Monday, December 01, 2008

Wallander's Red One

Last night I was very excited to sit down and watch "Wallander" on BBC1 - a three-part series written by Henning Mankell,  Richard Cottan and Richard McBrien - based on Henning Mankell's own novels about Swedish police inspector, Kurt Wallander. 

My main excitement was Kenneth Branagh, as I just *love* his performances, with a passion.  In my opinion the man can do no wrong, and when he and Emma Thompson parted ways, I was genuinely upset as she is also one of my big faves.  In my teenage mind they had been the perfect couple: quoting Shakespeare as the fridge light switched on and marking up their home-written and dual-directed screenplays like a couple of possessed banshees. 

But I am not here to write about the performances, the writing or even the adaptation.  No.  My other main reason for being so excited about "Wallander" was the Red One.  Yup, that's right.  The. Red. One. 

"Wallander" is the first British TV programme to use the aforementioned camera and as if that plus Kenneth Branagh wasn't enough, I also adore the work of cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, so I was simply beside myself.  I have been eagerly waiting to see the beauty of the Red One broadcast on a TV screen for ages and there it finally was last night, in all it's glory.  

The effect, in my humble opinion, was breathtaking.  The clarity was so amazing it was like watching HD plus plus plus and although there are downsides to using it - mainly the cumbersome size and slight loss of whites to yellows - the clarity and depth of field far outweighs the colour pitfalls.  Besides, who has ever been able to chuck a full on Panaflex over their shoulder?

Potdoll used the Red for her most recent short and when I saw her early assemble I was blown away by the quality of this non-film camera - it really does rock, as does her film, of course!  To me, the Red One looks and feels like 35mm but it's a lot 'cleaner' - and by that I don't necessarily mean the loss of the grain - it's the liveliness...or's just nice, ok?

Anyway, I have to go now as I have Christmas presents to wrap and very sore neck to nurse.  Now there's a long story.