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Author Topic: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Style and Technique 3: The Cinematography  (Read 5482 times)
D'Ambrosia
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« on: January 08, 2010, 09:07:01 PM »

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"Sergio was a real go-getter, a very meticulous artist who paid attention to everything he did, right down to the smallest details," says Delli Colli. "For the images, he asked for things that were truly effective: full light for long shots because he wanted the details to be visible on screens of all sizes, and close-ups with the individual hairs of the characters' beards visible. It was impossible in Spain — he wanted deep, long shadows, the deepest and longest we could get, and the [sun went] down late. On the set, we prepared in the morning, and then we just died waiting for the right light. I did everything I could to accommodate him within the limits of what was possible. And then there were the details! He wanted to shoot the actors' eyes in every scene. I told him we could shoot 100 meters of eyes — looking here, looking there — and then use them whenever he wanted. But he wasn't having any of that. And that's how it went for the entire shoot. But his three-hour films pass quickly [when you watch them]. A three-hour film made today is a chore to sit through."
—Interview with Tonino Delli Colli, in American Cinematographer, March 2005

What is your opinion of Tonino Delli Colli's cinematography for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Describe some of the memorable shots in the film that you enjoy. Are there any that you don't like?
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Southern cat
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 09:15:13 PM »

I love the cinematography in this film and yes the close up shots were fantastic. It was almost as if you could reach out and touch the emotions of each character. The bead of sweat trickling down the face. The slight twitch of a facial muscle. Not to mention the squint. If there was a shoot out, you got a feel of each characters...let's say confidence in themselves or lack of.

There is a lot of other types of shots that I like but that one sticks in my mind the most.

There is only one shot in the entire film I think could of been done a little better. It's when both sides charge each other on the bridge over the river. As the two get closer on the bridge and finally clash, you get a shot from behind one side. Just before they clash the camera zooms in but in a jerky fashion and from side to side a little too. It needed to be a little smoother IMO.
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 04:42:47 AM »


There is only one shot in the entire film I think could of been done a little better. It's when both sides charge each other on the bridge over the river. As the two get closer on the bridge and finally clash, you get a shot from behind one side. Just before they clash the camera zooms in but in a jerky fashion and from side to side a little too. It needed to be a little smoother IMO.

Do you think that this was done intentionally to give the 'feel and sight' a running soldier would have when approaching the bridge from the hill behind it?

The close ups are perfect and the shots of the stand off are amazing.  I find myself leaning forward waiting to see who will shoot first, even though I know who does and the out come, the tension is built up so much by the shots flicking from one to another and the close ups of hands and guns.  It is brilliant  on the computer or TV screen but on the big screen that sequence is perfection.

There is nothing I can say I don't like about the cinematography in the context of the movie, I just personally don't like the close up shots of Tuco's beating.  I find it too graphic, but there is nothing wrong with how it was filmed.
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D'Ambrosia
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010, 08:58:20 PM »

The Cinematography is outstanding in this movie.  What’s great about Leone’s collaboration with Delli Colli is Leone had in mind what to shoot and Delli Colli just compliments his vision by excellent camera work .  Leone actually studied pieces of artwork and applied them to certain shots.  

Tuco’s head eclipsing the sun. These shots obviously emphasis the fact that it HOT!  And what great reference to Blondies point of view.


There is some great lens work by Delli Colli. In a scene that KC and I mentioned during movie night Blondie is rolling down a sandy dune as Tuco is tormenting him and the sun is flaring in and out of the frame.  When Blondie finally comes to rest in the foreground he  is lying prone stretched lengthwise across the bottom of the screen while Tuco and his horse appear as a small speck on the horizon.  Delli Colli  uses some kind of filter to apply a “glimmer” to the end of the shot and its, no pun intended, brilliant!  

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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2015, 12:10:10 AM »

The Cinematography is outstanding in this movie.  What’s great about Leone’s collaboration with Delli Colli is Leone had in mind what to shoot and Delli Colli just compliments his vision by excellent camera work .  Leone actually studied pieces of artwork and applied them to certain shots. 


You can see that artistry in the film. This is one of those rare films (I said the same about Citizen Kane recently) that you can take almost any frame of the movie and blow it up, frame it, and it would be a work of art. Every frame... art. It's a visual feast, and I only wish I could have seen it in a theater, larger than life. The tight, almost claustrophobic shots of the eyes, the mouths, the fingers... the tension building as the camera lens is the eye of the viewer, anticipating what the other man is thinking, and going to do next... waiting for the slightest flinch or movement... tension building.

And the broad, open vistas that make the journeys feel as long to us as they would have to them. Face in the dirt, the sand -- going on forever, and ever...

What was it like to be The Good, The Bad or The Ugly? This movie makes you feel like one of them... seeing it the way they would have.

And the three hours does fly -- it's so engrossing, and it's an experience, not just something you watch.
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Matt
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 11:45:44 AM »

I found this review of Roger Ebert's:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-1968

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In these opening frames, Sergio Leone established a rule that he follows throughout "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." The rule is that the ability to see is limited by the sides of the frame. At important moments in the film, what the camera cannot see, the characters cannot see, and that gives Leone the freedom to surprise us with entrances that cannot be explained by the practical geography of his shots.

There is a moment, for example, when men do not notice a vast encampment of the Union Army until they stumble upon it. And a moment in a cemetery when a man materializes out of thin air even though he should have been visible for a mile. And the way men walk down a street in full view and nobody is able to shoot them, maybe because they are not in the same frame with them.

And once again, Ebert put into words what I could only feel.

The rest of the review is worth reading as well.
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