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Drama Movies

April 23 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter

When [cinematographer Gregg] Toland suggested that the imagination of the spectator is "infallible" in supplying the precise shadings of color to a black-and-white film, he could hardly have imagined that, in the era of IMAX, 3-D, and CGI, there would be almost no imagination left at all, and that audiences would want all the work of interpreting a film done for them." Wheeler Winston Dixon from his book "Black & White Cinema: A Short History"

The ethics of image manipulation have been debated since the inception of photography. This week, I've been thinking about whether cinematic images can be over-manipulated. I viewed the film "Blancanieves", and read an interview in which director Pablo Berger stated nearly every frame had been manipulated some way in post-production. The art was in keeping that fact hidden from the audience.

The digital manipulation of the images explains why "Blancanieves" does not quite look like the black-and-white films of Gregg Toland, for instance. I think that digital cinema can look too perfect, too flat, too pristine. All of which detracts from the viewing experience, and the "reality" being presented onscreen. The concept of the technological imperative also comes into play. Just because the technology allows something does not mean it should be done.

With all that said, however, I still enjoyed watching "Blancanieves". Any director who attempts a silent film deserves to be congratulated. The art of pure visual storytelling is irresistible to any true cinephile, and I have added the category "Silent Drama" to the site so more discussions of silent film will be forthcoming.

Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.

Blancanieves Film Review
Produced in 2011, this contemporary silent film from Spanish director Pablo Berger is a retelling of fairy tale "Snow White" set in the milieu of 1920s Seville.


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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor

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