We need a moratoriam on this shot

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Melvin Butterworth
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We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:32 pm

This shot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr43gIn88zM

It's everywhere. Every hack creator on the planet is now jamming this shot into film, TV, and even video games (just watched an EA demo with it). Like the Wilhelm Scream and the iconic image of Arthur Rothstein's sun-bleached cow skull, it is part of our landscape.

What made the shot work in Gladiator was that the hand touching the wheat was symbolic, it was memory touching the past. This symbol was charged by Scott's competence as a visualist and the music which accompanied it. It was an earned moment. It was meaningful. Now it is a hollow feature of the cinematic landscape, a bleached skull reminding us of better films while desperately trying to cash in what's left of the image's resonance. When you watch Singularity on Netflix (or better yet, don't watch it), you will be subjected to this shot as a disjointed feature of a pastiche of every sci-fi film of the last thirty years.

For the love of all that is good, this shot needs to rest.
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boojiboyhowdy
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by boojiboyhowdy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:01 pm

I wasn't aware it was that prevalent. The only other time I remember seeing it was this (or the previous) week's episode of Westworld. Counting the one you mentioned that makes three. But yeah, it is such a well known scene that you have to wonder why anyone would choose to use it.
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:54 pm

Pretty sure Days of Heaven did it before Gladiator did.
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BL
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by BL » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:13 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:Pretty sure Days of Heaven did it before Gladiator did.
Did it, though? I remember a lot of shots of characters moving through wheat (and a lot of shots of characters moving through tall grass in Malick's The Thin Red Line), but I can't recall any time before Gladiator that he included shots isolating the hands running through said wheat, which I think is the specific visual cliche being pointed out here. Sure, shoot whatever you want in wheat. Just find a better way to shoot it.
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Torgo
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Torgo » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:55 pm

It's not only played out, it's rude:

Image
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Thief
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Thief » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:59 pm

In the list of things that bother me from current Hollywood, this is probably #1,048,576.
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Stu
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Stu » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:15 am

I really can't remember any other recent movies that have used that particular shot besides Gladiator, to be honest with you, or any other movies ever, period; maybe you could provide some other examples of it being used? Because from where I'm standing, there's very little chance that the hands-petting-wheat shot has been abused anywhere near as much as the ubiquitous skybeams in modern superhero films, no way:

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Thief
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Thief » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:14 pm

Stu wrote:I really can't remember any other recent movies that have used that particular shot besides Gladiator, to be honest with you, or any other movies ever, period; maybe you could provide some other examples of it being used? Because from where I'm standing, there's very little chance that the hands-petting-wheat shot has been abused anywhere near as much as the ubiquitous skybeams in modern superhero films, no way:

Not only modern superhero films. Similar shots can be seen on Independence Day, Ghostbusters, Lord of the Rings, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Shieldmaiden » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:10 pm

BL wrote:Did it, though? I remember a lot of shots of characters moving through wheat (and a lot of shots of characters moving through tall grass in Malick's The Thin Red Line), but I can't recall any time before Gladiator that he included shots isolating the hands running through said wheat, which I think is the specific visual cliche being pointed out here. Sure, shoot whatever you want in wheat. Just find a better way to shoot it.
It's been a while since I've seen it, but I thought so. And before I posted that I did a quick search and found this. Now, maybe that's a misleading screencap, I don't know.
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:48 pm

Image Image Image

Guess what I just found. 1969.
Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

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Rumpled
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Rumpled » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:25 am

The Reeds (2009) has the hand through wheat but from a moving vehicle ;)
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Jinnistan
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Jinnistan » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:50 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:Guess what I just found. 1969.
There it is. :fresh:
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:10 pm

Jinnistan wrote:There it is. :fresh:
:)
Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf
Melvin Butterworth
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:33 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:Image Image Image

Guess what I just found. 1969.
Good catch!
Melvin Butterworth
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Re: We need a moratoriam on this shot

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:00 pm



Robot Chicken lampooning the shot.
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