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Old 12-09-2008, 09:20   #1
Raigmore
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Films viewed with a different perspective

This is a bit difficult to define, but I was looking at films through the decades that have been made in such a way that most of the camerawork is away from the centre of action or events, and so viewed from a different perspective. The two that immediatly come to my mind are The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1963) and Fail Safe (1964), but to some extent this can be applied to On The Beach (1959) as well. I am sure that there are other such films and would be grateful for more information.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:49   #2
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Have you ever watched a movie that was made post-1970?
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:19   #3
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Not really sure if this is what you mean, but if the camera was looking down at proceedings from above or if the camera was on the ground and looking upwards???

I can't think of many films but I do remember a couple of episiodes from Superboy and War of the Worlds (both late 1980s) where the camera was at weird angles and the like and it gave the episodes a completely off-kilter look. The director I believe was Colin Chilvers who had previously worked in special effects.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:21   #4
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There are moments during the action scenes of 'Children of Men' where the camera remains static from a distance and the action and characters move across and in and out of shot.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:41   #5
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No, I did not mean the actual position of the camera at all. There are plenty of films with unusual camera angles including split screen I'm sure, but that is not what I meant. If you have seen any of the 3 films that I mentioned (especially the first two), you'll know that almost all the focus is away from the actual action and incidents so that the people on the screen are like rest of us audience. In Fail Safe, a flight of armed bombers are accidentally sent to attack the Soviet Union but all we see is the people on the ground including the President trying to avert disaster. Likewise, in The Day The Earth Caught Fire, the earth is knocked off its orbit and slowly heads towards the sun (due to uncontrolled nuclear testing) but we 'see' all the 'action' through the staff of London's Daily Mail newspaper.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:47   #6
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Some of the death scenes in The Happening are off camera in the same way. The 'action' happens off camera and you only get an element of what's happened on screen.

Edit: Ah. Looks like that's not what you meant. Closest recent film I can think of is The Mist, the main event is happening in the titular mist but we only get to see (for the most part) what happening amongst the people hiding out in the shop.

Last edited by ac; 12-09-2008 at 10:51.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:54   #7
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What about 12 Angry Men - a group of characters all discussing an event that happened somewhere else?
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:14   #8
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Crimson Tide - the crew are trapped in a nuclear sub arguing if a massive nuclear war is occurring above them.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:28   #9
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Reservoir Dogs where most of the story takes place in the garage and we never see the violent, murderous bank robbery, only what came before and after.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:30   #10
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Downfall? About the fall of Berlin and Nazi Germany but it rarely takes the focus outside of Hitler's bunker. But then again, you could say the focus of the film is Hitler.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:31   #11
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Most of the first half of Cloverfield could be argued to be the same
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:37   #12
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Was just going to say Cloverfield.

Arguably, you could have any film where a 'personal' story is told amidst the backdrop of a larger one. Saving Private Ryan or Signs immediately springs to mind, but then the 'personal' story is the whole point.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:03   #13
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War of the Worlds sprang to mine and all the handheld camera films, Dairy of the Dead, Rec etc
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:08   #14
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Transformers, Michael Bay took the innovative approach of spending millions on special effects then filming it in such a way that they might as well have given a camcorder to someone with advanced Parkinsons and sent them down the local tip.

Last edited by Harsin; 12-09-2008 at 12:10.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:36   #15
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Thanks people. I have not yet seen Cloverfield, but read the synopsis after thse posts and YES, it sounds very much like the kind of movie that I was on about.

Of the others mentioned so far, I suppose Reservoir Dogs comes close, but the reservation is that the main protagonists are still also the main on-screen characters.

But not 12 Angry Men. A masterpiece of a film and without doubt one of the greatest ever made, but the plot is all about the jury themselves and how Fonda gets the others to rethink. To that end, it is in the 'standard' or 'normal' perspective even though the claustrophobic setting is unusual.

I have not yet seen Ace In The Hole with Kirk Douglas, but it may have some seqences seen from the 'other' perspective.
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Old 12-09-2008, 14:38   #16
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Wow.

Has this turned into the Guardian film forum?
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Old 12-09-2008, 14:50   #17
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Blair Witch?
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Old 12-09-2008, 15:21   #18
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Does the Island scenes from Letters from Iwa Jima and Flags of our Fathers count? They both do the same scene but from the Japanese and US soldiers viewpoint.
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Old 13-09-2008, 04:24   #19
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The Sun - shows the collapse of the Japanese War Effort and their surrender from a rather detatched perspective, even though we do stay with Hirohito.

Definitely:

Cloverfield
War of the Worlds
The Mist
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (not seen it yet, but it sounds right)
When The Wind Blows
Night of the Living Dead
Dawn of the Dead (and yes, lots of other zombie films)
28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later
Blast From the Past
The Truman Show
The Hidden Fortress (kinda...)
(and by extension) Star Wars IV (sort of)
Rebecca (Joan Fontaine is basically excluded from everything, although i guess that's kind of the plot)
Wall-E
Men in Black (thanks to the final shot -haha)

and of course the best example of this EVER...

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

...oh, and

Grave of the Fireflies

Last edited by marshy2004; 13-09-2008 at 04:27.
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Old 13-09-2008, 08:07   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marshy2004 View Post
Star Wars IV (sort of)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
I know it's only an internet based short, but surely you have to include Troops in that list.

If you haven't checked it out, you really should.
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