The Cinematic Thread (i.e. What in the fuck is it?)

All non-Nolan related film, tv, and streaming discussions.
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For me, for a film to be called 'cinematic' is to be fantastic in all departments; cinematography, sound, setting, acting, story, etc. Like RIFA said, Lawrence of Arabia is the prime example of a film being cinematic because it is at the top of its game in every technical way. That's why the average superhero film can't be held in that same regard because they go searching for that spectacle, when they don't earn a right to have it. There are some exceptions to the rule like, mainly The Dark Knight, I would rather go and see Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen than a film like Sex Tape that would have worked better as a TV Movie that has no cinema credentials.

Here's a list of films that are currently being shown in all cinemas in my country right now:

22 Jump Street
Bad Neighbors
Blended
Chef
Edge of Tomorrow
The Fault in Our Stars
Godzilla
Grace of Monaco
The Grand Budapest Hotel
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Maleficent
A Million Ways to Die in the West
The Other Woman
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Of the 15 mentioned, only 5 I would qualify as close to being 'cinematic', and I have a problem with that.
Last edited by BlairCo on June 21st, 2014, 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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For me, cinematic describes a film whose symbiotic combination of visual and sound-based qualities provoke a result that can't be achieved by any other medium.

RIFA wrote:
mchekhov 2: Chek Harder wrote:anyways, a "Cinematic" film. Is it something abstract (as vader said), or quantifiable (as rifa said)?

Some movies are more cinematic than others, what qualities do they posses to achieve that?

Are we all snobs?

discus
Me and Vader said pretty much the same thing only using different terminology and approaching the subject from a slightly different pov. But it's the same thing.

And yes solo... there are plenty of good directors out there that don't really make strong cinematic movies. However, most of the big guys in the movie industry get to be big exactly because they have the ability to make really strong cinematic movies. Because that's why people go to theater for. Juno is cool and all but if it can fit on a small screen and work just fine then it's not really cinematic. If you turn the sound of to Juno... again... you will miss a lot of things so it's not really cinematic. Seeing it on the big screen doesn't bring anything extra than seeing it on the small screen... so again.. it's not cinematic. It's a good film nonetheless. But if you want to make your movie big and epic like Star Wars requires for example... then you need a director that has the vision and skill to make a strong cinematic movie. There are masterpieces out there that are not cinematic simply because they tell great stories in amazing ways without necessarily being cinematic.

So we never wanted this discussion to be about whether or not a movie being cinematic is better than the others. There are tons of cinematic movies that are crap. The point is a a strong cinematic movie will always have a huge effect in the movie theater because that's where it belongs... and at the same time it's the kind of film that would work mute as well. The Transformers comparison is silly here because we're not just talking about whether or not you're able to understand the story if the film is mute... it's about much more than that... it's about if the movie has the ability to capture you and send you in that same magical place, it's about emotions, it's about immersion, it's about getting pulled in, gripped, and enthralled by what you're seeing.

Lawrence of Arabia is a perfect example of what cinematic movie means. You don't need to hear anything while watching those beautiful large wide shots of those dunes because your mind is already travelling there... you're already feeling it, your mind can easily make the perfect music for it. When you watch a great battle your mind can already hear the sound of clinching swords. You don't have the same feeling when you're watching Transformers or Die Hard 5... or Looper for that matter. Because you're not transported in their worlds so easily. Because they're not cinematic enough.

I feel that you all know actually what is a cinematic movie and a cinematic experience. It's just that not all of you are used to describe it like this. Don't take every word literally.
i like it

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BlairCo wrote:For me, for a film to be called 'cinematic' is to be fantastic in all departments; cinematography, sound, setting, acting, story, etc.
Yes and no because sound, acting, story... don't make a movie cinematic. They add to the movie's quality but not really to it's cinematic value. Malick is one of the perfect examples... Tarkovsky's The Mirror as well... It's more to do with the cinematography basically than anything else. It has more to do with how do you frame time, visible emotions, physical language, nature, life, etc. Then you go deeper into how do you lit that, what do you make prominent, etc. The simplest things can be very cinematic. (ex. Passion of Joan of Arc)

Take something as simple as corn field shots. Look at how Looper did them. Or even Signs. And compare it to Days of Heaven or Gladiator.

But I agree with everything else you said. Percentage wise there aren't many really cinematic movies made today.

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RIFA wrote:
mchekhov 2: Chek Harder wrote:anyways, a "Cinematic" film. Is it something abstract (as vader said), or quantifiable (as rifa said)?

Some movies are more cinematic than others, what qualities do they posses to achieve that?

Are we all snobs?

discus
Me and Vader said pretty much the same thing only using different terminology and approaching the subject from a slightly different pov. But it's the same thing.

And yes solo... there are plenty of good directors out there that don't really make strong cinematic movies. However, most of the big guys in the movie industry get to be big exactly because they have the ability to make really strong cinematic movies. Because that's why people go to theater for. Juno is cool and all but if it can fit on a small screen and work just fine then it's not really cinematic. If you turn the sound of to Juno... again... you will miss a lot of things so it's not really cinematic. Seeing it on the big screen doesn't bring anything extra than seeing it on the small screen... so again.. it's not cinematic. It's a good film nonetheless. But if you want to make your movie big and epic like Star Wars requires for example... then you need a director that has the vision and skill to make a strong cinematic movie. There are masterpieces out there that are not cinematic simply because they tell great stories in amazing ways without necessarily being cinematic.

So we never wanted this discussion to be about whether or not a movie being cinematic is better than the others. There are tons of cinematic movies that are crap. The point is a a strong cinematic movie will always have a huge effect in the movie theater because that's where it belongs... and at the same time it's the kind of film that would work mute as well. The Transformers comparison is silly here because we're not just talking about whether or not you're able to understand the story if the film is mute... it's about much more than that... it's about if the movie has the ability to capture you and send you in that same magical place, it's about emotions, it's about immersion, it's about getting pulled in, gripped, and enthralled by what you're seeing.

Lawrence of Arabia is a perfect example of what cinematic movie means. You don't need to hear anything while watching those beautiful large wide shots of those dunes because your mind is already travelling there... you're already feeling it, your mind can easily make the perfect music for it. When you watch a great battle your mind can already hear the sound of clinching swords. You don't have the same feeling when you're watching Transformers or Die Hard 5... or Looper for that matter. Because you're not transported in their worlds so easily. Because they're not cinematic enough.

I feel that you all know actually what is a cinematic movie and a cinematic experience. It's just that not all of you are used to describe it like this. Don't take every word literally.
All right, well, I don't know why, but I actually understand your point now, and I think I agree.

so tl;dr

A film whose elements work in and of themselves: Not necessarily cinematic.
A film whose elements are used to move the story forward: Cinematic.

alright what's next on the agenda?

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grifball wrote:
mchekhov 2: Chek Harder wrote: Are we all snobs?
Yes

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mchekhov 2: Chek Harder wrote:so tl;dr

A film whose elements work in and of themselves: Not necessarily cinematic.
A film whose elements are used to move the story forward: Cinematic.

alright what's next on the agenda?
Alright.

For example, the action in The Bourne Ultimatum works as a story tool, not pure adrenalin shot/eye candy, therefore it's cinematic.

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