The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Discussion of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me

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Metamorphia
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Sat May 28, 2016 4:34 am

David Locke wrote:I think that overall the Entire Mystery transfer of FWWM is the best one. Certainly better than the earlier European blu from a few years before, which had a weird green tint IIRC. The New Line DVD looks pretty good all things considered, but I think the contrast is probably artificially boosted. I am fond of it in certain ways just because I'm used to it, though.

As far as anamorphic... Lynch didn't shoot FWWM, MD, Eraserhead or IE anamorphically. They're all 1.85:1 (or is Eraserhead full-frame? It was 1.85 on the latest Lynch-approved Criterion). Though it's true that all his other features are 2.35 anamorphic. However, I suspect the new season will be the standard TV 1.78:1/16:9 ratio. While Lynch does have a liking for anamorphic, in recent years he hasn't had a problem not going wide, and doing that for television is uncommon and typically not worth the trouble. I believe True Detective S2 was shot anamorphically but cropped or framed for 1.78:1 -- and House of Cards, as has been mentioned, is in 2:1 -- but I can't recall any other series that have been shot, let alone actually presented in 2.35:1. It would be interesting to see, though! I have an usual preference for the 'Scope frame...


Yeah, Eraserhead's 1.85 but was probably shown full frame quite a bit when it was doing the midnight movie circuit in the 70s.

MD obviously began life as a TV show so was 1.85 framed for 1.33. Had it started as a movie without ABC then it would likely have been 2.35 too in the spirit of Wild at Heart/Lost Highway. Inland Empire was shot on a DV cam so anamorphic was quite out of the question!

Is that right about True Detective? I've never heard of anamorphic 2.35 being cropped to 1.78. Must look a little odd?
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Gabriel
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Gabriel » Sun May 29, 2016 3:27 am

David Locke wrote:I believe True Detective S2 was shot anamorphically but cropped or framed for 1.78:1 -- and House of Cards, as has been mentioned, is in 2:1 -- but I can't recall any other series that have been shot, let alone actually presented in 2.35:1. It would be interesting to see, though! I have an usual preference for the 'Scope frame...


As I say, Star Wars: the Clone Wars TV show, certainly on Blu-Ray, is 2.35:1, but that's a cartoon. Had they not spoken of Twin Peaks as a massive film, I wouldn't have considered it. Interesting about House of Cards; I know it's shot in 6K, so I guess its aspect will be 1.85:1. I wonder what quality/qualities Twin Peaks is being shot at.
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David Locke
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby David Locke » Sun May 29, 2016 5:04 am

Metamorphia wrote:Is that right about True Detective? I've never heard of anamorphic 2.35 being cropped to 1.78. Must look a little odd?

Sorry, I shouldn't have said cropped, as it wasn't -- here's a quote from the TD S2 DoP: "We did some tests shooting anamorphic and extracting the 16:9 image from the 2.35 anamorphic native image."

So, shooting anamorphic while composing for a 16:9 frame, instead of how 'Scope films are often arbitrarily cropped/pan-and-scanned to 16:9 (or 1.33:1) without any care for the original composition.

Gabriel, actually now that I think of it I wouldn't put it past Lynch to have shot this in anamorphic OR maybe not anamorphic but still composing for a 2.35 frame (and not changing to 16:9). Either way would look pretty spectacular and be kind of groundbreaking for television.

Metamorphia is correct to point out that MD and IE are 1.85 only because of necessity. Though I would point to FWWM, Lynch chose 1.85 there and I wonder if it was simply because it's closer to the full-frame image of the series than 2.35? Then again given how wildly, deliberately different the film is from the series, you'd kind of expect him to go anamorphic as if to say "this isn't TV, it's cinema" or something.
Metamorphia
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Sun May 29, 2016 6:25 am

I've always wondered that about FWWM. The whole thing is built up as this wildly different animal from the show in pretty much every area - from the subject material to some of the visual symbols (the very first shot of the film is a TV), and yet it's not the scope format you'd expect.

In one of Lynch's books he talked about anamorphic lenses not being as fast, so maybe the significant number of low-light sequences in FWWM dictated the choice to shoot spherical. There is also of course the old fashioned idea that more intimate films are shot flat, but then again is FWWM that different from Lost Highway in tone?
Metamorphia
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Tue May 31, 2016 5:00 am

If anyone else has been following some of Lynch's wilderness years video work then we can probably come to expect this shaky camera thing to be used in some of the horror scenes. Seen it now in the Came Back Haunted music video, the short film about the rocks and the little insert in the recent promo teaser.
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bob_wooler
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby bob_wooler » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:18 am

Believe I read somewhere that the Arri Amira has never been used for tv shows before, that it's primarily a documentary camera. Is this true? Are there no shows to watch to get an idea on how s3 will be like?
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Panapaok
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Panapaok » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:04 pm

bob_wooler wrote:Believe I read somewhere that the Arri Amira has never been used for tv shows before, that it's primarily a documentary camera. Is this true? Are there no shows to watch to get an idea on how s3 will be like?
Yup. Although, I think it's quite similar to the Arri Alexa which is a fairly standard digital camera. I think the Amira is just smaller and has less dynamic range.
This is - excuse me - a damn fine cup of coffee.
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bob_wooler
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby bob_wooler » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:08 pm

Panapaok wrote:
bob_wooler wrote:Believe I read somewhere that the Arri Amira has never been used for tv shows before, that it's primarily a documentary camera. Is this true? Are there no shows to watch to get an idea on how s3 will be like?
Yup. Although, I think it's quite similar to the Arri Alexa which is a fairly standard digital camera. I think the Amira is just smaller and has less dynamic range.

I see. I just find it a bit odd why Amira was chosen instead of the more standard Alexa. Just don't get what the reason could be. I guess it's cheaper, but that doesn't seem like a probable reason.
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Saturn's child
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Saturn's child » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:49 am

bob_wooler wrote:I just find it a bit odd why Amira was chosen instead of the more standard Alexa. Just don't get what the reason could be. I guess it's cheaper, but that doesn't seem like a probable reason.


I'm camera-illiterate, but if the Amira is generally used for documentaries -- & the Arri site also boasts how quick & easy it is to use -- then I guess it's the nearest A-grade equivalent to the Sony PD-150 Lynch used for IE? Not that I'm expecting Twinland Empire or anything (one can dream), but it might give a different flavour to any rougher vérité moments or afore-mentioned 'horror shakes' than an Alexa would give. Again, cameras are not my thing, so this is very unqualified speculation.
(& yes Metamorphia, I've been following the Lynch wilderness years!)
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LostInTheMovies
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:00 am

It seems like for Lynch the point of film is how beautiful it looks, and the point of digital is how easy it is to use. With that in mind, rather than chose something that balances both maybe he would rather err on one extreme or the other.
enumbs
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby enumbs » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:58 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:It seems like for Lynch the point of film is how beautiful it looks, and the point of digital is how easy it is to use. With that in mind, rather than chose something that balances both maybe he would rather err on one extreme or the other.


This makes me very nervous. If Lynch was arguing for the beauty of digital I'd be a little less worried, but it seems to be more of a pragmatic choice than anything. For all the practical benefits of digital I am surprised that he's apparently willing to accept the "soullessness" that comes with it.
Metamorphia
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:16 pm

I wouldn't worry about that. The Amira will look basically identical to the Alexa, which is a really beautiful camera that gets very very close to the film look (I'm hard pressed to see a difference).
enumbs
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby enumbs » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Gabriel wrote: With all due respect, it's mostly sentimentality that brings about that view. I know, because I still get those goosebumps too, the same as I do with vinyl, even though uncompressed digital is better. In part, it's because we love the analogue imperfections of film stock, the same way we love the hiss and rumble of vinyl.

I still respect the view about film (indeed I'm trying to work out whether I can save enough to buy Kodak's new Super-8mm camera when it arrives and whether I can then afford to shoot anything on it!) but I feel it's hard to distinguish between the sort of 35mm stock used on TV shows and digital anymore.

The two scenes you use are differently paced and lit and, indeed, the look of the show changed as it moved through the 1960s. The look in the first one is a little softer and warmer and traditionally 'filmic', but that look could have been mimicked easily enough with the right digital camera equipment. The second is pristine and clean, but, if you travelled back in time 20 years and showed it to someone, they would have simply assumed it was film.


And with all due respect, I can't agree. I fully accept that digital is every bit as artistically legitimate as film (although I've rather tipped my hand regarding my own preference), but the oft-repeated idea that they are now interchangeable simply isn't true. I've never seen a digitally shot film which successfully captures the look of Days of Heaven, The Master, The Sweet Hereafter, or even that clip of Mad Men I provided. It's all very well saying that it's impossible to tell the difference, but I know full well that I can. Better Call Saul looks quite different from Breaking Bad, Fear the Walking Dead looks very different from The Walking Dead etc. The difference is even more marked when it comes to lower end cinematography - just look at the difference between Dumb and Dumber and Dumb and Dumber To! The original looks perfectly serviceable, the latter simply looks hideous.

Now there are plenty of beautiful films shot on digital (Mr. Turner, Ida, Sicario) and I would argue that those movies would be impossible to replicate on celluloid. While I think it is harder to make digital look good than film, this is obviously entirely subjective. But I do think it important to acknowledge that the two mediums are distinct from one another, and the continued insistence that film has been completely superseded should stop.
enumbs
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby enumbs » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:36 pm

Metamorphia wrote:I wouldn't worry about that. The Amira will look basically identical to the Alexa, which is a really beautiful camera that gets very very close to the film look (I'm hard pressed to see a difference).


I hope you're right. I love LostintheMovies' idea that this season will capture flavours from Lynch's entire filmography, and think it would be a shame if he chose to err on the side of convenience rather than trying to attain the sumptuous beauty of Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet in places.
Metamorphia
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Re: The visual aesthetic of the new Twin Peaks

Postby Metamorphia » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:04 pm

It's funny though because Mulholland Drive was shot quite quickly/cheaply (much like this was, I imagine) as it began life as a TV pilot. And yet Lynch and Deming got brilliant, provocative images on screen there even when working with faster turnarounds and such.

As for the camera itself, it's used on pretty much everything now. Anything shot by Roger Deakins too who's probably the best DP working in the world right now.

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