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Cinematography in 'Doubt' (2 replies)

Matthew Walker
1 month ago
Matthew Walker 1 month ago

Hi Roger, 

I'm writing to you again after previously discussing how you made a transition from design to photography in school. Thank you very much for the response, it was very valuable!

I've recently watched some critical scenes from the beautiful film Doubt and was blown away by your work. I've had particular interest in the scene in which Philip Seymour Hoffman's character is giving his significant sermon. I am transfixed on the cut sequence in which the frame is tilted, showing a couple audience members from each side of the church, looking up at Father Flynn.

To me, in coherence with what Father Flynn is saying, this scene draws an imaginary line across the church and back at Hoffman; from the lady to the man, back to Father Flynn, whilst keeping the frame still. This imaginary line creates a cross, as if a religious cross, and tightens the scene as if each person were tied to the spot in this cross formation, bowing down to Father Flynn. The symbolism, framing and dialogue to me make this scene of the most engaging sequences. 

I was wondering, as a passionate analyser of cinematography, if this was the overall intention of the scene; this imaginary line effect created by the framing and editing, or if this is purely my own interpretation that may be irrelevant.

I would also like to ask again, what has been your favourite film of 2018? Or at least the film that has inspired you the most?

Thank you again and congratulations on the Academy Award! I await 'The Goldfinch' with excitement!

Matthew Walker
1 month ago
Matthew Walker 1 month ago

The specific stills from the scene:

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screen-Shot-2018-11-04-at-6.55.21-PM.png
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screen-Shot-2018-11-04-at-6.55.02-PM.png
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Screen-Shot-2018-11-04-at-6.54.49-PM.png
Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I can't say that I was thinking in those terms. Maybe John Patrick was. As far as I was concerned the angled frames were just there as a way of creating unease.

I have not been impressed with so much this year so far but I haven't seen everything that's come out. 'Without a Trace' is pretty great. I watched a film called 'Winter Flies' when we were at the Macedonian Film Festival and I see that it is now playing in London. The film is probably not to everyone's taste but I though it pretty wonderful. The Eastern European cinema is so much more interesting than ......

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