It is currently Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:48 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Here's a piece about how the songs were recorded live on set rather than using playback. I know I'm supposed to pretend I'm not interested in seeing this, but I am.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:34 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm
Jeff wrote:
I know I'm supposed to pretend I'm not interested in seeing this, but I am.

I didn't realize the film was being ignored in these parts. I've been pretty jazzed about the project since it was announced even though I don't remember the show from when I saw it on Broadway and Hooper is a director whose films I respect more than admire. Perhaps I've come to miss the sweeping big studio costume drama as much as I have the musical.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:37 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Sounds like they hit it out of the park.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:55 pm 
Dot Com Dom
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
The welcome news that the musical numbers are presented in uninterrupted takes and not cut to shit already makes this the first modern musical with the potential to be good


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:59 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
I remain skeptical. The trailer feels a bit histrionic to me, but I'm hoping that's the marketing department's fault. (Look at what they did with Lincoln - fairly restrained by Spielberg's standards, but you wouldn't know it from the first trailer.) I wasn't a huge fan of The King's Speech either, and I don't put any trust in the enthusiasm displayed at media screenings like these.

Still, it shouldn't be easy to mess up, not with a cast like that and not if the producers wised up and stayed out of the way (especially since their other high profile film musicals tanked with critics and the public).

domino harvey wrote:
The welcome news that the musical numbers are presented in uninterrupted takes and not cut to shit already makes this the first modern musical with the potential to be good

It's no masterpiece, but I thought Sweeney Todd was all right. I haven't seen it since high school, but All That Jazz may be the closest thing to a great musical since the '60s.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: sd, ca
domino harvey wrote:
The welcome news that the musical numbers are presented in uninterrupted takes and not cut to shit already makes this the first modern musical with the potential to be good

What do you think about the decision to record on set rather than post for the songs? I suppose it's only a philosophical problem, but there's something wrong about that in the context of this story and style.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:25 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:22 am
Location: The Room
Despite the fact that I am sick to death of that "Recording Live" promo (every damn movie has it as the first trailer for months now) (I probably go to the movies too often anyway, but still), I'm still looking forward to the movie. The actual-trailer trailer is quite lovely and the cast is pretty great. I could do without the subtitle calling it "The Movie Musical Sensation" or whatever - I mean, I know it will be a sensation and make oodles of money and all, but it's still presumptuous to flat-out call your own movie a Sensation.

Also, am I really supposed to belive that Hugh Jackman thinks singing live is daunting? Isn't he all over Broadway? You know, where you sing live every night?

Embarrassing truth: I've never read Les Miserables or seen any performed version of it. I know, I need to go buy the Raymond Bernard Eclipse and rectify it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:49 am 
Dot Com Dom
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
knives wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
The welcome news that the musical numbers are presented in uninterrupted takes and not cut to shit already makes this the first modern musical with the potential to be good

What do you think about the decision to record on set rather than post for the songs? I suppose it's only a philosophical problem, but there's something wrong about that in the context of this story and style.

I don't know of a musical that's done it since At Long Last Love, and we all know how that turned out (Great, if you're me; terrible if you're the rest of the world). I think like anything it depends on how its employed, but I'm surprised that it's being used as a marketing gimmick, as it suggests advertising to older audiences counter to the young-skewing Twilight-y posters that popped up a few months ago. This means we might be looking at a good ol' fashioned four-quadrant release-- if it's even a little bit good it will no doubt make a shit-ton of money and sweep the Oscars


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
David Poland tweeted lasted night that on-set singing wasn't particularly rare, and that Universal themselves had done it earlier this year with Pitch Perfect. Still, Les Mis is entirely sung-through with only a very few short lines of spoken dialog. It's a different feat entirely.

I never got the impression Jackman and company were complaining about the arduousness of on-set singing in that promo-piece. They actually all talked about how it was freeing as an actor to be able to make choices on set and when interacting with each other, instead of acting the performance months before you're on set and have even met the other actors. Three hours of lip-synch sounds pretty grueling as an audience member, I can only imagine what that must be like for the performers.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
Quote:
“Les Miz” diehards won’t like this, but much of this show is influenced, ahem, by “Sweeney Todd” and Stephen Sondheim.
It doesn't elaborate, but does he mean the film adaptation or the original musical? Did Hooper or anyone else mention this anywhere?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:50 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:22 am
Location: The Room
Jeff wrote:
I never got the impression Jackman and company were complaining about the arduousness of on-set singing in that promo-piece. They actually all talked about how it was freeing as an actor to be able to make choices on set and when interacting with each other, instead of acting the performance months before you're on set and have even met the other actors. Three hours of lip-synch sounds pretty grueling as an audience member, I can only imagine what that must be like for the performers.

Complaining, no. But there is a part where Hugh Jackman (of all people) literally says "Singing live is daunting". I just find that absurd when it comes out of the mouth of someone who sings live on a regular basis.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:11 am 
Not PETA approved
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada
CSM126 wrote:
Jeff wrote:
I never got the impression Jackman and company were complaining about the arduousness of on-set singing in that promo-piece. They actually all talked about how it was freeing as an actor to be able to make choices on set and when interacting with each other, instead of acting the performance months before you're on set and have even met the other actors. Three hours of lip-synch sounds pretty grueling as an audience member, I can only imagine what that must be like for the performers.

Complaining, no. But there is a part where Hugh Jackman (of all people) literally says "Singing live is daunting". I just find that absurd when it comes out of the mouth of someone who sings live on a regular basis.

Because he does it regularly he can't find it daunting?

There is nothing in his statement that's absurd. Plenty of people are capable of putting themselves out of their comfort zone regularly.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:16 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
I regularly host onstage Q&As, and I'm always petrified just before I go out to face the audience.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:32 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city
I saw the extended trailer in a theater over the weekend and it sounds like a bit of auto-tune/pitch correction was used in post for some (most?) of the vocals. This isn't too surprising given that virtually everything in the Top 40 these days employs auto-tune to some extent, but I don't tolerate the effect very well and imagine that it would undermine the admirable decision to record the vocals live during shooting.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:35 pm
Roger Ryan wrote:
I saw the extended trailer in a theater over the weekend and it sounds like a bit of auto-tune/pitch correction was used in post for some (most?) of the vocals. This isn't too surprising given that virtually everything in the Top 40 these days employs auto-tune to some extent, but I don't tolerate the effect very well and imagine that it would undermine the admirable decision to record the vocals live during shooting.

You may be surprised how much music employs even the slightest bit of auto tune in the studio. It's not as much as the artist not being able to hit the note as it is making something sound 99.9% to 100%.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:29 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city
randystaat wrote:
Roger Ryan wrote:
I saw the extended trailer in a theater over the weekend and it sounds like a bit of auto-tune/pitch correction was used in post for some (most?) of the vocals. This isn't too surprising given that virtually everything in the Top 40 these days employs auto-tune to some extent, but I don't tolerate the effect very well and imagine that it would undermine the admirable decision to record the vocals live during shooting.

You may be surprised how much music employs even the slightest bit of auto tune in the studio. It's not as much as the artist not being able to hit the note as it is making something sound 99.9% to 100%.

Not to derail this thread, but that's the problem for me. I much prefer a vocal to be 85% to 90% perfect than to have technology pushing it to 99.9% perfect. Greater accuracy of pitch and cleaner transitions between notes does not necessarily make for a better performance. There are plenty of recordings where auto-tune effects are used sparingly that I enjoy, but something like Les Misérables should really strive to sound as natural as possible.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:28 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:07 pm
Saw an advance screening of this last night & was pretty disappointed.

Quote:
The welcome news that the musical numbers are presented in uninterrupted takes and not cut to shit already makes this the first modern musical with the potential to be good

Whoever claimed that the musical numbers are uninterrupted takes is quite wrong. I don't recall any cuts in Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed A Dream," but that's it. A few songs feature some long takes, but even those still have multiple cuts. The big problem isn't the number of cuts, it's the placement of them.

The camera-work & editing of this film are distractingly haphazard. The film seems to cut randomly from random camera angle to random camera angle. Much of the film is shot hand-held, and the camera ends up jerking around in amateurish ways. The songs aren't assembled well. Several times, the camera will sweep out to a big wide shot that seems like it's going to be the big finsh, only to cut back to a close up as you realize there's still more verses to go.

And oh, the close ups. So many close ups. I didn't have any problem with the quality of the singing itself; but the detrimental effect of the live singing that they don't bother to cover in that featurette is that, in what I assume was an effort to record clean audio takes, multiple characters practically never sing at the same time. Songs that features 2 or 3 characters all singing are restricted to close ups of each character as they sing their part. So something like "The Confrontation," is edited to be:

Close-up of Hugh Jackman as he sings his line
Cut
Close-up of Russell Crowe as he sings his line
Cut
Close-up of Hugh Jackman as he sings his line
Cut
Close-up of Russell Crowe as he sings his line

And so on. A song that feature Marius, Cosette, & Eponine consists of cuts between close-ups of each character. All the songs (except for a few that are more choral rather than character-based) are edited as such. The construction of the film prevented me from ever really getting lost in it & so the film, 2.5 hours long, ended up feeling like a chore to sit through. There's also quite a bit of wonky digital compositing & CGI, especially the opening shot.

On the positive side, Anne Hathaway is phenomenal. "I Dreamed A Dream" is the high point of the film. There's a moment where her voice gets so raw, you can feel the resentment & despair and it's heartbreaking. Fantine's whole arc, including "At The End Of The Day" & "Lovely Ladies," makes you wish the rest of the film was as powerful.

Sacha Baron Cohen & Helena Bonham Carter bring a needed liveliness to their characters, especially during "Master Of The House," that helps break the drudgery of the rest of the film.

"The King's Speech" was not the best film of 2010, but it was a solid film with some surprisingly interesting camera-work. Unfortunately, I can't say the same of "Les Miserables." For a film that you can tell had a lot of money & craft poured into it, it comes across paradoxically slapdash.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:47 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
PfR73 wrote:
The big problem isn't the number of cuts, it's the placement of them...The camera-work & editing of this film are distractingly haphazard. The film seems to cut randomly from random camera angle to random camera angle....The songs aren't assembled well...And oh, the close ups. So many close ups...The construction of the film prevented me from ever really getting lost in it & so the film, 2.5 hours long, ended up feeling like a chore to sit through.

Agree pretty much verbatim with everything PfR73 had to say, especially the excerpts above. I don't recall seeing such horrible framing, camera placement, and cutting in a major motion picture since, what, Battlefield Earth? I have no idea why damn near the entire film was shot in close up. When the camera isn't shoved up Hugh Jackman's nose, it appears to be lying on the floor at a canted angle. Almost never having two performers on screen singing on screen at once drove me nuts. The cut-cut-cut to various closeups of actors belting out their parts took away much of the power of the songs. They might has well have filmed each actor in a photo booth and stitched their performances together. The framing is so weird that it looks like a Cinemascope musical that's had the sides lopped off for television. I can't use the term "pan and scan" to describe it, because the cameras did not appear to be capable of panning.

It's a big disappointment indeed. I enjoyed the stage show well enough ten or fifteen years ago, and thought that this was really well cast, so I was looking forward to it. It is indeed a tribute to the music and some really strong performances (wow, Anne Hathaway!) that it works at all. Trying to bring a feeling of "realness" to it only serves to illustrate the thinness the musical's abridgement of Hugo and how contrived all emotional button-pushing is. I still think it's probably the most likely Best Picture winner. It was playing to sold-out theaters this afternoon, and there was rapturous applause and tear-shedding like I haven't seen outside of a festival screening. I suspect it will have a similar effect on Academy members.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm
Jeff wrote:
I have no idea why damn near the entire film was shot in close up.

After revisiting The King's Speech last night for the first time since the theatre, I've begun to suspect that Hooper does this so he doesn't have to bother with blocking so much and can thus shoot faster (convenience over content).

I'm in agreement with the the posts above on everything. The movie never registers on any emotional level nor did I feel like I got to know any of the characters. Perhaps because of the intense close-ups, no two characters ever seemed to be inhabiting the same movie (it felt like Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman were filmed on different days and spliced together). This doesn't help in creating tension over Jean Valjean's pursuit or, worse yet, the relationship between Cosette and Valjean. On top of that, the musical numbers don't assist in building any emotions, most of them registering with so little bravado that the lifelessness of the songs startled me (exceptions being "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Master of the House"). Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter help to ease the film of some of its self importance, particularly when their characters seem to be openly mocking the operatic singing of dialogue.

I think Les Mis junkies will be in bed with the film no matter what (like Jeff's screening, the theatre erupted with applause at the end), but I must say that the crowd remained silent throughout the entirety and didn't seem particularly engaged. More than a few people were audibly snoring. I think many people were being more reverent to the show than reacting to the film itself.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:31 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
Saw this at a sold out 11:30AM matinee that watched quietly and at the end also applauded. I've never seen or heard any movie or theatrical version of "Les Miserables" before (unless you count Jack Colvin's reporter in TV's "The Incredible Hulk" as a dead ringer, character-wise, for Javert) and I have the Raymond Eclipse version sitting on my vast kevyip pile. On first impression I'm reacting as much to the songs, characters and settings that were all new to me, and they're all naturally terrific given that they've been performed, honed and perfected over decades by numerous casts (theatrical and movies). But this also highlights how little Tom Hooper actually brings that's unique or noteworthy to this new adaptation. It's chop-chop, close-up close-up (with an odd two-shot or long-shot once every few dozen CU's) which contrasts sharply with the aforementioned Hathaway performance of "I Dream The Dream" serving as the one moment Hooper's CU is both warranted and left alone for minutes. That's the movie adaptation of "Les Mis" I wanted to see. You know you're movie musical is in trouble when you find yourself looking forward to Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter to essentially break into "Sweeny Todd" fun and games to release from the emotional flatline that the rest of the character's drama registers.

The movie nails the final couple of scenes though (jarring ill-matching CU's of Hathaway and Jackman notwithstanding) and, as a first time "Les Mis" viewer, the whole experience brought me to tears at the end and makes me want to either read Hugo's novel or watch previous movie versions of the story (starting with the aforementioned Raymond Bernard Eclipse). But that speaks more to the power of the source material than anything Hooper brought to the table other than the certainty this is the early and likely frontrunner for the Oscar race.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:13 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm
dad1153 wrote:
I have the Raymond Eclipse version sitting on my vast kevyip pile.

Finally tackled it this week along with a few other Les Mis adaptations I somehow stockpiled over the years and can say that its a true treasure. I'm sorry it took me so long to get to it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:20 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: sd, ca
If nothing else I do hope that this movie convinces everyone to check out Bernard's adaptation which is easily the best of the five or so Hugo adaptations I've seen (Milestone's while miscast in areas is also very excellent). It has my definitive version of all the characters especially with Harry Baur's large and torn Jean Valjean.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
Professor Wagstaff wrote:
I think Les Mis junkies will be in bed with the film no matter what (like Jeff's screening, the theatre erupted with applause at the end), but I must say that the crowd remained silent throughout the entirety and didn't seem particularly engaged. More than a few people were audibly snoring. I think many people were being more reverent to the show than reacting to the film itself.

Very much like The King's Speech then!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:36 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
The reaction to this recalls Chicago from ten years ago. I don't think either one's a good film musical, but given the dearth of film musicals in general, someone who loves musical theater may be more forgiving and less discerning. Lez Miz has a diehard fan base, that helps, but otherwise, I can understand the (over)enthusiasm for just seeing a favorite piece of musical theater on the big screen - with a big budget and name stars - when such a thing is far from fashionable.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:52 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
The Bernard version is wonderful -- one of my best Criterion "discoveries."

Can anyone recommend the Jean-Paul Le Chanois version with Jean Gabin and Bernard Blier as Valjean and Javert? Olive has got a Blu-ray coming out in a couple of months.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], MrMagnusson


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection