Friday, February 01, 2013

The Master (2012) in 70 mm

Future Film special 70 mm preview together with KAVA (in the context of our Paul Thomas Anderson retrospective) at Bio Rex, Helsinki, 1 February 2013.

Bio Rex, seating 687, was sold out for the special 70 mm preview screening of The Master of which I have blogged already on 14 December when I saw it in 2K DCP.

The Master is a strange subject for 70 mm (the negative is in 65 mm) since it is largely based on close-ups and interiors.

The Master begins with exteriors, to be sure, but shot towards the sun and with a lot of distorting effects, reflecting the deranged state of mind of Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix). Would it be much different if the beginning had been shot in Super 16 mm?

I watched for 15 minutes and have to confess that I did not discover a special advantage in the 70 mm version in comparison with the 2K DCP. (The 2K DCP has been processed very well.) There are, however, scenes with a feeling of grandeur later on in which the 70 mm might come into its own.

My points of reference, genuine 70 mm masterpieces of which I have a clear and present impression, include Playtime and The Agony and the Ecstasy.

1 comment:

Juha Mattila said...

Hi Antti,

I think there is grate difference when shooting super16 and 65mm - no matter what the release medium is - in grain structure and in depth of field. I dont say other is better but they both have own unique characters. Anderson were not after better resolution and Imax-look but more than that soft 50s feeling witch they accomplish whit 65mm and 35mm when they needed "rougher" look - as he told in Sight & Sound 12/12.

Using the narrow depth of field in close-ups gives the characters kind of daguerreotypian feeling whits goes well whit the story. So i think there were pretty justified artistic reasons to use 65mm in this film and its very fresh way to use this medium.

Also what comes to the difference between the 2K DCP and 70mm print film in figures: the 70mm represents approximately 12K and colors range and latitude in film are far more superior than digital. Although general idea wasnt the have this superior "resolution" but when you reduce the information that much it will have an effect to the desired look. We have to remember that this film has been made photochemically all the way so its important that we see it on film too. Not to mention the aura of the film, way the light goes through the crystals and layers... but that is another story.

Shame that the movie wast that good.

- Juha Mattila