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Re: {Disarmed} [a_film_by] Zoom in Hawks?

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  • filipefurtado
    ... Actually Rio Lobo was the one that did well, but bellow Wayne s usual performance, El Dorado did pretty well. The problem with Hawks was less the BO
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 8, 2007
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      > it. I don't think "Man's Favorite Sport?" did so well. "El Dorado," if I
      > remember right, did pretty well but not as well as some other Wayne
      > films of the time. I think the only reason Hawks got to make "Rio Lobo"
      > was that Wayne agreed to star in it. Note the long gap without any films
      > after "El Dorado," the longest in Hawks's career. And I believe "Rio
      > Lobo" flopped too.

      Actually Rio Lobo was the one that did well, but bellow Wayne's usual performance, El Dorado did pretty well. The problem with Hawks was less the BO numbers (which if the exception of Red Line 7000 were never actually bad), but how expensive his films were, he was complete unable of keeping an schedule or budget (and his movies already get greenlight by far larger budgets than usual), Hatari! was the #6 BO performer of its year, but it only got its costs back bby the early 70's, he was an expensive filmmaker that could not be trusted so the studios which were all going though cost-cutting periods disn't had patience to him.

      >
      > I remember Hawks describing two possible projects. The both sounded like
      > they could have been great. One was a Vietman war film. He talked about
      > how the US troops found themselves in unpredictable environments. It
      > sounded like it would mix his "adventure" films with out of control
      > aspects of his comedies. The other was an around the world oil story,
      > two guys (two guys who loved each other as friends, if I remember right)
      > searching for oil, if I remember right. Others?
      >
      > Fred Camper
      > Chicago
      >
    • LiLiPUT1@aol.com
      I started a thread on zooms in classical Hwd cinema (and MILDRED PIERCE in particular) in post #40301. The great Robert Keser was particularly helpful with my
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 8, 2007
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        I started a thread on zooms in classical Hwd cinema (and MILDRED PIERCE in
        particular) in post #40301. The great Robert Keser was particularly helpful with
        my question.

        I've noticed at least two zoom-like movements in classsical Hwd cinema
        recently. One occurs towards the beginning of WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD?, a long shot
        "zooming in" on Los Angeles (I believe). The other starts at 38:27 in THE SEVENTH
        VICTIM "zooming in" on the Palladists symbol.

        Keser concluded that the "zoom" in MILDRED PIERCE was actually optical
        processing.

        Kevin John
        Austin


        **************************************
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      • MG4273@aol.com
        Barry Salt s book shows zooms in Hollywood as early as the late 1920 s. The big problem: early zoom lenses needed very bright illumination. For decades, they
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 8, 2007
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          Barry Salt's book shows zooms in Hollywood as early as the late 1920's.
          The big problem: early zoom lenses needed very bright illumination. For decades, they could only be used outside, usually in landscape shots, made on sunny days. It wasn't till the mid-1950's that better zoom lenses came along.
          Joseph H. Lewis uses zooms occasionally in The Rifleman (circa 1960). But as Fred Camper says, the occasional zooms are far less interesting than Lewis' great camera movements.

          Mike Grost
          ________________________________________________________________________
          Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


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        • Luke Aspell
          I hope I m not too late to note a favourite zoom into a red light, just before a race begins, in Red Line 7000. One El Dorado zoom I certainly recall is an
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 8, 2007
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            I hope I'm not too late to note a favourite zoom into a red light, just before a race begins, in Red Line 7000. One El Dorado zoom I certainly recall is an underlining zoom of the Sheriff (Robert Mitchum) being hit in the face with a pan. Strangely, this zoom in El Dorado I recall as seeming less unobtrusive than those in Red Line 7000, perhaps because it's magnifying an actor's reaction, or possibly because something like that happening to Hawks' Western space (if I may be permitted to conflate space with milieu) seems more startling than its happening to his modern, technical space. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable.
            Hawks' seamlessness seems to accomodate the zoom lens rather nicely. Or rather, he allows it its (some would say) intrinsic vulgarity, enjoys it as a device of sudden emphasis in a way reminiscent inspecifically of the following decade. I even suspect the zoom on the red light in Red Line 7000 has frames pulled, though I wouldn't swear to it at this distance.


            Luke Aspell



            Fred Camper <f@...> wrote:
            "Red Line 7000" has zooms. They are used in the race track scenes --
            zooms in on the smoke from a car wreck. I haven't seen this film in
            decades, but did see it 13 times. If I'm wrong, then, well, my memory is
            really starting to go. For a long time I called it my favorite Hollywood
            film.

            It's my impression from reading "Variety" in the 60s and early 70s that
            Hawks simply couldn't get financing any more. "Red Line 7000" was not
            only a huge flop but was critically trashed. Hawks didn't even defend
            it. I don't think "Man's Favorite Sport?" did so well. "El Dorado," if I
            remember right, did pretty well but not as well as some other Wayne
            films of the time. I think the only reason Hawks got to make "Rio Lobo"
            was that Wayne agreed to star in it. Note the long gap without any films
            after "El Dorado," the longest in Hawks's career. And I believe "Rio
            Lobo" flopped too.

            I remember Hawks describing two possible projects. The both sounded like
            they could have been great. One was a Vietman war film. He talked about
            how the US troops found themselves in unpredictable environments. It
            sounded like it would mix his "adventure" films with out of control
            aspects of his comedies. The other was an around the world oil story,
            two guys (two guys who loved each other as friends, if I remember right)
            searching for oil, if I remember right. Others?

            Fred Camper
            Chicago





            ---------------------------------
            Yahoo! Answers - Get better answers from someone who knows. Tryit now.

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Blake Lucas
            ... light, just before a race begins, in Red Line 7000. One El Dorado zoom I certainly recall is an underlining zoom of the Sheriff (Robert Mitchum) being hit
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 9, 2007
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              --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, Luke Aspell <l_aspell@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > I hope I'm not too late to note a favourite zoom into a red
              light, just before a race begins, in Red Line 7000. One El Dorado
              zoom I certainly recall is an underlining zoom of the Sheriff (Robert
              Mitchum) being hit in the face with a pan. Strangely, this zoom in El
              Dorado I recall as seeming less unobtrusive than those in Red Line
              7000, perhaps because it's magnifying an actor's reaction, or
              possibly because something like that happening to Hawks' Western
              space (if I may be permitted to conflate space with milieu) seems
              more startling than its happening to his modern, technical space.
              That's not to say it isn't enjoyable.
              > Hawks' seamlessness seems to accomodate the zoom lens rather
              nicely. Or rather, he allows it its (some would say) intrinsic
              vulgarity, enjoys it as a device of sudden emphasis in a way
              reminiscent inspecifically of the following decade. I even suspect
              the zoom on the red light in Red Line 7000 has frames pulled, though
              I wouldn't swear to it at this distance.
              >
              >
              > Luke Aspell

              I'm a little late on this too but just wanted to note that what
              David Ehrenstein said about the zooms in "El Dorado"
              being "restrained" is certainly true, specifically in terms of how
              often it is used. The one Luke describes is, I'm fairly certain,
              the second of only two--used to have a certain effect in a comic
              moment, it's very different than the first.

              The first occurs when Cole/John Wayne intervenes in the action between
              Mississippi/James Caan and friends of the man Caan has just killed
              with a thrown knife. Hawks zooms in on Wayne drawing his gun and
              firing, and from this event a friendship, at first casual, begins
              between Cole and Mississippi. Also present in the interaction that
              follows is Nelse McLeod/Christopher George, like Mississippi
              introduced in this scene. Could Cole's intervention been done a
              more classical way, without the zoom? Surely it could, but I thought
              the zoom was effective--Hawks' use of it is so selective in the film,
              not lazy at all, that I believe he was thinking creatively.

              I must admit that one reason I'm good with this one is that this
              sequence, which ends with Nelse's line "Call it professional courtesy"
              as he parts from the other two outside, is my favorite sequence in
              "El Dorado."

              I know "Rio Bravo" of eight years earlier well enough to say with
              some confidence there are no zoom shots in it, and am pretty
              confident that this is the case with "Hatari" and "Man's Favorite
              Sport?" too. That means "Red Line 7000" introduced it into his
              work. But what accounts for more zooming in "Red Line" than
              "El Dorado" is that there is a lot of second unit work in "Red Line"
              directed by Bruce Kessler. Most of the zooms, including the one
              Fred Camper cited, were undoubtedly filmed by him--possibly some
              were directed by Hawks too, if they weren't wide coverage of the
              races. In the credits, there is a zoom into the dashboard to show
              that "red line" as I recall, highly deliberated and effective. But
              mostly, it's in the second unit. Of course, Kessler directed under
              Hawks' authority and was answerable to him, so clearly this was not
              a case of Hawks prohibiting zooms.

              It seems that finally, in "Rio Lobo" there is more use of the zoom
              lens. I don't think this was careless or lazy, necessarily, but
              the zoom had become so common in usage by then (unfortunately) that
              Hawks seems to be integrating it more into his style.

              Two additional points about this, and one fits into Yoel's question
              about Hawks' projects. David Ehrenstein rightly pointed out that
              the classical American cinema which had nurtured Hawks was pretty
              well gone by the time of "Rio Lobo"--look at it in relation to other
              films of that time and it looks very out of time, not to its discredit
              I would add. Hawks is hardly unique in this. It could be argued
              that most of the greats of Hollywood past were in some way
              floundering, commercially or artistically or both, in this period,
              trying to find their way. And I say this as one with deep affection
              for many of the films they made then, more affection than I have for
              many more fashionable 70s films. But they weren't finishing on an
              easy road. Of course, Hawks had projects--most directors do until
              the day they die. But there is a point, unfortunately, where now
              matter how well-regarded and how commercial they might once have
              been, it just becomes difficult to sustain a career in the same way.
              The 70s in American cinema is such a good example. A few guys, like
              Aldrich and Siegel, did very well, as well as in the best of their
              earlier films--I'm just speaking artistically but they did have
              commercial successes too in the later part of their careers.

              Related, on the subject of the zoom, I once heard William Clothier,
              who shot "Rio Lobo" among other movies, speak about the zoom. He
              didn't like it at all (and retired in 1973). He said something very
              interesting--that he would prefer to never take it out of the box.
              And he said that on four John Ford films he photographed, he did
              never take it out of the box. But for Andrew McLaglen, he was asked
              to use it, and he worked for McLaglen a lot but wasn't happy about
              use of the zoom lens.

              Fred Camper's earlier post about the effect of the zoom on space was
              pretty eloquent on the point, and I note that he was not so
              doctrinaire as to say it should never be used, citing a positive
              example in De Toth for example. He also stressed that it could be
              made part of an aesthetic, as with Rossellini, and attain the same
              aesthetic value as anything else. I totally support that view. In
              the late 60s and 70s I would assert that Luchino Visconti is another
              director who was highly deliberative in making the zoom a part of
              his style.

              But for Howard Hawks, I think Fred Camper's more negative view about
              its effects on some films would generally apply. I'm not complaining
              about its use in those last Hawks films ("Red Line 7000" I would
              stress is, for many reasons, one of my favorite Hawks films, as much
              for its aesthetic qualities as for any other reason). But one of the
              great qualities of Hawks is the movements, postures, choreography
              of character/characters in the frames, and in relation to each other
              --you need a feeling of real space to do what he does with this. It
              will not have the same flow without it. Think of "Only Angels Have
              Wings" and the characters in those (relatively few) interiors, for
              example. Hawks keeps a balance, a flow, almost musically, in the
              movements of the people within the interiors, and it seems to me that
              a zoom would destroy the filmic reality he creates there.

              Just to take one example of a key moment in Hawks for me--the
              entrance of Frances Farmer as Lotta (the first one) in "Come and
              Get It!" There's a roomful of people standing around a gambling
              table or something, and suddenly a few people move and there she is--
              just there in the middle of the frame. It's really magical, and
              there isn't the least camera flamboyance or anything. It's magical
              partly because there isn't. She's there, in character--it's all
              very natural, and part of that Hawksian flow.

              Blake Lucas
              >
              >
              >
              > Fred Camper <f@...> wrote:
              > "Red Line 7000" has zooms. They are used in the race
              track scenes --
              > zooms in on the smoke from a car wreck. I haven't seen this film in
              > decades, but did see it 13 times. If I'm wrong, then, well, my
              memory is
              > really starting to go. For a long time I called it my favorite
              Hollywood
              > film.
              >
              > It's my impression from reading "Variety" in the 60s and early 70s
              that
              > Hawks simply couldn't get financing any more. "Red Line 7000" was
              not
              > only a huge flop but was critically trashed. Hawks didn't even
              defend
              > it. I don't think "Man's Favorite Sport?" did so well. "El Dorado,"
              if I
              > remember right, did pretty well but not as well as some other Wayne
              > films of the time. I think the only reason Hawks got to make "Rio
              Lobo"
              > was that Wayne agreed to star in it. Note the long gap without any
              films
              > after "El Dorado," the longest in Hawks's career. And I
              believe "Rio
              > Lobo" flopped too.
              >
              > I remember Hawks describing two possible projects. The both sounded
              like
              > they could have been great. One was a Vietman war film. He talked
              about
              > how the US troops found themselves in unpredictable environments.
              It
              > sounded like it would mix his "adventure" films with out of control
              > aspects of his comedies. The other was an around the world oil
              story,
              > two guys (two guys who loved each other as friends, if I remember
              right)
              > searching for oil, if I remember right. Others?
              >
              > Fred Camper
              > Chicago
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Yahoo! Answers - Get better answers from someone who knows. Tryit
              now.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Robert Keser
              ... thread on zooms in classical Hwd cinema (and MILDRED PIERCE in ... helpful with my question. Yikes! Well, I swear I spotted a zoom shot in BEGGARS OF LIFE
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 11, 2007
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                --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, LiLiPUT1@... wrote:" I started a
                thread on zooms in classical Hwd cinema (and MILDRED PIERCE in
                > particular) in post #40301. The great Robert Keser was particularly
                helpful with my question."

                Yikes!

                Well, I swear I spotted a zoom shot in BEGGARS OF LIFE (1928), which
                we were lucky to see on the big screen last month in Chicago, and in
                a good print too. (If Wellman got a zoom into WINGS, why wouldn't he
                do it again the next year?)

                For sure there's a zoom in Capra's delightful THE MATINEE IDOL (also
                1928) and in the less delightful LOVE ME FOREVER (1935), but both of
                those were shot by Joseph Walker, who devised his own zoom lens (as
                mentioned in my answer #40340). I really do think that the use of
                zoom shots comes down to the nitty gritty level of who actually owned
                the lenses (and could also lend them out to colleagues).

                My own experience is that early zooms seem confined to Columbia,
                Paramount and Warner productions (one title that Barry Salt mentions
                is MILDRED PIERCE's near contemporary WHITE HEAT, which features a
                scene shift via zoom).

                --Robert Keser
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