January 13, 2011
CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE GOOD GERMAN
Spy Vibers shared some great suggestions over the past few days about some of their favorite cinematography. How does color and black and white not only support the story, but also become an element of its era that we savor as viewers? One contemporary film that attempted to capture some essence of vintage black and white imagery was The Good German (2006). I seem to remember seeing Steven Soderbergh in an interview talk about how they hoped to use vintage equipment to match the visual tone of period dramas, and how old-style lighting, cameras, etc would also affect things like composition and scene-blocking. Their effort is apparent in this trailer, though I haven't seen the film recently enough to speak for the whole project. A quick study of clips, however, suggests some inconsistency of success. The still below is quite beautiful and reminds me of those iconic sewer shots of Joesph Cotten and Orson Welles (and Bernard Lee!) in Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949). I'll put together a series of clips from reader suggestions to view over the weekend.