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North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchock: Why is this movie so good?


IgorBeg
(@igorbeg)
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Picture by North by Northwest.

Every time I watch this movie I say: WOW!
Yes, it is the Alfred Hitchcock movie (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), then you can tell me it is impossible that it was ugly.
The Story is wonderful, the cuts, photography, light and colour are really good.
What about music by Bernard Herrmann? Wonderful!
And the great cast? I love Eva Marie Saint (as Eve Kendall). =)

There is also Martin Landau. Do you remember the "Space: 1999" sci-fi series? Listen its soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lDIlTZN2_8
Okay I am going Out Of Topic.

It is an old movie and today, at time I am writing, on TV channels in my country, it is broadcast in the 576i @25 fps format, but it seems really good on my tv/screen.
Why?
Is it due to the Colour Process (Technicolor)? Because it is very sharp and the colour is very good.


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phylsmith2004
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Is it due to the Colour Process (Technicolor)? Because it is very sharp and the colour is very good.

Maybe the colour process, technicolor, is like the difference between music played on a "record" player instead of compressed mp3.


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Pierre
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The answer is actually quite simple; this film was shot in the perfectly controlled world of a movie studio where all the key elements (image composition, lighting, make-up, colors and textures of the sets, props and costumes) were precisely calibrated to make the most of the capabilities of 35mm film. Even at that time, which is now technologically distant, 35mm film had enormous capacities in terms of resolution.

Nowadays, these old cinematographic masterpieces are re-scanned by the studios from the masters reels (when available) with the best current equipment and a whole process of digital correction of the defects left by the wear of time is meticulously applied, not to mention a re-calibration of all the colors and luminosity so as to well exploit the new digital supports. Such a 35mm film can easily be presented even in 4k without looking outdated.


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IgorBeg
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I think that, for many reasons, a Long Play (Vinyl) sounds better than mp3 but it is hard
to play a LP on a portable device. 😉

I understand that under full control (and with the right badget -read, money-) you can do amazing movies/photos, but the size format is only 576i PAL. So I thought it had to be more blurry on my TV.

Do you think that today (in the digital World), it would make sense to shoot a film in 35mm, in the right conditions?
Because, by Pierre's words, it seems so.


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Pierre
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Posted by: @igorbeg

Do you think that today (in the digital World), it would make sense to shoot a film in 35mm, in the right conditions?
Because, by Pierre's words, it seems so.

Nowadays some directors and many cinematographers working on big budget feature film productions still prefer to shoot on 35mm film (or sometimes even 65mm); they see advantages that still outweigh the capabilities of today's best digital cinema cameras. But in reality these differences in image quality are slight. Today's best professional digital cinema cameras now produce spectacular image quality and should continue to improve in the future. Digital cinema is now the norm, especially on productions that do not have huge production budgets.


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andreapaz
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I agree with Pierre. Vinyl music, if of good quality, is superior to digital music only because music CDs and mp3s are very compressed and of poor quality. I admire Tarantino and Nolan who, in order not to give up on digital, use the IMAX format which has extreme quality, but still the process is always digital. The problem, until these days, was the bit rate: there were no memories that supported high data rates (=quality); not even PCs were powerful enough and the space occupied was too big. But today digital is approaching IMAX and will soon surpass it...


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IgorBeg
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I don't know how all this (digital) data will turn out in the future.
And we would always need computers and software to see anything.
In the meantime I continue to print my photos on paper.


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