Cinematic Storytelling At Its Best: The Allure Of Novels On The Big Screen – The power of narrative and what they mean to us as viewers is the strong core of George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Shipping. Alithea follows Tilda Swinton, a storyteller who travels to Istanbul, where she attends conferences and gives speeches about history and the power of storytelling. After discovering and cleaning an old glass lamp, she accidentally releases a Djinn, played by Idris Elba, who grants her three wishes in exchange for her freedom. From there, it takes an interesting turn. Rather than being an action-packed epic, where Alithea makes wishes with disastrous consequences – she hesitates to make any wishes. And to convince her, Djinn decides to sit down and tell her all the details of his long life and imprisonment: his great love, his great repentance, and his great suffering.
If you’re familiar with Miller’s work – or even if you’re familiar with his latest, the surprise smash hit, Mad Max: Fury Road – you probably have some expectations for this . But, as Miller says, Three Thousand Years of Longing is the “antithesis” of Fury Road. Where every moment of Fury Road makes you feel like you want to go into cardiac arrest while watching a tornado tear through your neighborhood, Three Thousand Years of Longing has no interest in getting to the same bomb sites. Instead, what we have here is a stirring introspective fairy tale about two people living in isolation and finding comfort in each other’s company. But make no mistake, this is not exclusionary. Like many of Miller’s other works, Three Thousand Years of Longing is a feast for the eyes. It is told mostly in flashbacks as Djinn reminds Alithea of the various circumstances surrounding her imprisonment in the lamp. As we travel thousands of years into the past, we are shown various visual wonders, from amazing landscapes and palaces, to precious clothing and a rich color palette.
Cinematic Storytelling At Its Best: The Allure Of Novels On The Big Screen
Still, there’s something about Three Thousand Years of Longing that leaves something to be desired. Something about the film feels incomplete. Perhaps this can be chalked up to the final act – which focuses on the romance between Alithea and Djinn. But despite the strong performances they both give – especially during their conversations about desire and the nature of storytelling interwoven between Djinn’s memories – they lack the specific kind of chemistry needed to sell a romance of such. And Miller’s performance feels terrible. Throughout , Miller shows no inhibitions in portraying the range of hardship, love and desire felt by the cast of characters in Djinn’s memories. But in this same aspect, he shows restraint. Why? To the detriment of the story, the final act relies entirely on the romance between Swinton and Elba which is nowhere near as close to the Djinn stories.
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But strangely enough, this lack confirms the whole thesis of the power of storytelling. There is nothing as interesting as the characters telling stories – from listening to Djinn’s voice as he recounts the tragedies he has seen over the years, to Alithea recounting the decline of her marriages and her journey in self-confidence. Despite the flaws and the sub-final, there is still something worth watching that begs us to sit down and let a masterful storyteller tell us.
Tatiana Nunez is an English major on the Writing and Rhetoric Track and is a Senior at FIU. It includes The Handmaiden and Heat. And his genres are horror, action and erotic thrillers. In a small private theater in the Berkshire Hills in Massachusetts, the filmmaker Douglas Trumbull is showing one of his latest works. First, the look of the film is familiar: astronaut Chris Hadfield sings David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in a clip that went viral on YouTube a few years ago. But halfway through the song, the footage changes from Hadfield strumming his guitar on the International Space Station to 3-D shots of the planets and stars in such detail I feel like I’m on the ISS himself, looking through the cupola windows. A huge image of the Earth fills my field of vision and begins to rotate. I wear 3-D glasses, but the picture is much brighter and sharper than usual in 3-D movies. Next to me, people are muttering things like “Absolutely unreal” and “Awesome.”
This is Magi, a system that captures images in very high resolution 3-D and “4K” and displays the resulting frames at five times the normal rate. Trumbull developed the technology as a way to create more immersive movie experiences than 3-D or giant IMAX screens – and to restore the joy of going out to the movies.
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Trumbull, 74, has spent his entire life thinking about how people get used to the illusion of the cinema. He grew up in Los Angeles with an interest in the Cinerama widescreen film format; he got his first Hollywood job, doing visual effects for
. Now, as the movie theater fades away, he hopes to wake people up again – this time using Magi’s “hyper-reality” which allows viewers to connect closely with stories and experience the characters’ perspective.
Magi is not suitable for all films, just as 3-D is not suitable for personal dramas and many other traditional films. But Trumbull hopes that filmmakers will use Magi when they want the audience to feel horror in a very sensual way, as I did when I saw shots of Earth in Trumbull’s space station demo film. “What interests me is being able to create highly personal experiences for the audience,” says Trumbull. “No matter what, I want you to feel that what is happening on the screen is happening in real time, for you, in this theatre.”
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The film industry could use some magic. North American box office receipts have been flat for years. Many consumers prefer the convenience and affordability of watching movies on their televisions and mobile devices, especially as manufacturers continue to develop sharper, brighter and more accurate screens.
In order to develop something much better, Trumbull built a studio on his sprawling property in the Berkshires; employed a multitasking crew of between four and 50 people, depending on the project; and produced a series of demonstrations that tested new cinematic techniques, such as how to combine different frame rates and resolution levels into one film. In addition, he has created a new type of movie theater optimized for showing Magi movies.
His self-contained approach means that Trumbull can have an idea in the morning, shoot it in the afternoon, and see it on screen at night. It suits his personality, but he admits that his research has been frustrating at times. “I love the thrill of exploration, but I’ve spent many years of my life trying to do this and I also feel like a fish out of water in the sense that I have to pay for it and do it. all these experiments myself,” he said.
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But Trumbull is not alone in his obsession with using such techniques to enhance the filmmaking experience. Director Ang Lee shot part of his latest film, Long Halftime Walk with Billy Lynn, using a similar process, combining 3-D, 4K resolution, and ultra-high frame rates. Lee’s drama about American soldiers returning home after fighting in Iraq attracted early praise ahead of its November opening and should give this still-experimental technology some credibility.
Today most films are shot at 24 frames per second (fps): during each second, the projector displays 24 still images. The standard was established in the 1920s, mainly to synchronize film images with soundtracks, and is not suitable for action films, where it can cause blurring due to the camera shutter being open too long to keep up with the movement quick
Motion blur is especially painful in 3-D movies, because most digital cinema projectors display 3-D by quickly switching between images intended for the left and right eyes to create the illusion of depth . Blur makes it difficult for our visual systems to blend the images, which can cause eye strain, according to Tim J. Smith, a visual scientist at Birkbeck, University of London.
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“I want you to feel that what is happening on the screen is happening in real time, for you, in this theatre.”
At higher speeds, however, the stitch-together effect is stunning. After years of analysis, Trumbull believes that 120 fps is the best projection speed for digital 3-D movies. To make Magi movies, he uses two cameras or two sensors in one camera, and he takes pictures of the left and right eye images slightly offset rather than at the same time, which is how movies 3 -D normal are done. Since only one of the two camera shutters is open at any given time, the Magi process captures all but half of what happened. Trumbull then projects the films the same way they shot them – alternating left and right frames at 60 fps per eye – for a result that looks incredibly realistic.
Some other directors similarly believe that high frame rates can attract audiences
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