Magazine article American Cinematographer

Traveling Full Circle

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Traveling Full Circle

Article excerpt

Adapted from Arthur Schnitzler's play Der Reigen, Fernando Meirelles' ensemble drama 360 is structured as a series of encounters between various pairs of individuals. Some hook up, others break up, and still others merely cross paths. They also cross international borders; the story's settings include Paris, London and Vienna, and the entire picture was shot on location.

According to cinematographer Adriano Goldman, ABC, Meirelles initially wanted to shoot digitally. "Fernando is very concerned about the pace on the set," notes Goldman. "He is very quick and doesn't like to wait, and he reasoned that digital would be faster. However, I felt that because of the cast and the different landscapes, film would be a better choice." He had previously combined Super 1 6mm and Super 35mm and maintained a good pace on two features Meirelles had produced, City of Men and The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, and he convinced Meirelles to take the same approach to 360.

Super 16mm proved especially useful for handheld camerawork in automobiles, where space was severely limited. "Little by little, though, I started shooting more 35mm," recalls Goldman, who did his own operating. "In the end, I think we shot more than half of the picture on [3-perf] Super 35. Matching the two formats was our primary task in the DI, which we did with [coloristi Adam Glassman at Deluxe London. This was my first film with him, and he's fantastic."

The cinematographer recalls that the look of the film developed gradually as the team scouted locations and considered the various characters. "Fernando knew from the beginning that he wanted to steer clear of vibrant colors. He envisaged a soft, desaturated world, and we basically achieved that look by toning down the colors and skin tones in post.

"There was a slight color orientation for characters, but nothing too strong," continues Goldman. "For instance, Rose [Rachel Weisz], who is married to Michael [Jude Law] and having an affair with a younger man, is the 'white' character - everything in her life is monochromatic and clean, and we kept our lighting for those scenes dean as well."

By contrast, Bratislava, home to sisters Mirkha (Lucia Siposová) and Anna (Gabriela Marcinkova), feels somewhat chaotic. For these scenes, Goldman and his gaffer, Andy Long, gelled their lights to match the mixed colors they found at the locations, with a slight emphasis on yellow, to suggest the instability in the young women's lives. "For the touch of yellow, we usually used household bulbs dimmed down for a warmer tone," says Goldman.

Yellow is prominent in an early scene that shows Michael in a hotel bar looking for Mirkha, who works as a prostitute. "The bar featured a huge backlit yellow pane of glass, and we decided to embrace that," relates Goldman. "We found a yellow gel to put on our Kino Flos that matched perfectly. We didn't want a vivid yellow, however, so in post I desaturated it."

Throughout the shoot, Meirelles was keen to avoid "postcard images," Goldman notes. "He wanted to show everyday urban landscapes, not tourist spots, because the film isn't about London or Paris; it's about the people who live there."

The characters are often out of step with one another, and Meirelles wanted to suggest this visually by framing characters in such a way that they seemed to be slightly out of sync. "He wanted to see characters almost stepping out of frame and then correct the camera," says Goldman. …

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