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Awake In The Dark
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Old June 13th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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Orginal M*A*S*H on AMC

I watched the 'enhanced' version with additional info in the lower thirds (text, not dialog) and didn't realize until they mentioned it, that the entire film was shot with zoom lenses, sometimes far away where the actors barely noticed them. Still my favorite subversive comedy too.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #2
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I think hitchcock did the same thing in Saboteur. Which is a ver good hitchcokc film. Sorta an inturesting idea for filming some sttuff
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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tim Goldman
I think hitchcock did the same thing in Saboteur. Which is a ver good hitchcokc film. Sorta an inturesting idea for filming some sttuff
One good example of the stealth-zoom shots of unsuspecting actors, was the one of JoAnn Pflug as she lifted off in the chopper after her contribution to the restoration of John Schuck. She was looking very somber and then flashed a big smile, perhaps because she suddenly realized that she was being nailed by a closeup with a distant camera. It was explained that Robert Altman fought to maintain an active presence during the editing. I think that he included many such scenes, not because they fit neatly into the story line, but because they showed amusing shots of the actors that likely would have become outtakes in other movies.

I found the enhanced comments so interesting, I watched the whole movie on AMC twice in a row, as they were on the second showing only. In this movie and others by Altman, the characters and the actors that play them, seem blended into mostly indistinguishable singular entities. These open-ended roles give great opportunities for ambitious actors to advance their careers. Pflug was surprisingly subdued in her portrayel of "Lt. Dish", as she has struck me as rarely passing up an opportunity to take over a scene, throughout her career.

It seems that Fox did its best to sabotage the unique success of this movie and only because of its undeserved luck, did it fail in this regard. Lucky also for the countless millions of viewers who undoubtedly have enjoyed it over the years. It makes you wonder how many other great movies the "Suits" from the studios have cheated us from seeing.

The disdain that most of the actors who were in the movie have shown for the long-running TV version, is mostly shared by me. I have watched more than a few of its episodes, but usually only when there was nothing else playing in my pre-VCR and DVR days.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #4
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I think hitchcock did the same thing in Saboteur. Which is a ver good hitchcokc film. Sorta an inturesting idea for filming some sttuff
Yes, since I have only the included 16x lens with my HD100, gives me some ideas too. I should probably go and rent Nashville.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 02:47 PM   #5
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The other thing altman is famouse for (besides popeye) is his use of sound. He likes to have people tlaking over ewach other annd he likes audio to go mumbly some times. I should really watch more of his stuff I gues.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:44 PM   #6
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M*A*S*H is hilarious, and just about every episode has a moral issue - something i think alot of modern films amd shows seem to miss as they try to improve on presentation.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 01:24 AM   #7
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"M*A*S*H" has been one of my favorite movies for many years--great ensemble cast and really interesting choices of filmmaking. Altman's use of the zoom in concert with the Titan crane shots allowed him to start tight in one area of the compound, come out wide and high and then settle back down in another area. Pretty aggressive stuff, and no-one has done it as well since (I worked on the pilot for a new NBC fall series called "Raines" that emulates the constantly zooming Altman feel, hopefully taking it to a different place).

I also agree that sound design was a huge part of the style--allowing and encouraging the actors to talk over each other, and then presenting so many of the tracks active at once is still radical to this day.
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