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Best Movies Featuring Photography or Photographers

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29 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Nobody mentioned Full Metal Jacket. Matthew Modine is a photog in the Nam for the second half of that Kubrick film. I've never been able to put my finger on it, but that vision of the war seemed wrong. ???


Someone did list Under Fire. Sorry. Ed Harris had an important small role in that. 

Was it because Kubrick shot it in the UK?

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Surely that was a factor.


Michael Herr wrote Dispatches, maybe the best book to capture the ambiance of the Vietnam War. And he cowrote the film script. Jacket was two movies. The first half of basic training was so powerful that the war itself seemed a letdown. True the weather in the UK is not the weather of South East Asia . . . but . . .


The combat took place in the city of Hue, not in the jungle, so the temps during the Tet Offensive would NOT have been hot and humid. Basically, I found the acting bad. Modine was good, the others rang stylised and false. 

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

The combat took place in the city of Hue,

So it was for the most part in the film- it was shot in the disused Beckton gasworks, which had been designed by the same architects as parts of Hue which is why it looks right.

As to the acting, Kubrick's direction of actors borders on the abstract.

The only real false note was actually the Parris Island road markings- it was Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, so they were on the wrong side of the road. Not the sort of detail Kubrick usually misses.

A favourite quote: "How can you shoot women and children?" "It's easy, you just don't lead them so much". Eurgh.

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There are small details that they get wrong in every film. Most don't bother me. In Apocalypse Now, De Nero returns to Saigon in his Green Berets uniform and he has a bread. Beards were not acceptable. A major "error" was the business of the Russian roulette game that was played. None of that was true.


My favourite combat BS is when antipersonnel grenades blow up buildings with a dramatic orange flame. Grenades give up a little grey smoke and do not blow up building. And no savey trooper would fire off a full clip of ammo on full auto. 

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On 16/08/2020 at 00:35, Sally R said:


One that came to mind is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 version with Ben Stiller). It is not really a photography movie but Sean Penn plays a photojournalist in it. At one stage his character is in the Himalayas with the goal of photographing a snow leopard. There is a scene about living in the moment when he is up on a mountain. It's kind of a reminder to us photographers to sometimes be in the moment rather than being so stuck behind the lens that we don't actually really experience the moment. I found a clip of this scene (but maybe a bit of a spoiler if you want to watch the whole film): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmB8MZvWASo


+1 for Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I took a trip to Iceland because of this movie. It’s one of the best trips I’ve ever done. A bit of a fun movie.

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