Friday, October 11, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Cinematography (I-J)

Just as a reminder: in the spirit and thrust of this series, the names beside the titles are of the PHOTOGRAPHER of the film, and not of the director.  
 
I Am Cuba (Sergei Urusevsky, 64)
A silvery, sumptuous look into the secretive world of 60s Cuba, with a series of impossible shots that need to be seen to be believed.  An incredibly influential movie...even this scene was aped in Boogie Nights...and we're not even taking into account this shot's previous trip up the length of a Havana high-rise! And we're not EVEN talking about the camera floating above a cigar factory, and then hovering over a massive funeral!  And this doesn't even cover a 20th of it!!

The Ice Storm (Frederick Elmes, 96)  
A chilly look at 70s sexual decadence, and its effects on a set of familes.  In its expressive darkness, Elmes' work approaches here the greatness of his dealings with David Lynch.

if… (Miroslav Ondricek, 68)
Switching in random order with black-and-white and color (for location and budgetary reasons alone), Ondricek and director Lindsay Anderson make it all seem like a sickening, exciting vision made from well-considered scratch. 

Ikiru (Asaichi Nakai, 52) 
One downtrodden man's reach for something greater, filmed with utmost care. 

"I Know Where I'm Going!" (Irwin Hiller, 44)   
So many stupendous images!  It's jut something you're gonna hafta see on your own!  Don't take my word on it. Check out Powell and Pressberger's masterpiece, and get educated.  It took me a while to get around to it!
 
The Illusionist (Dick Pope, 2006) 
Utterly beautiful, and with a wild color pallette!

Images (Vilmos Zsigmond, 72)  
Horror, and a mental breakdown, told with an almost continually colossal array of images, both in close-up and in ridiculously large long shots.  

Imitation of Life (Russell Metty, 59) 
Delicious '50s Technicolor, by a couple of masters (the second being the famed Douglas Sirk). 

In A Lonely Place (Burnett Guffey, 50) 
Madness, horrifically lit.   

In Cold Blood (Conrad Hall, 67)
Every shot in Richard Brooks' movie pops HARD, and this is because of Hall's total commitment to the tale.  This particular scene here. with the raindrops on the window mirroring the teardrops on Perry's face, influenced movies for decades hence--but no one ever did it better...
 
Inherit the Wind (Ernest Laszlo, 60)  
With his inventive B&W, lens choices, and camera placements, Laszlo continues his collaboration with director Stanley Kramer, and in doing so, continues his position as that director's greatest asset.

In The Mood for Love (Christopher Doyle, Pung-Leung Kwan and Ping Bin Lee, 2000)
Absolutely indespensable.  Every shot is total mastery, in movement and coloring.  The lighting here is just extraordinary!  

In The Realm of the Senses (Hideo Ito, 76) 
Sex has never been filmed better.  Not in a narrative movie, at least...

Inception (Wally Pfister, 2010) 
A dream world explodes, unforgettably. 

Inglourious Basterds (Richard Richardson, 2009)
An impossible history, filmed without match as classic pulp.

The Innocents (Freddie Francis, 61) 
Judging on cinematography alone, the greatest horror film ever made. Shot in wide-screen and in black-and-white, and totally essential for both genre fans and non-...

The Insider (Dante Spinotti, 99)
Many of its shots highlight the lead's loneliness and isolation.  A prime example of storytelling and characterization through cinematography.  

Interiors (Gordon Willis, 78)
Willis turns his dark eye to a more European stance.  He keeps his personality, but does so in an adventurous way.  The bland beiges often erupt with bright reds, overexposed whites, and deadly greys.  

Irreversible (Benoit Debie, 2002) 
Almost unwatchable, but in a way that's difficult to turn away from...

It Happened Here (Kevin Brownlow and Peter Suschitzky, 65)
Documentary-like filmmaking that makes you think this is some sort of historical drama that REALLY occurred.  Even looking at it today, it's difficult to believe that it wasn't filmed in the post-war '40s.  

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Ernest Laszlo, 63)
The famous widescreen process called Cinerama at perhaps its most intrepid.  Definitely a movie that divides viewers, but it's difficult to fault Laszlo's athletic cinematography.

I Walked With a Zombie (J. Roy Hunt, 43) 
Perhaps Val Lewton's most memorably shot horror production...though so many of them are great, I can see where this debate might get heated.

Ivan the Terrible, Part I: Ivan Grozyni (Andre Moskvin and Eduard Tisse, 44) 
A czar at his most insane and powerful, with horror movie lighting accentuating his most terrifying aspects. 
 
Ivan the Terrible, Part II: The Boyars' Plot (Andre Moskvin and Eduard Tisse, 58) 
The terror continues, with brief glimpses of this monster in full color.

Ivan's Childhood (Vadim Yusov, 62) 
Completely beautiful with every single shot...

I Vitelloni (Otello Martelli, 52) 
The bridge between Rossellini-inspired realism and Fellini-inspired dreaminess.
 
Jaws (Bill Butler, 75) 
Anyone who can make this on-set disaster look as convincing as this, with its underwater photography, its often questionable special effects and such, deserves some big-time credit.  So many shots here are historically valuable!  
 
Jean De Florette  (Bruno Nuytten, 86) 
With this and the sequel Manon of the Spring, Nuytten and director Claude Berri build a world perfectly colored and framed. 

JFK (Robert Richardson, 91)
With all the formats--8mm, 16mm, 35 mm, black-and-white and color--there is nothing out there (outside of Stone's superior Natural Born Killers) like this. 

Jigoku (Mamoru Morita, 60) 
Hell, in all its ridiculous horror.  

Joan of Arc (Joseph Valentine, William V. Skall, and Winton Hoch, 48) 
Heroism, beautifully captured.  

Johnny Guitar (Harry Stradling, 54)  
Insane coloring, for an equally insane narrative.  

Judgment at Nuremberg (Ernest Laszlo, 61)
With its often documentary feel (and it's a groundbreaker in this realm), Laszlo's camera performs some amazing feats, including an immutable zooming jump from German to English language. 
 
Jules and Jim (Raoul Coutard, 62) 
A menage a trois most excitingly portrayed. 
 
Juliet of the Spirits (Gianni Di Venanzo, 65) 
Federico Fellini's tremendously loving tribute to his muse, Giulietta Masina.   

2 comments:

Jeff Davis said...

love it Dean. Great choices/insights as usual. Gonna re-watch some stuff and your lists always make choices that much easier

Dean Treadway said...

Thanks, Jeff!