Friday, December 28, 2012

Life of Pi 3D

Piin elämä / Berättelsen om Pi. US/CN © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Dune Entertainment III LLC in all territories except Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain. © 2012 TCF Hungary Film Rights Exploitation Limited Liability Company, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Dune Entertainment III LLC in Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea and Spain. -- Fox 2000 Pictures presents A Haishang Films / Gil Netter production. -- P: Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark. D: Ang Lee. SC: David Magee - based on the novel (2001) by Yann Martel (in Finnish: Piin elämä translated by Helene Bützow, Helsinki: Tammi, Keltainen kirjasto, 2003, fine book jacket design). DP: Claudio Miranda. Post-production: Twentieth Century Fox. DI: Technicolor Hollywood. 3D Technology Provided by CAMERON | PACE Group. PD: David Gropman. AD: Dan Webster. Set dec: Anna Pinnock. Cost: Arjun Bhasin. Makeup and hair: Fae Hammond. Replica and Animatronic Animals Created by Legacy Effects. Visual Effects & Animation by Rhythm & Hues Studios. VFX Compute Provided by CAVE. Visual Effects by MPC. Visual Effects by BUF Compagnie. VFX: CAVE, Moving Picture Company (MPC), BUF Compagne, Crazy Horse Effects, lola | VFX, Rhythm and Hues, LOOK! Effects, Halon Entertainment. SFX: Legacy Effects, Christov Effects and Design. AN department: huge. M: Mychael Danna. S: Philip Stockton. ED: Tim Squyres. C: Suraj Sharma (Pi Patel), Irrfan Khan (adult Pi Patel), Ayush Tandon (Pi Patel at 11-12), Gautam Belur (Pi Patel at 5), Adil Hussain (Santosh Patel), Tabu (Gita Patel), Ayan Khan (Ravi Patel at 7), Mohd Abbas Khaleeli (Ravi Patel at 13-14), Vibish Sivakumar (Ravi Patel at 18-19), Rafe Spall (writer), Gérard Depardieu (cook). - 14.000 jobs were involved in the making of the movie. - Loc: India: Munar (Kerala), Pondicherry) - Taiwan: Kenting, Taichung - Canada: Montréal (Québec). 127 min. Released by FS Film with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by XXX [somebody's shadow obstructed the view to the screen while this credit fleeted by] / Carina Laurila-Olin. 2K DCP viewed on 3D, XpanD, at Kinopalatsi 2, Helsinki, 28 Dec 2012.

Technical specs from the IMDb: - Camera: Arri Alexa, Zeiss Master Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses, PACE Fusion 3-D - Laboratory: DeLuxe, Hollywood (CA), USA (prints), Technicolor, Hollywood (CA), USA (digital intermediate), Technicolor, Montreal, Canada (dailies: Montreal). - Film length: 3473 m (Portugal, 35 mm) - Cinematographic process: Codex - Printed film format: 35 mm (spherical) (Fuji Eterna-CP 3514DI), D-Cinema (also 3-D version) - Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (some scenes), 1.85:1, 2.00:1 (some scenes), 2.35:1 (one scene).

Official presentation in the pressbook: "With Life of Pi, director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”; “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery.  While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor… a fearsome Bengal tiger."

"Based on the book that has sold more than seven million copies and spent years on the bestseller lists, Life of Pi takes place over three continents, two oceans, many years, and a wide universe of imagination.  Lee’s vision, coupled with stunning 3D visuals, has turned a novel long thought un-filmable into a thrillingly audacious mix of grand storytelling and powerful and provocative themes."

"Since Mr. Lee came aboard the project almost four years ago, he has worked to create a singular vision of author Yann Martel’s unforgettable tale of courage, perseverance, inspiration and hope.  The film takes us through a young man’s incredible adventure – at turns thrilling and spiritual; harrowing and triumphant; humorous and inspirational."

"In telling Pi’s story, Mr. Lee pushes the boundaries of cutting-edge motion picture technologies.  Life of Pi represents a moment when the science and art of filmmaking have jumped forward, as it did with the visual effects of “Titanic,” the 3D revolution of “Avatar,” and the CGI work in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which brought unprecedented emotion and depth to the character of Caesar.  And like Caesar, Life of Pi’s Richard Parker is a fully-realized, accessible character, whom you’ll believe was actually on that lifeboat with Suraj Sharma, who portrays Pi."

"Life of Pi is Mr. Lee’s first foray into 3D filmmaking, which he envisioned for this story long before “Avatar” hit theaters.  He uses that tool to expand the scope of the film, immerse us in Pi’s physical journey, and envelop us in the story’s emotional hold. “I wanted the experience of the film to be as unique as Yann Martel’s book,” says Mr. Lee, “and that meant creating the film in another dimension. 3D is a new cinematic language, and in Life of Pi it’s just as much about immersing audiences in the characters’ emotional space as it is about the epic scale and adventure.”"

In Ang Lee's work I love most his early, tenderly satirical "father knows best" trilogy: Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet, and Eat Drink Man Woman. Of his later works I have been most impressed by his intimate stories such as Brokeback Mountain.

But I'm full of respect to a film-maker who is always pushing boundaries, surprising us constantily with something unexpected and filming unfilmable books such as Life of Pi. I have not read Yann Martel's novel but I like the philosophical spirit of the film version. I like the ecumenical spirit (Pi has experimented in many religions) and the spirit of tolerance and understanding. Life of Pi the movie has been an incredibly difficult exercise in state-of-the art digital animation, and the result is photorealistically successful. I could not tell the CGI Bengal tiger from a real one.

I was not looking forward to this movie because of the over-sweet stills and the preview trailer the visual quality of which looked corny.

The film is much better than I expected, and it is full of delightful visual insight. Ang Lee and his team celebrate the possibilities of the 3D, and I like the witty and impressive visions such as - The swimming pool - The thunderstorm - The jellyfish - The starry sky - The swarm of dolphins - The staggering high angles at sea - The luminous animal dreams - The tiger alone on the boat - The luminous fruit opened.

Even after seeing the movie I don't like the stills. They don't convey the visual sense of the movie.

In the conclusion we learn that the story about the Bengal tiger and the other animals supposedly surviving on the boat was apparently a fairy-tale, a blanket memory for the true, horrible story of survival and cannibalism on the boat, Pi, himself, being the tiger. 

The visual quality was excellent, and the restrictions and limitations of the digital technology had been used as means of expression. Life of Pi represents 3D aesthetics at its best. Qualities emphasized here are the clarity of the water, the oceaning feeling, the infinite universe, sunlight, luminosity, and incandescence. The unrealism of the digital 3D is used as an aesthetic mode, with influences from Indian visual qulture: the richness of colour, and the delight in naivism. The colour palette is warm (not  cold, not garish unlike often in our early digital transition).

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