Thursday, April 23, 2009

YouTube I think I love you!!! Embeddable playlists plus Marketa Lazarova posted on the Tube!!!



Let me start this post by citing Sturgeon's Law (that's Theodore Sturgeon - yeah, he's a science fiction writer, you got a problem with that?): "90% of everything is crap". And that's definitely true of YouTube. But when you start to find that hidden 10% - the diamonds in the rough, nestled down among the garbage, that's when you really see the true power of Web 2.0.

I've only recently started to work on my YouTube channel, and begun to discover the power of the Tube. Tonight I was busy Tubesurfing, favoriting some clips, when I noticed I could create a Playlist, and not only that, but I could also embed said playlist on my blog!!!

So here it is, my Best of Cinematography list (very subjective of course). Mouse over it to see the various included clips, or just use the left and right arrows to move to a new clip.

My most astonishing discovery tonight.... Marketa Lazarova uploaded to the Tube in 15 installments.... in its entirety!!!!! . I had tried to find even brief clips from this masterpiece in the past to show people the pure brilliance of Franticek Vlacil's cinematic genius, and was only able to find 2 clips. But tonight I stumble upon the entire freaking movie!!!!. And also a fantastic music video with scenes from the film set to the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter.

Ok, anyway, yeah -- I'm a little excited about it.


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Wow, now I see 2 of the video clips don't allow embedding (unfortunately including Marketa Lazarova). So they won't show here on my blog. Just click through to my YouTube Channel and look at the playlist itself (where it says Best in Cinematography) and click to "see all" (or use the direct link in the paragraph above). So, the love affair with the New YouTube continues, but with caveats.

7 comments:

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Darkmatter,

I will take a look at the list when I get to my daughters house next week. She has WiFi and I won't have to wait a half an hour to see three minutes of video there.

Thank you for taking the time to share.

Euphoria

people in gorillasuits said...

Up to now I just find the time to watch the 'Marlene' Clip - can't find any words to express what happens, when I see her acting...
Thanks for sharing. I will watch the other clips tomorrow. But after the appereance of Mrs. Dietrich, I had to post a comment... She... I mean... what I would like to say is...

Darkstrider said...

I have a theory that those people who consider Marlene Deitrich a great actress are actually responding to Joseph Von Sternberg,s brilliant lighting and camera work, for which she was the perfect foil. The perfect model. She certainly had great bone structure and screen presence, but aside from that, I find her acting wooden.

But that face was the perfect canvas for Sternberg's cinematography. IN his typically "modest" (NOT!!!) form, he has often said that he created her, took her as a shy half-formed actress and turned her into a superstar.

I think the real star in those clips isn't the woman, it's the lighting, the composition, the movement.

people in gorillasuits said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
people in gorillasuits said...

people in gorillasuits said...

One word about Marlene Dietrich: 'self-dramatization'Somewhere I once heard the quote: 'She had sex-appel, but wans't sexy" - I guess that hits it. I once saw another film from the late seventies with her, and she was a master of 'self-dramatization' - and I have a heart for this; as a way of escaping reality, playing with exceptions in a way, you don't pi** somebody off and hold a mirror against their faces. At least that's waht I see - I don't have the slightest clue, if she also was that aware of that.... ah, the old time actors: where is the modern day James Cagney for example... ?!

And about Sternberg: I once had the unique chance to see four of Sternberg's films in a cinema on old copies (35mm I guess) - lucky me. The films were: 'Underground' and 'The last command' (both silent films) and then 'The Blue Angel' and ' Blonde Venus'. I have to admit that every second of every film was magic - incredible, otherworldy, dreamy, and at the same time still somehow in 'this' world. Very hard to describe.

And one last thing: After a long struggle I finally recieved a book I ordered last fall: 'Painting with light' - thanks for the recomendation !

All the best. Michael.


UPDATE: Holy... Found the time to lean back and watch - and I will watch again and again... the 'gimme shelter video is one of the best edited videos I ever saw. Thanks for everything...

Darkstrider said...

Yeah, I've watched that video like a dozen times now. In some ways it's easier to watch than the movie itself, which is very long and unrelievedly bleak and brutal, but filled with incredible beauty. Nobody can set up a moving composition as well as Vlacil in my opinion. And he's the foremost master of symbolism as far as I;m aware... the way he uses animals to represent qualities of the people they're linked with etc. Perfection in motion.

About Today's Cagney... yeah, they sure don't make em like they used to, huh? Sadly, the closest thing we have now is probably Brad Pitt!! No, there must be someone more Cagney-esque....

You remind me of something. On AMC (cable station that shows lots of old movies) they've been showing the film Airport '77 over and over recently. It's one of those '70's disaster films (of course). At first when it came on and I wasn't interested enough to watch but not energetic enough to change the channel, I just noticed it sure seemed to have a lot of old people in it.... I thought the flight must have been a discout senior citizen's flight or something. But later I started paying attention, and I realized the passengers are all classic actors from the 50's and even earlier... Jimmy Stewart, Norman Fell, Jack Lemmon, Brenda Vaccaro etc. And as I watched, it struck me that, even though thit was in a way sad to see these great actors from bygone era actually dressed in 70's styles (polyester leisure suits, sideburns, etc) they were easily out-acting any of today's big stars. Maybe George Clooneyhas a sense of style and charisma, but he just doesn't hold a candle to a Jack Lemmon or a Cary Grant. AND... on top of that, I LOVE the production design!! The plane and the skies it flew through look incredible!!! Contrast it with the bland visuals of something like Snakes on a Plane (ok, bad comparison).....

Darkstrider said...

Michael, I envy you having seen The Last Command and Underground. I've read about them but haven't been able to see either one.

About Sternberg... (I've written a bit about him before on my blog as well... if you click on Von Sternberg in the keywords at the bottom of the post you can find the articles)

I came to realize his films, like the short animated films I've been discussing recently, are exercises in pure imagination. Complete imaginative worlds built entirely of the stuff of fantasy, but set in strange faraway lands and distant times. His historical accuracy leaves... let's just say a lot to be desired! But it's all little more than a setting to allow him to develop his fantasies in filmic form. And at that he's an unrivaled master. In fact I suspect to some degree that's what all my favorite filmmakers share (along with my favorite authors). What their films share in common with the "real world" is almost incidental... only common ground so viewers have some reference point from which to begin the journey they're about to undertake.