The Cinematography Podcast Episode 194: Florian Hoffmeister
In TÁR, Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, a fictional world famous female conductor and composer whose life takes a dramatic downturn after serious allegations are made against her. Cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister and director Todd Field made a conscious choice to “not put a hat on a hat”- keeping the cinematography very restrained and still throughout most of the film. The focus remained on the music and the performances, with little camera movement save for a few orchestra scenes and the finale of the movie. Florian found Field to have a very precise visual sensitivity so he was able to light the space and still allow the actors to have freedom of movement within the scene while shaping the light more precisely as needed.
Florian wanted the precision of his cinematography to reflect the precision of the orchestra. His work also aided the storytelling- carefully deciding where to place the camera and what to focus on allows TÁR to unfold in a slow burn, as the movie purposefully omits information and significant details at first. Florian feels that really good cinema leaves room for reflection and allows us to develop our own perceptions about the story. TÁR allows the audience to see itself and think about the time we’re living in, and it feels both timeless and contemporary. He found it an equal privilege to work with an actor like Cate Blanchett because she has a dedication to her craft and a focus on getting the best out of every single shot. She has a good understanding of the technical elements necessary to showcase the best performances.
Before working with director Todd Field, Florian was a fan of his work. While in film school at Berlin’s German Film and Television Academy, he spent time in a small French village that showed just two movies- Star Wars and Eyes Wide Shut (Field, as an actor, played Nick Nightingale in the movie) and he watched Eyes Wide Shut several times. Florian continued to follow and enjoy Field’s work as a director of the films In the Bedroom and Little Children.
Florian is currently shooting the new season of HBO’s True Detective in Iceland.
TÁR is currently playing in theaters
Find Florian Hoffmeister Instagram: @florian.hoffmeister
Close Focus: AI art is definitely trending,with apps like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, and the latest, Lensa, which costs money and is worrisome if you have privacy concerns about who owns your image. But will it replace artists?
Artist Gabe Leonard, mentioned in the Close Focus.
Ben’s prompt for Midjourney- Immortan Joe as Fozzy Bear in Muppet Mad Max:
Ben’s short end: Topaz Video AI enhances your film and video and uses AI to upscale footage into higher resolutions, such as from SD to HD and from HD to 4K.
Illya’s short end: The Hollywood Reporter podcast, It Happened in Hollywood, with the creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure books, Edward Packard.
Listen to Ben’s new horror series Catchers, available NOW only on Audible!
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Host: Ben Rock
Editor: Ben Katz
Composer: Kays Al-Atrakchi