Cinematography in the ST - Influences, motifs, and techniques

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Post by Starliteprism on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:01 pm

@grimbergen wrote:I just saw the Japanese anime movie "your name" and it reminded me of reylo.The characters, a boy and a girl that complement each other like yin and yang, the red ribbon of destiny. ... even there is a scene in which they try to touch the hand, it has been surprising.
@grimbergen

I enjoyed it as well!
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Post by MrsWindu on Fri 04 May 2018, 5:31 pm

@grimbergen wrote:I just saw the Japanese anime movie "your name" and it reminded me of reylo.The characters, a boy and a girl that complement each other like yin and yang, the red ribbon of destiny. ... even there is a scene in which they try to touch the hand, it has been surprising.
@grimbergen


I first saw it about a month before TLJ and it really blew my mind. And now with hints from Rebels about certain ‘machanics’ along with J.J. buying the rights I think it makes for interesting speculation

SPOILER :
I was struck by the twilight scene / karaware-doki which lasts a few minutes between daylight and approaching dark when they are in ‘sync’ and they can touch in a ‘place’ independent of  time. The braids that they weave with their grandmother (red thread) not only brings two people together but also the string in braid can unravel and come back together again, to bind again  
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Post by Forsythia on Mon 04 Jun 2018, 11:21 am

The cave scene always reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

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Another parallel between the 2010 version of Alice and TFA: both women run away from their problems (an unwelcome marriage proposal / an unwanted power) into the forest, where they find something unexpected (Wonderland / Kylo). This helps them find themselves (Alice accepts she is different and refuses the proposal / Rey accepts the Force).
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Post by BB-Rey on Sat 09 Jun 2018, 11:00 am

I am watching The Beatle movie, Help!, and noticed a fun parallel between Luke and Ahme. During the sequence where they filmed in Wiltshire for the mock battle during the 'I Need You' sequence her character winks at the audience showing she's working undercover to hide their true location. In The Last Jedi we have Luke wink at C-3PO to conceal his true identity. I wonder if this is how Mark came up with this idea when he improvised. As I know he's a big Beatle fan and talked slightly about A Hard Day's Night in the Vanity Fair cover story.
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Post by SkyStar on Sun 10 Jun 2018, 12:19 pm

Maybe it has been already mentioned but Canto Bight kids scenes remind me of Italian neorealism and children struggle and survival in the harsh post war poverty environment :
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Here is The Bicycle Thieves.
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Post by SoloSideCousin on Sun 10 Jun 2018, 1:57 pm

@SkyStar wrote:Maybe it has been already mentioned but Canto Bight kids scenes remind me of Italian neorealism and children struggle and survival in the harsh post war poverty environment :
Cinematography in the ST - Influences, motifs, and techniques  - Page 6 D6ef9210
Here is The Bicycle Thieves.
@SkyStar

Oohhh, that is a great thought. I could see Rian working off of that. In addition, it can be argued that Ben, Rey and Finn are damaged "children of war." Further, when I first saw TLJ, I thought of the three kids as being child stand-ins for Ben, Rey and Finn, with BroomBoy absolutely being Ben (as opposed to Poe) because he is naturally force sensitive (unlike Poe).

The three children are damaged by the financiers of war, but they are not *that* damaged yet, and perhaps, they won't end up being that damaged because of what Ben, Rey and Finn do.

Finally, there is a little story in the Luke Legends book that gives more credence to the notion that Broomboy and the girl are stand-ins for Ben and Rey. Broomboy protects and fights for the girl, but at the same absolutely knows that the girl can take care of herself. But Broomboy still wants to fight for her because he cares about her. @cowgirlsamurai read the book and can tell you about it in proper detail.
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Post by adamdrivershair on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 2:32 pm

Something I've noticed, because it frustrates me, is how rarely Ben and Rey share the frame. There's just three instances, when Luke intrudes in the hut, when Rey approaches him in the elevator, and the thigh grab, but otherwise it just cuts back and forth. During the proposal scene, you can't really tell how close they're standing, which drives me bonkers; likewise when Kylo steps closer to Rey in the force bond scenes, you can surmise that they're 'closer' to each other somehow but all you have to go on is eyelines to judge that.

My conclusion is that they're teasing us Laughing Just as we long for Ben and Rey to come together in the movie and it comes tantalizingly close to happening, but doesn't, we get to enjoy the two of them sharing the screen just in very choice moments. They grow close, but you don't get to see them together that much. We might wish for the film to treat them the way TFA does with Rey and Finn, where they share the frame almost constantly, but it wouldn't be as special then.

I hope they share the screen a lot in IX - particularly for the much-anticipated kiss. If it happens (it better happen!) it will be immensely satisfying, at least for me personally.
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Post by krissy01 on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 2:59 pm

The elevator scene has always reminded me of the 'book' scene in Remains of the Day.  Obviously, this scene is a little more charged Very Happy but the positioning, how it's played out with the woman being the aggressor on the left approaching the hopelessly repressed male on the right.  Laughing  Once i saw it, I couldnt unsee it and Ive wondered ever since whether it influenced Rian.  It's a well known scene in a well known film (if you're over a certain age.  Very Happy )

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Post by LadyHa on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 7:34 pm

@SoloSideCousin wrote:
@SkyStar wrote:Maybe it has been already mentioned but Canto Bight kids scenes remind me of Italian neorealism and children struggle and survival in the harsh post war poverty environment :
Cinematography in the ST - Influences, motifs, and techniques  - Page 6 D6ef9210
Here is The Bicycle Thieves.
@SkyStar

Oohhh, that is a great thought. I could see Rian working off of that. In addition, it can be argued that Ben, Rey and Finn are damaged "children of war." Further, when I first saw TLJ, I thought of the three kids as being child stand-ins for Ben, Rey and Finn, with BroomBoy absolutely being Ben (as opposed to Poe) because he is naturally force sensitive (unlike Poe).  

The three children are damaged by the financiers of war, but they are not *that* damaged yet, and perhaps, they won't end up being that damaged because of what Ben, Rey and Finn do.
@SoloSideCousin

I haven't thought of it this way before, and it's an interesting way to view the kid scenes! Ben, Rey, and Finn make the most sense if we view them as children/adolescents, so seeing them actually symbolized as kids at the end reinforces that perception.  

And, their attire certainly evokes Italian cinema, doesn't it?  (Though, perhaps I am just especially fond of this comparison because I watched Bicycle Thieves last year while on a long train trip through Italy and I just about cried my eyes out.)  
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Post by DeeBee on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 8:01 pm

hi all, you guys are awesome. All this stuff is beyond me and not how my brain works! so I really enjoy your insights on this topic!
Just thought I'd share that there was an article on TLJ cinematic influences in the star wars insider magazine- I shared the link in the general discussion thread earlier this month - here is the comment with the link if you want to try and access it..
http://www.reyloskyforum.net/t787p450-the-last-jedi-general-discussion#196284
Sorry, I probably should have shared it here but forgot this thread exists so this is the next best thing.
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Post by LadyHa on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 8:36 pm

@DeeBee
Did the text from that article, "Cinematic Forces" get posted anywhere?  I couldn't find it, but would love to read it.

I share your enthusiasm - this is one of my favorite threads.  

I was feeling a little down today, because my partner finally watched TLJ a few days ago while on an airplane and his reaction was "meh."  He was a cinephile up until the 90s, but is now pretty cynical about anything he perceives as "blockbusters."  I asked, "B-b-but did you notice all the yonic imagery?"  Response: "What? No. Where was that?"

But then, tonight, I watched an amazing Powell/Pressburger film that influenced TLJ, Black Narcissus, and was roused again. Black Narcissus feels like an AU Ahch-To! It's an amazing film!
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Post by DeeBee on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 8:52 pm

@LadyHa - oh no.. hmm maybe the watching it on a plane thing was influential in your partner's evaluation. Ah shame!

Sorry I've not seen anyone share the full article (but then, sharing copyright protected stuff on the forum is not within forum rules so I guess we wouldn't see it here anyway) - if you are really interested you could probably buy the issue I guess. It may still be out. Good luck! All the best!
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Post by LadyHa on Mon 25 Jun 2018, 2:41 pm

@DeeBee wrote:@LadyHa - oh no.. hmm maybe the watching it on a plane thing was influential in your partner's evaluation. Ah shame!

Sorry I've not seen anyone share the full article (but then, sharing copyright protected stuff on the forum is not within forum rules so I guess we wouldn't see it here anyway) - if you are really interested you could probably buy the issue I guess. It may still be out. Good luck! All the best!
@DeeBee

Ah, got ya on the status of the article. Thanks.

Haha, if I watched TLJ for the first time on the back of a tiny airplane seat screen, I might be underwhelmed too!  It's interesting that any films at all still get made with IMAX sized screens in mind, because so many people end up watching them at home, often on laptops or something, and miss out on a lot of the experience. Compounding that issue is that I've read that theatrical runs are getting shorter. David Lynch mentioned this in an interview published in The Guardian yesterday:
He is not about to make a big-screen film any time soon: while he loves the superior sound and picture quality of cinema, Lynch thinks theatrical releases have become too short. “I would not make a feature film in today’s world because the kind of films I make couldn’t be on the big screen for very long.”
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Post by snufkin on Tue 18 Sep 2018, 11:41 pm

Nerdist did a follow-up about the influences on the new era films by looking at Solo. Not surprisingly American Graffiti and at least one Kurosawa film are on the list on the list. Along with the film noir and western influences, we were outright told would be there

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE CINEMATIC REFERENCES AND INSPIRATIONS OF SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

This also points to a reoccurring theme we've discussed here, how provincial SW fandom became after the OT and PT films ended. One where knowledge of trivia and lore for that specific fictional universe became the coin of the realm.  And that's contributed to how completely offbase the reviews and speculation have been - which in turn feed some of the 'outrage.' Because, at its heart, the original film was a meta-homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood and filmmakers like Kurosawa, Howard Hawks, John Ford, and David Lean. And if the ST has brought out any particular observation about the devoted fandom, its how most of them miss that point and are really behind the curve in understanding the story because they haven't bothered to educate themselves either about the film canon which informed the films or how film is used to visually tell a story (see the comments about how Rey and Kylo's moves in TFA and TLJ are choreographed being "something they did to save time." or "doesn't mean anything")


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Post by californiagirl on Wed 19 Sep 2018, 10:57 am

@snufkin I also put this on the Solo thread yesterday, completely forgetting there was this thread too. Really though, props to SW for caring about movies other than fellow big CGI-fest popcorn blockbusters. Weird how this makes up the fabric of the whole series and still there is limited awareness or discussion of the fact outside film nerd circles.
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Post by snufkin on Wed 19 Sep 2018, 11:05 am

@californiagirl wrote:@snufkin I also put this on the Solo thread yesterday, completely forgetting there was this thread too. Really though, props to SW for caring about movies other than fellow big CGI-fest popcorn blockbusters. Weird how this makes up the fabric of the whole series and still there is limited awareness or discussion of the fact outside film nerd circles.
@californiagirl

Uh you do realize that this franchise both predates (by 4 decades) and that in conjunction with The Godfather created the blockbuster tent pole saga that the current business model follows, right? That’s like saying kudos to that Shakespeare fellow for caring about iambic pentameter, history, and the human condition unlike those other plays who just seek to pack the audience.
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Post by californiagirl on Wed 19 Sep 2018, 1:24 pm

@snufkin wrote:
@californiagirl wrote:@snufkin I also put this on the Solo thread yesterday, completely forgetting there was this thread too. Really though, props to SW for caring about movies other than fellow big CGI-fest popcorn blockbusters. Weird how this makes up the fabric of the whole series and still there is limited awareness or discussion of the fact outside film nerd circles.
@californiagirl

Uh you do realize that this franchise both predates (by 4 decades) and that in conjunction with The Godfather created the blockbuster tent pole saga that the current business model follows, right? That’s like saying kudos to that Shakespeare fellow for caring about iambic pentameter, history, and the human condition unlike those other plays who just seek to pack the audience.
@snufkin

Oh, I phrased that poorly! We were talking about Solo, so I was referring to newer SW, like the ST, anthologies, etc. SW created the genre fiction blockbuster cinema culture we still live in now, so it would be easy for them in the current age to just fall back on being only explosions and special effects, and not actual stories with themes, fleshed-out characters, and other hallmarks of decent films. Many of the franchises of today are still seeking the cultural impact of SW but not really sticking the landing consistently. But the newer films have still stuck to some of the classic film roots of the original. Sorry, I was not specific about which SW films I was referencing.
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Post by snufkin on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 2:15 am

Just gonna add these here for potential influences, Lawrence of Arabia and Letter Never Sent

@snufkin wrote:It's during the first part when he and Kathleen Kennedy are talking with Colbert. He mentions how special it was to film in Wadi Dumm, same location as LoA. Which nearly three years ago I posted about the two shots referenced in the Jakku segment for scenes with Rey and Finn. Not to mention how AotC (which based on Rey's costume looks like it's going to get referenced a lot) referenced that movie as well as Dr. Zhivago. I'm thinking we're going to see Ben/Kylo not just go from being similar to Pasha/Strelnikov but the opening sequence in the teaser made me think (besides referencing the exact same Leone shot used for Han's confrontation w/Enfys Nest) we'll be seeing Sherif Ali as an influence on his arc and relationship with Rey in the last movie. I'm also betting we'll see something akin to getting warring tribes to unite against a common enemy theme.  None of this is a big secret because of the influence on the OT and PT, plus KK has talked about David Lean as one of the filmmakers who inspried her as a film student (and Spielberg is the biggest Lean fanboy around). Also a completely small detail but the "no quarter, no prisoners" line on Crait stuck out to me at the time. Because where have I heard it before???

Ali's entrance as an ominous black clad rider on the horizon


Their initial meeting, Lawrence outright despises Ali for his brutality (My name is for my friends)while Ali likes him immediately and persists until Lawrence comes around to him becoming an ally/confidante.



(My personal take, anything they reveal about Rey's backstory will continue to be that she is free to choose her own name)

@snufkin wrote:
After the Lawrence of Arabia brainstorm, I had another realization about movies the production teams have mentioned. Remember way back in 2016 when people started discussing the Soviet classic Letter Never Sent as an influence for the Force/Ache-to plot? @nonesuch wrote an essay about it which Rian gave the thumbs up to. And I remember chatting on here w/@Skystar about what LNS might mean for the story.

TLJ has come and gone but I was just discussing something else with another fan when the topic of the original working title came up, Black Diamond and suddenly I remembered LNS -- a movie about how "love is rarer than diamonds." The main trio are geologists on the hunt for diamonds accompanied by a dangerous, slightly antagonistic ex-soldier who has an unsettling attraction/connection to the young woman in the group. The one red hued forest battle shot from the trailer - the final act of LNS is about the group trying to outrun and survive a forest fire while contending with their loyalties and feelings for each other. So uh, I think that LNS probably has a deeper influence on the overall ST than just for one movie/plotline
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Post by Armadeus on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 4:26 am

Funnily enough, my first thought on seeing the first moments of the trailer was: 'Waiter! There's some David Lean in my Star Wars! Not a complaint, just pointing it out.'

In all seriousness, I think any film that attempts the whole epic-romance-set-in-a-myriad-of-exotic-locations would be doing itself a disservice by not looking to Lean for inspiration.

I adore Lawrence of Arabia - I own three copies of the film (two collector's editions on DVD and one Blu-Ray) - and I think @snufkin is on to something with the comparison of Rey and Ben to Lawrence and Ali. In fact, I think a more confident, less conflicted Ben Solo would bear more than a passing resemblance to Ali. Ali is a 'darker' character than Lawrence, by which I mean he is not as optimistic or as forward looking as Lawrence. Ali is very much someone of the here and now, and there are times when Lawrence is right to ignore Ali and pursue more daring avenues, but there are times when he would have done better to listen to Ali and learn some patience and restraint. They compliment and challenge one another and each is transformed by their experiences together. Neither man is better or worse, they are just different from who they were at the beginning of the film.

Also, bringing this back to cinematography, LoA has some of the best desert photography in cinema, so if a Star Wars movie goes to the desert, where better to go for inspiration?
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Post by snufkin on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 4:55 pm

@Armadeus I am busy/lazy at the moment, but besides how blatantly GL referenced Lean for the OT and PT, KK said outright in one of her interviews that he was somebody she studied closely as a film student. I think it maybe was the same Hollywood Reporter interview about how she doesn't like the trend towards being grimdark and dystopic, because Star Wars is different from that.

However yes, it's not even funny how many influences you can see from Lean in the characters. I remember you pointing out the Ben/Kylo could be seen as Pasha/Strelnikov, which is something people asked Lucas about Anakin/Vader. Which I'm guessing we'll see something similar to how Pasha rises to a certain level as Strelnikov where he becomes too powerful and the group he works for sees him as a threat. Like you know that's going to happen to Kylo and Hux will be involved. Pasha flees and seeks out Lara for help, which we're going to see with Ben and Rey. He has elements of that character as well as Sherif Ali and Rey also has some threads which feel like they were inspired by Lean's characters. I assumed at the start (unconscious at first of which movie made me think that) that Rey would be like Zhivago and Lara's daughter, Tanya. Which they'll likely keep that same type of 'parents got mixed up in bad situation, resulting in their ignoble deaths and her abandoned to grow up as an orphan' scenario. But she also very much has elements of Lawrence as a child of nothing with no name, free to write her own story and even a trace of Lara as the troubled romantic female lead. And like I've said, JJ outright visually quoted two shots from LoA in the Jakku scenes for Finn and Rey/BB8. So they're going a step further than that actually filming in the exact same location.

Also I remember going "huh that's interesting" with the "no quarter, no prisoners" line on Crait because that's straight out of LoA and I don't think that was a coincidence or random callback.
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