it is to see what you're doing etc with digital and the monitors and all that.....hes like a Sony digital evangelist whereas Ed Lachman is more like dont get rid of my artistic options (i.e film) but in this film the makeup as you say was probably applied as normal in a film set but boy did it look crap with digital HDR or whatever it is......pah....I'm a movie shooting nobody but a cinephile all my life and this film was begging for it to be shot on film esp a period movie to boot.....loved the film....loved the strong colour palette disliked the texture of the film...at least though....as previous poster said, doesnt look like the typical Arri Alexa movie we see of late....they all look the same

Edited by Stephen Perera

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I think some of it has to do with Sony cameras in general. They have this sort of plastic look to them and a texture that doesn't appear like any other camera I can think of. I second the opinion shooting on film would've been better, but Allen and Storaro will never turn back, at least not in their work together and, if it ever gets released, their next movie was shot the same way and from still photos I have seen from it, it looks like we're back in a similar situation regarding the make-up.

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I think some of it has to do with Sony cameras in general. They have this sort of plastic look to them and a texture that doesn't appear like any other camera I can think of. I second the opinion shooting on film would've been better, but Allen and Storaro will never turn back, at least not in their work together and, if it ever gets released, their next movie was shot the same way and from still photos I have seen from it, it looks like we're back in a similar situation regarding the make-up.

 

 

Would you say "The Crown" had a plastic look..?.. an fs7 STD gamma REC 709 there is an argument .. but these features are shot 16 bit raw..thats billions of tones.. any "look" is down to grading/lens choice and really nothing to do with the the old Sony look chestnut..

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I haven't seen The Crown. The colours are splendid, it's just this texture that's hard to describe that I notice more on Sony still cameras. Certainly the grading played a large part and to be fair, I haven't seen much shot on a Sony that hasn't been graded quite a bit. Storaro was using his typical lens package from what I've read?

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Have a look at The Crown f55 if you can.. its very well done..also Collateral f65/55.. in my opinion sort puts to rest this Sony look thing.. as far as high end.. full graded Slog or Raw footage goes.. esp 16 bit Raw...there its literally billions of tones in that data.. Sony's REC709 STD gamma is fair game.. (hopefully there new Lucent 709 look is better!).. but at the high end I think any look .. there is alot more to do with grading than the camera being Sony..

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I'm aware it's more the grading than the camera's make, I was agreeing with you that what I was probably seeing was the grading more than the Sony itself - in fact, with "Cafe Society" I didn't run into this, and I know with "Wonder Wheel" a lot more time was spent in post. My fiancé is English so watching "The Crown" hasn't been an easy sell, so I'll have to fit in when she's sleeping, if for Olivia Colman alone, but I will keep an eye on the look of it. Is "Collateral" that television show written by David Hare?

Edited by Don Berry

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Cafe Society also had the saturated CSI Miami thing going on as well...the golden hour all day vibe.....both these films look visually of the same family.....and I really enjoyed both films....regardless of what his personal life is all about taken as a director/writer whatever he is for me Woody Allen is a comic genius....

Edited by Stephen Perera

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I'm aware it's more the grading than the camera's make, I was agreeing with you that what I was probably seeing was the grading more than the Sony itself - in fact, with "Cafe Society" I didn't run into this, and I know with "Wonder Wheel" a lot more time was spent in post. My fiancé is English so watching "The Crown" hasn't been an easy sell, so I'll have to fit in when she's sleeping, if for Olivia Colman alone, but I will keep an eye on the look of it. Is "Collateral" that television show written by David Hare?

 

 

Sorry..wasn't meaning to argue.. misunderstood your post .. yeah Im not much of a Royalist either ! .. and only watched the show when I started hearing how good it looked .. but its actually quite a good story too.. and yes to Olivia Coleman .. blimey !.. yes Collateral is that TV show.. the DP also did the excellent "Life on Mars" a few years back now.. its just quite interestingly shot..if not David Hare,s best ever work..

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"Cafe Society" was saturated (a little too much when it came to shooting Kristen Stewart in a few shots), but "Wonder Wheel" had a bit more of a candy-coloured romanticism to it that made it look a bit more aggressive than "Cafe Society", for me, anyway. Not to knock on the movies or Storaro.

As for Allen: anyone can make an allegation and the fact is only two people know the truth so I'm with you in continuing to watch his movies not only because he's made me laugh so much, but also because when he's writing well, damn is it good.

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Hey Robin, my apologies, I'm new to this or I would've quoted your text here instead of . . . typing that.

 

I didn't think you were arguing either, just talking about why I should see what the Sony can really do. I'm always willing and open to change my mind on most things.

 

"Life on Mars" - you've sold me now. Once I'm through with "Babylon Berlin" I'll give either "The Crown" or "Collateral" a shot, I appreciate the recommendations.

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The images were great, but as one person who saw it commented, "It looked more like a stageplay than a film". We won't even mention any historical inaccuracies.

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Hey Robin, my apologies, I'm new to this or I would've quoted your text here instead of . . . typing that.

 

I didn't think you were arguing either, just talking about why I should see what the Sony can really do. I'm always willing and open to change my mind on most things.

 

"Life on Mars" - you've sold me now. Once I'm through with "Babylon Berlin" I'll give either "The Crown" or "Collateral" a shot, I appreciate the recommendations.

 

 

Life on Mars was 2006.. UK tv show.. happens to have the same actor who is in Collateral..who is called David Mars in Collateral.. interesting fact !.. but also same DoP.. Mars is the better show IMHO.. but both have an interesting style.. and the later was shot f65/55.. no idea what the 2006 show was shot on.. Crown is just classic big source ..lovely locations type stuff.. with some nice moody Churchill scenes.. its pretty entertaining .. and as a Brit it filled in some of the history I didn't know.. and a very easy on the eye Princess Maggie.. but I swear you would never know if it was shot on an Alexa or F55.. but I would agree totally Arri REC 709 out of the box is nicer than Sony.. it seems they have eventually realized there is more to it than accurate color rendition from charts.. and the Venice and the lowest priced fs5 MkII .. now both have the much improved "Lucent" REC709 gama.. and every Sony owner hoping that it will be a firmware up date available to us all !!

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Arri REC 709 out of the box is nicer than Sony.. it seems they have eventually realized there is more to it than accurate color rendition from charts.. and the Venice and the lowest priced fs5 MkII .. now both have the much improved "Lucent" REC709 gama.. and every Sony owner hoping that it will be a firmware up date available to us all !!

 

It's really getting to the point where discussions about what Camera A or Camera B 'look' like are fairly redundant. There are so many '709' LUTs available now for all cameras that's it's increasingly hard to tell what a camera actually looks like, as opposed to the LUT that has been used. You can line up a whole bunch of cameras and compare images, but after a point, you're just comparing manufacturers LUTs, all of which have been designed to show off their cameras to the best effect. If you're talking about graded material, then it often hasn't used a LUT at all, but has been colored from scratch in DaVinci or Baselight, and so the look is even further removed from the camera original. There is always a translational step involved, just as there was with film.

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It's really getting to the point where discussions about what Camera A or Camera B 'look' like are fairly redundant. There are so many '709' LUTs available now for all cameras that's it's increasingly hard to tell what a camera actually looks like, as opposed to the LUT that has been used. You can line up a whole bunch of cameras and compare images, but after a point, you're just comparing manufacturers LUTs, all of which have been designed to show off their cameras to the best effect. If you're talking about graded material, then it often hasn't used a LUT at all, but has been colored from scratch in DaVinci or Baselight, and so the look is even further removed from the camera original. There is always a translational step involved, just as there was with film.

 

 

Yes agree totally.. Ive been saying the same for ages.. anything Log or Raw.. eg The Crown.. but I think its fair to say.. although its in the eye of the beholder.. in custom mode .. standard REC709 gama .. for eg.. Arri did look "nicer" than Sony.. maybe it was a typical Japanese mind set .. but their engineers saw accurate color rendition as the goal.. rather an any aesthetic judgments.. and fair enough too.. they mass produce consumer and high end TV cameras.. but now at last.. there seems to be some change in that process.. and they are looking beyond just charts and vector scopes.. starting from the Venice.. and even a Venice type "look" Lucent.. way down the chain to the Fs5 II.. for their "standard" 709 gama..

Edited by Robin R Probyn

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standard REC709 gama .. for eg.. Arri did look "nicer" than Sony..

That's my point, Robin. There really isn't a 'standard' 709 any more. Arri's 709 is designed to suit the response of the Alexa sensor, rather than being a strict representation of Rec 709. Sony has 5 or 6 different 709 LUTs built into their cameras. Canon also has more than a few. Virtually no camera manufacturer uses a true REC709 LUT, so it's very hard to compare like for like.

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That's my point, Robin. There really isn't a 'standard' 709 any more. Arri's 709 is designed to suit the response of the Alexa sensor, rather than being a strict representation of Rec 709. Sony has 5 or 6 different 709 LUTs built into their cameras. Canon also has more than a few. Virtually no camera manufacturer uses a true REC709 LUT, so it's very hard to compare like for like.

 

 

ah ok got it.. but in Sony's case anyway.. wouldn't .. custom/standard gama/Rec709 menu choices .. still be considered their vanilla /bog standard REC709 setting.. ..Cine EI/ Slog is a different matter of course.. where you have LUT choices..

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Life on Mars was 2006.. UK tv show.. happens to have the same actor who is in Collateral..who is called David Mars in Collateral.. interesting fact !.. but also same DoP.. Mars is the better show IMHO.. but both have an interesting style.. and the later was shot f65/55.. no idea what the 2006 show was shot on.. Crown is just classic big source ..lovely locations type stuff.. with some nice moody Churchill scenes.. its pretty entertaining .. and as a Brit it filled in some of the history I didn't know.. and a very easy on the eye Princess Maggie.. but I swear you would never know if it was shot on an Alexa or F55.. but I would agree totally Arri REC 709 out of the box is nicer than Sony.. it seems they have eventually realized there is more to it than accurate color rendition from charts.. and the Venice and the lowest priced fs5 MkII .. now both have the much improved "Lucent" REC709 gama.. and every Sony owner hoping that it will be a firmware up date available to us all !!

 

Just to correct something: I've seen Life on Mars, that's why I said you'd sold me on "Collateral". Apologies for any confusion.

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Just to correct something: I've seen Life on Mars, that's why I said you'd sold me on "Collateral". Apologies for any confusion.

 

Ok got it.. classic show.. maybe also because I was a kid in the 70,s !..

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Life on Mars was 2006.. UK tv show.. happens to have the same actor who is in Collateral..who is called David Mars in Collateral.. interesting fact !.. but also same DoP.. Mars is the better show IMHO.. but both have an interesting style.. and the later was shot f65/55.. no idea what the 2006 show was shot on.. Crown is just classic big source ..lovely locations type stuff.. with some nice moody Churchill scenes.. its pretty entertaining .. and as a Brit it filled in some of the history I didn't know.. and a very easy on the eye Princess Maggie.. but I swear you would never know if it was shot on an Alexa or F55.. but I would agree totally Arri REC 709 out of the box is nicer than Sony.. it seems they have eventually realized there is more to it than accurate color rendition from charts.. and the Venice and the lowest priced fs5 MkII .. now both have the much improved "Lucent" REC709 gama.. and every Sony owner hoping that it will be a firmware up date available to us all !!

 

If my memory serves, Life On Mars was 16mm. Lucky that it wasn't shot on digibeta as the BBC had history doing that back in the 00s because it was a very good drama.

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