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08 OCTOBER 2017

Heinrich Wölfflin's planimetric composition in films

"The 1960s saw the development of an opposite approach, what we might call the telephoto aesthetic. Improvements in long focal-length lenses, encouraged by the growing use of location shooting, led to a very different sort of imagery. Instead of exaggerating the distances between foreground and background, long lenses tend to reduce them, making figures quite far apart seem close in size. (In shooting a baseball game for television, the telephoto lens positioned behind the catcher presents catcher, batter, and pitcher as oddly close to one another.) Planes seem to be stacked or pushed together in a way that seems to make the space 'flatter,' the objects and figures more like cardboard cutouts."

(David Bordwell, 2005)

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TAGS

Buster Keaton • cardboardy space • cinematographyDavid Bordwellflat picture planeflat space • flatter-looking space • frame stacking • Heinrich Wolfflin • imageryJean-Luc Godard • less voluminous • long lenses • Michelangelo Antonioni • planar composition • planimetric composition • rectangular geometry • stacking • telephoto shot • wide-angle lenses

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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