Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Encylopedia of Cinematography (K-L)

Kagemusha (Takao Saito and Shoji Ueda, 80)
Wow--what a color pallette!  Spellbinding!  And I type that while trying to keep my shit together!!

The Killing (Lucien Ballard, 56)  
The beginnings of Stanley Kubrick's balanced, nuanced signature style, in collaboration with a master photographer who had no real respect for this young visionary (though old-guard Ballard did as he was told anyway).  
The Killing Fields (Chris Menges, 84)
A splendid melding of documentary and narrative photography stylings, in service of a brutal and moving tale of war, survival, and friendship.  

The King and I (Leon Shamroy, 56) 
The opulence of an unapproachable king, set against the giving heart of a lowly governess. Stupefyingly beautiful, all the way through--especially when they dance!  

King Solomon's Mines (Robert Surtees, 50) 
A proud progenitor of the action/adventure movie, in full and replete color.  

Kings of the Road (Robby Müller and Martin Schäfer, 76) 
A superb, expansive use of black and white.   

The King's Speech (Danny Cohen, 2010) 
Very unusual framing and color choices here, in a movie that could have been much less demanding in its success.  

Kiss Me, Deadly (Ernest Laszlo, 55)
For my money, the king of all noirs, with darkness, dutch angles, and wild, slashing shadows galore.  

Klute (Gordon Willis, 71) 
Willis adds his creepy command of darkness to Alan J. Pakula's thriller, with superb effect.  

The Knack, and How To Get It (David Watkin, 65)
Crazy oversaturated and often dreamy images dot this nutso comedy set in Swingin' London.  

Koyannisqatsi (Ron Fricke, 82)
Documentary photography like you've never seen it before.  Truly one-of-a-kind camera mastery here, with overexposures, slow motion and time lapse shots like you wouldn't believe.  
Kramer vs. Kramer (Nestor Alamendros, 79)
Warm and cozy NYC filmmaking of the highest order; incredible in that it seems so unassuming, and yet is so continually gorgeous. 
Kundun (Roger Deakins, 97)
Every shot here is astounding in its endlessly dazzling use of color instensity and composition.  
Kwaidan (Yoshio Miyagima, 64)
A nightmarish creep-out, this one, with always inventive widescreen work.  

L.A. Confidential (Dante Spinotti, 97)  
In its telling of a pulpy tale, it merges the real with the unreal, all while set in a land of dreams.  Completely energetic and ravishing. 

Lancelot du Lac (Pasqualino de Santis, 74) 
The brutality of King Arthur's court, shot with lush grit. 

Lassie Come Home (Leonard Smith, 43) 
Sumptuous, delicious Technicolor work, in service of our collective love of animals, and starring the most charismatic animal star of all time.
The Last Picture Show (Robert Surtees, 71)
The incredible B&W photography is so much like a film of the era in which it's set (the early 50s), it's impossible to believe it hails from the 70s. IMPOSSIBLE! 
Last Tango in Paris (Vittorio Storaro, 72)
Storaro furthers his collaboration with Bernardo Bertolucci, and amazes us with each shot of this groundbreaking classic.  

Last Year at Marienbad (Sacha Vierny, 61)
Dream photography nonpareil!  

The Last Emperor (Vittorio Storaro, 87)  
More work from Storaro and Bertolucci, this time capturing China's Forbidden City in all its tremendous opulence.

The Last Temptation of Christ (Michael Ballhaus, 88)  
A succession of stunning images that will sear themselves into your brain!  Jesus--a man of impeccable tastes--would have wanted it so. 
The Last Waltz (Michael Chapman, Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, 78) 
Possibly the most dynamically filmed concert performance ever to hit the screen.  

L’Atalante (Louis Berger, Boris Kaufman, and Jean-Paul Alphen, 34)
Absolutely mesmerizing in its invention and bravery, from director Jean Vigo, who left us way too early.  

Laura (Joseph La Shelle, 44)
A key noir in every way, and one of the most perverse!

Lawrence of Arabia (Freddie Young, 62)
Epic widescreen photography at its highest apex--huge in scope, yet also incredibly intimate and personal. Can you IMAGINE the human effort that went into making this movie, and in the middle of the desert, too? 

Leave Her to Heaven (Leon Shamroy, 45)
Stunning use of evocative shadows and rich colors in this odd noir from director John Stahl.  

The Leopard (Giuseppe Rotunno, 63)  
Another stunningly intimate and visually detailed epic, with a recognizably Italian ambiance!  
Lenny (Bruce Surtees, 74)
Rich black-and-white, from a photographer with a penchant for utter darkness.  

Life with Father (J. Peverell Marley and William V. Skall, 47)  
Stunning Technicolor work that's often forgotten!  All the red hair in this movie just pops!   

Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda, 2012) 
Digital and real world photography continue their first genuine meeting. 
A Little Princess (Emmanuel Lubezki, 95) 
Gorgeous work, both in the real and the extra unreal fantasy sequences, and the near beginning of the photographer's association with one of his most valued collaborators, director Alfonso Cuaron. 

Local Hero (Chris Menges, 83) 
The haunting Scottish beaches, and the impersonal Texas highrises clash wonderfully in this, perhaps one of the most terrifically shot comedies of all time.  
Lola Montes (Christian Matras, 55)  
A film in which each shot is just unspeakably tremendous.  A must for cinematography afficiandos.  

The Long Goodbye (Vilmos Zsigmond, 74)
Los Angeles has never looked more seedy and unusual than in this Altman-directed noir, with his trademarked constantly-in-motion camerawork.  
The Long Riders (Ric Waite, 80)
Only one non-Peckinpah film has done things so right, Peckinpah would be proud, and this is in large part due to the athletic cinematography (and editing).  
Looking for Mr. Goodbar (William A. Fraker, 77)
The 70s bar scene, shockingly real and scary.  The strobe light sequence at the climax might very well make you ill!   

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (Andrew Lesnie, 2001) 
The template for one of the most respecting movie series of all time.  Its understanding and completion of Middle Earth's look is beyond reproach.

The Lost Weekend (John F. Seitz, 45) 
Alcoholism at its despairing rock bottom, shot with disquieting contrasts.  

The Lover (Robert Fraisse, 92) 
Heated and sweaty eroticism.  

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