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Review Wanted: Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

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Review Wanted: Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

Old 04-09-01, 01:50 AM
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I am very interested in the process of filmmaking and wanted to know if anybody has anything to say about this film. We watched about 4 minutes of it in a film class a few years ago.
Old 04-09-01, 02:52 AM
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its good
Old 04-09-01, 03:28 AM
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"...We watched about 4 minutes of it in a film class a few years ago"

...like I always say, if you want to 'learn' everything you ever wanted (or needed) to know about 'film' in the shortest possible time, go to 'film class'...

(...I can recommend the DVD, by the way, even though it runs somewhat longer than 4 minutes...)

(signed) Condescending Charly
Old 04-09-01, 03:47 AM
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...also (very highly) recommended:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?id=1077

...be forewarned, though, this one runs for something closer to four hours than minutes!...

! !
Old 04-09-01, 04:05 AM
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...yet another splendid documentary (available on image DVD):

http://www.finecut.com/index1.htm

! ! ! ! ! !
Old 04-09-01, 07:31 AM
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...you may also find this site interesting:

http://www.moviemaker.com/

. . .
Old 04-09-01, 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by Hendrik
...yet another splendid documentary (available on image DVD):

http://www.finecut.com/index1.htm

! ! ! ! ! !
Great recommendation, but I am quite biased when it comes to my favorite director.

As for Visions of Light, I just got it recently and thought it was very good, especially for someone trying to get a first glimpse of what good filmmaking is about. I was hoping for a bit more detail, but they chose some good films for their examples.
Old 04-09-01, 11:52 PM
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Just to offer a different opinion, I think that visions of light is not great. It's pretty shallow and not very well put together. It's better than nothing, but is flawed. Here's a little bit that I wrote about it in a review:

Light-Weight īVisionsī


When Visions Of Light was released in 1992, many critics praised it as the definitive documentary on film cinematography and rated it the best film of the year, largely on the strength of the numerous classic clips. While itīs nice that it was so well received, this film is far from perfect. First of all, 92 minutes is a ridiculously short running time for a subject so rich. The film is really a gloss on the history and techniques of cinematography. The directors of photography interviewed toss around technical phrases without defining them, making the film confusing to those not versed in the lingo, but they donīt go into the kind of detail that fellow filmmakers can appreciate.


While I like this documentary, Iīm not crazy about the idea that it is great because it includes great clips. That isnīt really enough. There are some genuine insights, like Conrad Hall talking about shooting In Cold Blood, but the omissions are unforgivable (No Kubrick-directed films are spotlighted at all, some DPs are interviewed without their filmographies being identified).


The picture on the DVD is acceptable. The interviews were shot on video and all of the clips are presented in their original aspect ratios. The audio is another matter, with some voices muddled and hard to understand. Vilmos Zsigmond, with his thick accent is virtually unintelligible. This disc contains no extras of any kind, which is a shame. Some additional interview material must exist.


Overall, I would say that barring any real competition, this is still the best way to learn about cinematography, but the definitive multi-hour documentary on the subject is still to come.

Old 04-10-01, 03:34 AM
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...might be a good topic for Ken Burns for a documentary series!?!... (just finished watching disc 8 of his 10-DVD Jazz set)

. . .



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