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Forced Perspective


CaveGirl
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Now just to make things clear, I'm not talking about trying to force all of you into Happy Talk only, with nice thoughts that you are only allowed to express, like you are a clone of Nancy O'Dell from Entertainment Tonight.

 

That would be abominable and despicable. This post is about forced or false perspective in movies.

 

One of the first I ever saw, was Murnau's "Sunrise" which exploited such cinematographic possibilities.

 

Karl Struss and Charles Rosher expanded the vocabulary of film and cinematography in that landmark odyssey, but I was most interested in the forced perspective, when I first viewed it on the big screen.

 

Besides used slanting sets, midg...I mean, small people in background settings and other oddities, they used double and more exposed film.
 

Any film buff who is a real fanatic, loves knowing about oddball things like this, so I know many here will have some examples to share.

 

Name some other films which use forced or false perspective, so I can expand my horizons.

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...

 

Besides used slanting sets, midg...I mean, small people in background settings and other oddities, they used double and more exposed film.

 

Any film buff who is a real fanatic, loves knowing about oddball things like this, so I know many here will have some examples to share.

 

Name some other films which use forced or false perspective, so I can expand my horizons.

 

My favorite example is The Phantom Carriage (1921) (Swedish: Körkarlen, literally "The Wagoner")  -  a 1921 Swedish horror film.

 

Dead people and Death are double exposed with nice results.

Gomtqzj.jpg

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My favorite example is The Phantom Carriage (1921) (Swedish: Körkarlen, literally "The Wagoner")  -  a 1921 Swedish horror film.

 

Dead people and Death are double exposed with nice results.

Gomtqzj.jpg

That is an incredibly cool film, Kid!

 

It is spooky and amazing to watch.

 

Thanks!

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CaveGirl--are you talking about Mental perspective also?

 

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919)--The Granddaddy of horror films, forced perspective, strange perspectives, plot twists, etc.

 

"Genuine" (1920)--Director Robert Weine's follow-up to TCoDC--Is she a vampire or not?  Is on YouTube.  Film is heavy on atmosphere.  TCM website doesn't mention film.  Go to imdb.

 

"Nosferatu" (1922, 1979)--I prefer the silent--creepier.

 

"Waxworks" (1924)--directed by Paul Leni, film depends on forced perspective.  Can be seen on other websites.

 

"The Cat and the Canary" (1927)--Film verges on parody, but has Striking photography all through the film.

 

"The Great Gabbo"--Musical about a ventriloquists mental breakdown must be seen to be believed.  Directed by James Cruze (1923's "The Covered Wagon", many others).

 

"Freaks" (1932)--Early Tod Browning horror classic.

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CaveGirl--are you talking about Mental perspective also?

 

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919)--The Granddaddy of horror films, forced perspective, strange perspectives, plot twists, etc.

 

"Genuine" (1920)--Director Robert Weine's follow-up to TCoDC--Is she a vampire or not?  Is on YouTube.  Film is heavy on atmosphere.  TCM website doesn't mention film.  Go to imdb.

 

"Nosferatu" (1922, 1979)--I prefer the silent--creepier.

 

"Waxworks" (1924)--directed by Paul Leni, film depends on forced perspective.  Can be seen on other websites.

 

"The Cat and the Canary" (1927)--Film verges on parody, but has Striking photography all through the film.

 

"The Great Gabbo"--Musical about a ventriloquists mental breakdown must be seen to be believed.  Directed by James Cruze (1923's "The Covered Wagon", many others).

 

"Freaks" (1932)--Early Tod Browning horror classic.

I was originally entranced by the usage of disproportional sets on films, and tricks of the camera to make a shot look bigger or smaller, even in the hiring of smaller extras, but yes, you are welcome to add to the forced mantra, anything which mentally is a photographic trick on film.

 

And the ones you have added are all superlative examples of how inventive the seasoned cameramen of the past and in silents particularly knew how to make a movie. Thanks!

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That would be abominable and despicable. This post is about forced or false perspective in movies.

 

One of the first I ever saw, was Murnau's "Sunrise" which exploited such cinematographic possibilities.

 

 

Yeah, good pick to start right off with here as an example of your premise, CG.

 

You see, even though the title of the move is "Sunrise", during filming the camera was actually always facing west, and so what we see is actually a sunSET and then Marnau just reversed the running of the film to achieve his effect.

 

I know, I know, this DOES seem like an awful lot of trouble to go through when all he really had to do was turn the camera to the east, but you know how some of those directors can be so darn, well, persnickety when it comes to getting the shot they want, doncha?!

 

(...okay, sorry..."comedy" bit over...and now for my REAL example to add to your thread here...)

 

Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING.

 

Wise purposely often had the cinematographer tilt his camera at various angles from dead level horizontal in order to help create and enhance the eerie feeling of being in a haunted house.

 

08.jpg

 

 

 

haunting-bloom-harris.jpg

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Yeah, good pick to start right off with here as an example of your premise, CG.

 

You see, even though the title of the move is "Sunrise", during filming the camera was actually always facing west, and so what we see is actually a sunSET and then Marnau just reversed the running of the film to achieve his effect.

 

I know, I know, this DOES seem like an awful lot of trouble to go through when all he really had to do was turn the camera to the east, but you know how some of those directors can be so darn, well, persnickety when it comes to getting the shot they want, doncha?!

 

(...okay, sorry..."comedy" bit over...and now for my REAL example to add to your thread here...)

 

Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING.

 

Wise purposely often had the cinematographer tilt his camera at various angles from dead level horizontal in order to help create and enhance the eerie feeling of being in a haunted house.

 

08.jpg

 

 

 

haunting-bloom-harris.jpg

Your opening comedic bit was so funny, I forgot to laugh, Dargo.

 

Just kidding!

 

Yes, the angles used in the beginning of Shirley Jackson's tale "The Haunting" are unusually filmed and I specifically remember the hanging bit. Very scary and sort of in the Edward Gorey style.

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SPOILERS (CAREFUL PLEASE, THIS IS A MOVIE YOU DON'T WANT RUINED FOR YOU)

 

Just last night on TCM, "The Earrings of Madame de ..."  sprung a quickie on us. In a tense scene where the Count finally confronts Donati, the camera goes atilt to signal the gravity of the situation. Very effective because the device had not been used the entire film.

 

And the famous dance scene between Madame de ... and Donati takes "several days" in one rather cleverly conceived montage. Each time they danced around a pillar, the clothes on their backs changed to signify the passage of time (i.e. days of the Count's absence).

 

Ophuls' movies are full of stuff like this and there are probably more in Madame as well.

 

....

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SPOILERS (CAREFUL PLEASE, THIS IS A MOVIE YOU DON'T WANT RUINED FOR YOU)

 

Just last night on TCM, "The Earrings of Madame de ..."  sprung a quickie on us. In a tense scene where the Count finally confronts Donati, the camera goes atilt to signal the gravity of the situation. Very effective because the device had not been used the entire film.

 

And the famous dance scene between Madame de ... and Donati takes "several days" in one rather cleverly conceived montage. Each time they danced around a pillar, the clothes on their backs changed to signify the passage of time (i.e. days of the Count's absence).

 

Ophuls' movies are full of stuff like this and there are probably more in Madame as well.

 

....

Great take on that film, Laffite!

 

I watched too, even though I own the Criterion dvd. I had read once that Ophuls perhaps was dyslexic hence he had trouble keeping track of continuity in films done out of sequence. Therefore he liked to film scenes in totality with tracking shots.

 

It was amazing how one could look through all the scenery in his shots and watch a person showing up from behind intermittently, as in the dance scene, and yes one did have the impression of time elapsed.

 

Thanks!

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INVADERS FROM MARS, directed by Menzies and shot by John Seitz (who shot about two dozen Alan Ladd films) has quite a few examples of forced perspective.

I adore that film.

 

And the stunning cinematography by Seitz really makes it all seem like a bad nightmare! And there definitely is forced perspective in the more technical sense that I originally meant.

 

Thanks, Clore!

 

As you know, he also filmed "Sunset Blvd." so 'nuf said.

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