Framing the Story - All the Videos Examining Aspect Ratio in One Place
by Alex Billington
October 1, 2015
"Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out." If you need to be inspired again about the amazing power of cinema, just watch any of these. There have been some outstanding video essays recently about aspect ratios, a number of them, so I decided to collect all of them together into one place. This way you can get the full dose, over 32 minutes discussing the history of the aspect ratio, the way filmmakers have used it throughout the years, and some recent examples of how it's still possible to push the boundaries of cinema. At the beginning of the year, I wrote a passionate long form piece on Xavier Dolan's Mommy and its brilliant use of aspect ratio. The most recent video profiles Dolan's Mommy and Tom at the Farm. Enjoy.
Here's the most recent video - De Filmkrant's Cutting the Edge: Freedom in Framing, from Vimeo:
And here's a selection of excellent YouTube investigations into the history and evolution of aspect ratio:
Thanks to our friends at SlashFilm for the tip on the Cutting the Edge video. We previously featured the History of Aspect Ratio breakdown just above back in 2013. There are so many fantastic films mentioned in these with innovative ideas - from Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel, to Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida, to Ang Lee's Life of Pi, to Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, to Marc Webb's 500 Days of Summer, to Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful and Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire IMAX sequences, and so many others. There's bound to be footage in one of these videos that will light up your mind in exhilaration. Up next, don't forget we have Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight opening this December in the ultra-wide screen 2.75:1 in 70mm and IMAX theaters. Keep pushing those edges further.
Aspect ratio manipulation is always a fun time. Most modern western cinemas have those curtains that allow the viewer to ignore the changing aspect ratios of different films, but here in S.Korea, they use the same framed out screen every time. It can really show the viewer the difference aspect ration can make.
DAVIDPD on Oct 1, 2015
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