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Flaws that make me more appreciative.


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Sometimes I notice something in a movie, a defect, or something; but, paradoxically, it makes me admire the filmmakers more, not less.  For an example, watch this clip of Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell in Broadway Melody of 1940 (19--well, you know):




Not the best dance number, but good enough.  Notice anything else?  The first time I watched it, I noticed nothing unusual.  But on repeated viewings, I sensed a discontinuity.  So I stepped through it, and what do you know?, there's something that happens on the stairs.  As the two make their way up them, they reach a point, here:




And the next frame, they are here:




You will notice they are in slightly different positions, and so is the camera.  It looks like two different takes were combined.  My guess is that one or both of the takes had something wrong, only it wasn't apparent until the set, or the actors, or both weren't available for a retake.  So two were spliced together.  Now, imagine; it was toward the end of the shot, a rather long and complicated one, too.  No computer controlled cameras.  No CGI.  Just two dancers.  And a camera on a boom.  All hand operated.  And the two takes could be used with only a slight discontinuity, not noticeable without close inspection.  It isn't pixel-perfect, but it's astonishing, and makes me incredibly appreciative of the skill and professionalism of the filmmakers.

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