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May 2000, Week 2


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tue, 9 May 2000 11:14:51 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (43 lines)
Lang Thompson wonders:

> "GalaxyQuest" is in about a 1.85 aspect ratio for the first 20 or so
> minutes before changing to a full widescreen ratio.  Can anybody think of
> other films that also mixed ratios?  Not counting ones where it's motivated
> by something like a video monitor.

Perhaps we also need to differentiate between films that:
a) actually require the projectionist to change the ratio (eg.
switching to an anamorphic lens)
b) change the masking in order to change the ratio of observable image
c) change lenses in the shooting but do not require the projectionist
to change anything.

I would guess that a) is very rare, b) is somewhat more common.  The
one intentional example I can think of in c) is CROOKLYN (which another
person already cited.)  The perspective changes in the suburban
relative scenes but not the aspect ratio.  (This does not include
deliberate warping of the image to suggest subjective mental states,
like being drugged.)

Otherwise, aside from other examples of b) already cited, there's THE
GIRL CAN'T HELP IT, which begins with Tom Ewell adding width, color,
etc. to the small b&w film image that begins the film.

One interesting and more recent example is Bertolucci's STEALING
BEAUTY, which begins with what look like 1:1.33 shots of Liv Taylor on
a train.  Then, we realize that we have been watching her through the
viewfinder of someone's camera--and the screen widens out when she's
off the train (but it returns to the more restricted perspective at
least one other time in the film).

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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