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The producers of Kinzai Ninjas, a new animated web series.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Brigadoon (1954)

Okay. Hanging with old people isn't any fun.

But I did watch Field of Dreams, Stand By Me, and now Brigadoon.

Now Brigadoon is a musical about a mythical scottish town that
disappears for 100 years at a stretch. Gene Kelly stars.

Let me just say this -- movies from the 50s are weird. Everything is
shot on a sound stage. Everything. Its crazy. Today there'd be a
whole production in Scotland, or at least somewhere that looked like
Scotland. But back then cameras were much less portable, and it was
just how they did things.

They built huge hillsides and had a heard of sheep standing on a fake
looking heather. And this is supposed to be reality.

You look at Field of Dreams. Both films have magical themes, but FoD is
so throughly modern in its approach to cinematography and location
production methodology. They built the goddamn field in the cornfield.
In the 50s they just create it on a stage.

On FoD they waited to shoot at magic hour, in the 50s they'd just flip a

That's why those old movies look so much more theatrical.

Blah, blah, blah.

The other thing I'm interested in is the way the dance numbers are
shot. Practically all medium wide to capture the performance. I heard
Gene Kelly's last widow speak. She said that was the secret to shooting
dancers. Medium wide.

Today we get really caught up with tight shots and inserts. Dunno if
it's better, but the wide really shows it off if someone is a great
dancer (which Kelly certainly was).

Movie I need to Revisit: The Untouchables. I remember watching
this when I was a kid. There were ads for it on AMC, and it got me into
mood to see it again with fresh eyes.

Kent Nichols
Kinzai Ninjas


At 3:39 PM, Blogger Christy said...

Best MGM dance number -

Donald O'Connor's Make 'Em Laugh from Singin' in the Rain.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Lisa said...

Yes, Gene Kelly was quite a guy. You should check out the dance number in his film 'Cover Girl'. Extremly advanced for its time, he danced with himself.


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