Aspect ratio in cinema
The first thing you should know about this topic is what all these numbers of 4: 3, 16: 9, etc. refer to. These fractions is what we know as aspect ratio, which is a concept that defines the ratio between the height and width of an image or screen. That is, a photograph that was 4 cm wide and 3 cm high, for example. Said measure is scalable to larger or smaller sizes, but the relationship between both values is always represented by said division.
In addition to being reflected by a fraction, which is the most colloquial and everyday way of expressing it, in cinema it can be expressed as the result of dividing both numbers. That is, 4: 3 would then be 1.33 or, which is the same, 1.33: 1. This means that the image is 1.33 times wider than it is tall.
But hey, beyond understanding what these numbers mean, Where does the 4: 3 aspect ratio come from? Well, the truth is that it is the first standard that the film industry had thanks to William Kennedy Dickson, its inventor. This photographer was working on a system to be able to project images through a Kinetoscope. And, after several years of study, he came up with a format of 35mm film which had dimensions of 2.4 cm wide by 1.8 cm high. That is, an aspect ratio of 4: 3. The industry began to use this film until, thanks to the Motion Picture Patent Company, it became the cinematic standard of the time.
The truth is that, as we imagine it will sound to you, this aspect ratio is not the one we use today. The parameter has changed over the years until it evolved into what we know today as modern cinema. Going through values of 1.37: 1 (with the arrival of the talkies), 2.59: 1 (the first panoramic format arrives at the cinema with the Cinerama), 1.66: 1, 2.60: 1 (Cinemascope) or the 2.35: 1 and 2.39: 1 which are the relationships that are still used the most in the industry today. Although, once again, these are not all the film sizes that have been used throughout the history of cinema, but they have been the most representative.
Why are the different aspect ratios used then? Although the standard today is usually 2: 35: 1 in film, many directors choose to choose different aspect ratios for evoke certain feelings to the viewer.
While 21: 9 (2.35: 1) evokes a more spectacular sensation in audiences, or what many call cinematic due to the influence of years in the industry, opting for a 4: 3 film dimension today makes that the viewer is immersed in a bygone era. And it seems that this is one of the reasons that lead Zack Snyder and other directors to use it today.
Movies recorded in 4: 3 (or 1.33: 1)
As we mentioned a few lines ago, the new version of Justice League according to Zack Snyder is not the first nor will it be the last installment that opts for the 4: 3 format.
In the last 10 years, for example, we have found several interesting titles that used this aspect ratio to later make it to the big screen.
Story of a marriage
Without going too far first, in the year 2019 the movie of History of a Marriage. In it, a theater director and his wife, who is an actress, will have to overcome a complicated divorce that affects them in all aspects of their lives. In addition to having to fight to give stability to his young son. If you are interested in watching this movie, you can do it through the Netflix platform.
A year before, in 2018, we were able to see the film that had the name of The priest. Ernest Toller is a lonely pastor of a tiny church in New York. He meets Mary, a young girl who has become pregnant, and her husband, a radical environmental activist. Desperate, Mary asks the reverend to advise her husband. A movie that we can find for purchase or rent through platforms such as Google Play or Apple TV.
On the other hand, in 2016, we were able to see the drama titled American Honey. A young woman constantly on the run from justice traveling across the country selling magazine subscriptions. Without realizing too much of his situation, he ends up involved in a whirlwind of parties until dawn that almost always end up out of control. This movie is only available for purchase or rental through Google Play.
One year earlier than the previous one, in 2015, hit theaters Saul’s son, film that you can see on the Amazon Prime Video platform. This film recounts the horror of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. A prisoner named Saul tries to save a child from the crematorium that he treats as his own son.
The grand Budapest hotel
Another very popular title during 2014 was The grand Budapest hotel. A story that is based on the theft and recovery of a Renaissance painting and the pitched battle it raises in a family that faces each other for an immense fortune. The film can be seen on the HBO and Disney + platforms.
On 2014 the movie of Mommy, which we can now enjoy from Amazon Prime Video. After the death of her husband, a young mother is forced to raise her violent son alone. Everything seems lost until a new neighbor arrives at the building. This woman is integrated into the life of this mother and son, to give the support and help they needed.
Reaching up 2013, we were able to see the movie titled as Going. Set in the 60s, a young novice is about to obtain her vows and dedicate her life to the search for faith when, suddenly, she discovers something that tormented her family: her ancestors were involved in terrible Nazi acts. She decides to put her vows aside to go a long way in search of the truth. This film is available for viewing on the HBO platform.
*The article has been translated based on the content of https://eloutput.com/cine-series/listas/peliculas-relacion-aspecto/ by eloutput.com
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