Monday, June 8, 2015

Weirdly Cool: A Guy Compressed 50 Different Westerns Into Single Frames


The photo above may look like a Mark Rothko painting, but it is actually a composite of every 10th second of John Ford's classic western THE SEARCHERS (1956). All the Monument Valley sandstone formations, all the golden sunlight, richer than ever in Technicolor, and all the wide blue sky is there, as well as John Wayne's brick red shirt and chestnut mount.

Here, and note the Cinemascope frame, is Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968), given the same treatment:


Kevin L. Ferguson has done a lot of this and he reports on his findings about color, light and the psychology of perception in his Outtake article here. As he says, "These shapes and colors are evocative in a way that tea leaves and tarot are: they don’t actually tell you much about what you’re looking at, but they allow you an emotional response confirmed or denied once you come to discover what the image “really” is."

One last example, the Western that very nearly ended all Westerns, Michael Cimino's HEAVEN'S GATE (1980). Sunlight, dust, loss:



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