Friday, May 29, 2009

Black + White Friday: Reds

Let us welcome back "Black + White Friday". It proved to be one of the most popular features here at Stale Popcorn when I started it last year. As you obviously would have noted I stopped doing it towards the end of last year, mainly because my working/home situation meant I just did not have the time, but I have decided to resurrect it (I started it roughly around this time last year, anyway) because it's so fun. Some of my favourites from season one were Birth, Chicago, The Others, Showgirls and Moulin Rouge! Three of those star Nicole Kidman, which we quickly realised looks ravishing in black and white. Today we learn the same goes for Diane Keaton.

It's Warren Beatty? What's not to like? He certainly looks far more fetching in his tuxedo than he does in his ratty, muddy clothes later in the movie. Soak it up while it lasts because he spends a lot of the three-hour run time in those ratty clothes.

Funnily, the first thing I thought of when I did this screencap was a horror movie. Something like Jacques Tourneur's I Walked with a Zombie or Robert Wise's The Haunting. And, let's be honest, there are worse things I could be reminded of.

This was actually the moment that made me want to do a screencap entry on Reds. It's just so beautifully done with the white shirt front and the light on Diane Keaton's face. This movie really did frame Keaton well, didn't it? There are so many close-ups of her face where it feels as if Vittorio Storaro was entranced by her. And we all know Beatty was at the time, too.

I just really like the framing on this moment. Seems so overflowing with romanticism, don't you think?

Well, duh. The moment I saw this moment I was like "that's another screencap". It really is somethin' else, isn't it?

Again, the way Diane Keaton is filmed in this movie is just gorgeous. Even down to the placement of the hat seems so spot on precise to get the right about of shadow onto her face as we try and figure out what she's thinking. And also trying to not let Jack Nicholson's character see into them too much.

Another shot that was begging to be used. Vittorio Storaro is a master, I swear. Reminds me I need to use Dick Tracy for this feature, too. That'd be interesting to say the least considering how incredibly dependent that movie is on colour. Not that Reds isn't either, mind you. There were many bits that I would've loved to use, but simply did not look as luscious in black and white. Epics have almost always been filmed in colour for a reason. I do wonder what something like DW Griffith's Intolerance would have been like in colour. Or, better yet, let's not give Hollywood any bright ideas. Eep.

I just really loved this scene and this particular moment with the light fixture. Plus, more Warren can't help, right? Even if he is wearing that hat.

I'm surprised this looks like it does since the scenes in question are so full of bright yellows and oranges that I thought it would look bad. It does not.

Hey look, Diane Keaton has lines around her eyes! Shocking, I know. Almost unfathomable in today's film landscape, isn't it? In fact, despite framing and photographing Keaton gorgeously throughout the whole movie, I was surprised by how normal she looked through the whole thing. Not glamourous, nor uglified. Perhaps that's why I thought she was best-in-show, there was something so natural about her in Reds.

What did you think of Reds or the black and white? Speak up if you like in the comments.


Runs Like A Gay said...

Love this series - so glad it's back.

And who'd have thought Diane could look so beautiful.

Paul Martin said...

OMG, she even looks a bit like Kidman in those pics!


i love this series too and this movie just punches me in the gut. all four principles were just superb.

Glenn Dunks said...

Didn't hit me that much, but I am definitely in love with the performances. Nicholson was such a surprise!

Glenn Dunks said...

Paul... you just said OMG?

Paul Martin said...

hehe, I sounded like you, huh?

I could have said "fuck" instead, but "OMG" seemed spot on.