SVEN NYKVIST, the light magician

Persona has been considered Begmar masterpiece, but very much of its beauty relies on Nykvist work.  At the same time, a significant part of the reputation of Sven its due to this film.  So, what makes this film so amazing?

Apart from the storyline and the way which Bergman decided to shoot it,  basically what makes Persona so attractive is the lighting.  This movie has such an incredible use of light that creates  itself the feelings in the audience.

From the very beginning you can realize how important light is. In the preface you are already delighted. preface

Moreover, as the film its basically made of close up shots, the light takes even more importance. The light is in fact the one who  points the similarities between the two women but also the one who makes a difference between them.

women2

 

 

 

women 3  women

 

However, even in the few medium and master shots, the light has a major role because the light and the shadows generate relief, reality and colour. Despite the fact that is a white & black movie you can guess the colour of their clothes. Furthermore, the light creates moods -good example of this is the video bellow.

https://vimeo.com/77115924

It is also worth pointing the lack of camera movement.  It, together with the light, make us to get focus on the character faces. Nevertheless, the few movements that appear in the film  are really meaningful.  This shot that begins in white and ends in black, after the camera moving in toward her eye. This huge zoom allows us to penetrate her mind. Appart from this, there are little movements such as the one in the scene i linked before, that follows the girl when moving (almost all the scenes in beds, when getting up and so on).

ojo1                            ojo2

 

Why it could work for my documentary?

To be honest, there is no a especific reason that links this way of lighting with my documentary theme. Its just that I really like the idea of taking advantage of the light to expreess moods and ideas,  and also to make more attractive the imagery.  Its a good way to get an stronger imagery, what really beneficts a documentary without a main character.

Furthermore, as the movie is a documentary it really suits the Svens idea of no artificial light, of relied heavily on the sun. I mean, if I am looking for reality as I am, I should make the most of the reality itself, instead of pretend the real world.

Therefore, if i tried to copy badly the style of Nykvist I should get a great planning for shooting. So, its going to be a challenge.

 

Documentary proposal

To be honest I am not sure if I really want to/ know how to film this documentary. But here it is the mind map of the trangession documentary that come to my mind last week.

Basically, I am crticising the idea of “multiculturalism” and empahisizing the segregate facts all around us . What I want to shoy with the 3 minutes documentary is how much our society is divided, how we waste the opportunity of mixing cultures and learn about others. Moreover, and as a result of a research,  I would like to point the Governments and Institutions as the resposibles of this behaviour.

Visual Essay

On the one hand, here it is the images I took at the Uni square. They are basically the same photos that appear in the prezi presentation but in video format.

They push us in the wrong way

On the other hand, here it is a short film shooted also in Uni area. It is recorded while walking along the street. Originally it was not going to have any cuts as I was looking for reality (not even tripod used, and I am walking just as anyone else) but it takes more than 30 secs, so I have cut the non-interesting part (no one was walking in the street).

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/76780580]

Nuit et Brouillard, Alain Resnais

cartel  nuit et brouillard

It is said that  Nouvelle Vague  started in the late 1950s, but it seems to me that Nuit et Brouillard (1955) is its prelude. Resnais made a different movie, a different documentary to any “classical” one. Nuit et Brouillard has nothing to do, for instance, with the propaganda documentaries the Germans made in the same years.

This film is indeed an  expository documentary, is the voice of Michel Bouquet which convinces us of Resnais’ ideology. Watching it, the first thing that comes to mind is the editing, it is such quick editing. He is not looking for climax or drama. You don’t get enough time to take pleasure in morbid details, and the transitions obey an aesthetic rule. Just the voice, the silence, and the music guide us. It is not about what it shows, it is about what are you thinking while watching it.

Nevertheless, as the minutes fade away,  you also realize how much power the imagery has.  In this film there are really hair-raising images, some of them unpublished until then. They are so strong that Bouquet is getting quiet. There are silences more often. You have more time to think about it and to get scared while thinking. Images speak for themselves.

One of the longest scenes in the whole movie is a mountain of hair. Just hair, but it is really blood-curdling. The same thing happens with the mountain of shoes. Afterwards decapitated heads and dead bodies appear, and Resnais does not stop as much as he has done with hair, but he does show it, because there are real images of Holocaust.

hair nuit en bruillard 2

And naturally, the movie finishes with black.