Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?
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Author:  Pender [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:03 am ]
Post subject:  Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

Since I just watched the new Star Trek series premiere and second episode last night and having read comments from other Hole people on FB, this topic seems relevant.

Plus, it is us examining and hopefully talking film.

Battlefield Earth sported a good 35° and is often derided for being wrought with it, as if the director and cinematographer were shooting the film while laying on a couch.

But, other films like 12 Monkeys seem to hit the mark at just the right use of the disorienting camera angle.

The original Batman TV series sported the Dutch Camera Angle any time the bad guy lair was shown and it was iconic.

So, voice your take on this. Which films used it too much? What angle of a scene went too far? Is it still a viable use?

Author:  Chris Knight [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

Of course it's viable, and - when used correctly - is a fantastic visual aid. All the examples you mentioned are excellent (well, aside from BE, which is not).

Star Trek Discovery's 1st episode went to shit because of the constant use of these angles on the bridge (which made no sense, because there was no need for tension or uneasiness). It also reminded me of the Abrams Trek fan films, which used similar nonsensical camera angles on the bridge.

Even the whateverthenameoftheship (shenzu?) is leaning at a wonky angle in space, compared to the level Klingon garbage truck (ugliest spaceship ever). Which would have been clever (because it's a long-running joke in Star Trek that all spaceships travel on the same plane), but not after 30 minutes of tilted camera angles.

Ironically, the 2nd episode doesn't use them (or not noticeably), and that's when the tension goes through the roof.

Anyway, shitty directorial decisions aside, ST Discovery show is FAR better than I imagined it would be. I'm also enjoying the hell out of The Orville, despite it leaning heavily on TNG tropes. Has better music as well.

Author:  Pender [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

I think it was the first bridge scene that was so dramatically angled that it was absolutely distracting.

It almost made me nauseated with the dip and whoop of the scene.

And I was like, "Why? What happened? Why is this happening?"

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

I love the good use of a Dutch Angle, when it's in the hand of a competent filmmaker...Brian De Palma comes to mind, not to mention Carol Reed's The Third Man. But then you get shit like Battlefield Earth, or Joel Schumacher's Batman films, where it's a director just jerking himself off trying to make otherwise bland camera setups more self-consciously "arty".

I feel the same way about lens flares...people are STILL bagging relentlessly on J.J. Abrams from overusing and abusing lens flares in his movies (and I think he honestly was listening...I can't recall one egregious use of one in The Force Awakens), and yet some of my favorite individual shots in movies have featured beautiful use of flares, like in Die Hard or Temple Of Doom or whatever.

I think younger people, once they "notice" a particular cinematic technique for the first time, will then run it into the ground complaining about it incessantly as an annoying meme, like the "Teal & Orange" outrage from about five years back which eventually went away on its own when filmmakers noted how people were catching onto it.

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

Incidentally, I just Googled "Movie Lens Flares", and EVERY SINGLE IMAGE from the first few pages is from a J.J. Abrams film.

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?




Author:  Monterey Jack [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

Oh, I can think of one recent film where the Dutch Angles were totally out of control...the first Thor. It's like Kenneth Branagh was trying to spice up a movie where the title character was stuck in some dusty, bland, nondescript Mexico town by busting one of the tripod legs on purpose. and composing every other shot at a 45-degree angle. It's a fun movie, but it was getting annoying by the halfway point. And it's weird, because I can't think of another Branagh movie shot like that.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the Dutch Camera Angle Shit?

Orange and Teal never went away. It's still being abused by producers to manipulate people into thinking movies are better than they really are. Disney's recent Beauty & The Beast is a prime example, but it's present in 90 percent of Hollywood output.

Also, Force Awakens is filled with flares. The difference between Abrams' use of flares, compared to - say - a competent filmmaker - is that he doesn't show the source of the flare - it's just there to hide something (or is just there for no reason, like when the faster-than-light death star laser shoots across the bow of Kylo's star destroyer). In Die Hard, The Thing (1982) and Close Encounters/Blade Runner, you see what's creating the lens defect, and it adds to the shot.

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