Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Flags of our Fathers"

By Rick Mitchell

Though it went through a digital intermediate to desaturate the color, one of the few films for which this approach works, FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is a textbook example of the proper use of wide screen in general, and anamorphic in particular, to enhance the audience's experience of watching the film in a theater. Eastwood, the late legendary production designer Henry Bumstead, cinematographer Tom Stern, and editor Joel Cox are all masters at this, even on the intimate scale of films like MYSTIC RIVER and MILLION DOLLAR BABY and FLAGS is an adroit mixture of the intimate and the spectacular. In fact, that's the point of the picture, contrasting the reality of war with PR needs back home and the reactions of soldiers taken from the former and thrust into the latter. Eastwood is one of the few directors working today who understands the importance of visual storytelling to a medium like film, and his collaborators have served him well, as usual. It's probably the year's best film and well worth the effort of going out to see on a really big, wide screen.


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