Not Extra but Vital

Still from Terminal Station / Indiscretion of an American Wife
Still from Terminal Station / Indiscretion of an American Wife

“In this five-minute video essay, filmmaker Ernie Park compares two different versions of a 1953 film: one edited for Hollywood audiences and one for Italian filmgoers. By comparing two different versions of the same footage, the video essay comes across like a think piece on how seemingly cosmetic changes can affect meaning, tone, and content in movies.

Park, who goes by the name Kogonada, created this short video essay for the British Film Institute (here’s Park’s interview with NPR last week about the essay). The short film compares the Hollywood and neorealism by using David O. Selznick and Vittorio De Sica’s unsuccessful collaboration as a case study. In the early 1950s, legendary Hollywood producer Selznick, best known for his work on Gone with the Wind, commissioned Italian neorealist director De Sica to make a film. Because of unresolvable stylistic clashes, two films resulted from the footage:Terminal Station in Italy and Indiscretion of an American Wife in the U.S”.

One thought on “Not Extra but Vital”

  1. “”Corbijn is obviously grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Hoffman, but the actor also benefitted from collaborating with a director who takes a more, you might say, European approach to capturing his leading man. Throughout A Most Wanted Man, Corbijn’s camera lingers on Hoffman’s rumbled, pallid features. The viewer is invited to study Günther Bachmann again and again, usually through a fog of cigarette smoke, as he wrestles silently with his problems; those we know of and those we don’t.

    “I like to linger,” says Corbijn, who switched to a handheld camera for this film in order to get as close to his actors as possible during scenes. “Observing is just a nice thing. There’s a tendency I’ve noticed in films these days that they cut very quickly to what they want you to see, whether it’s a hand movement or something on the face. It becomes so obvious what they want you to feel. I think the sense of observing something yourself in a film is so wonderful, so it’s not out of laziness that I don’t cut so much… it’s that I like the observation aspect.”””

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