Friday, September 27, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Cinematography (G-H)

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.  

Gallipoli (Russell Boyd, 81) 
The sandy dunes of WWI Turkey, set opposite the vast spread of Australia, with only dupes as its players.

Giant (William C. Mellor, 56)
This, amongst many in George Stevens' film, is one of the king images in all of American cinema. Taking this single shot in, it's impossible to think of anything other than America's hugest possibilities, and its bitter downfalls. Giant is filled with such luminous work. 

Gimme Shelter (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Gary Weis, 70)
The blood red of it all; the last of an era; the perfect shot.  The ultimate in documentary cinematography. 

Glory (Freddie Francis, 89)  
This particular image...it's like a stupefying painting--as are many in this landmark, underrated film, shot by an unconditional master of the art form.

The Godfather (Gordon Willis, 72)
This says it all. I mean...it changed the look of movies forever.  Still, to this day, in movies, darkness is treasured over brightness because of this one title.  Willis was a true maverick and, while he profited from his willingness to go there, he suffered, too. 

The Godfather, Part II (Gordon Willis, 74)
This says it all, too.  In both sections of this massive mob tale, Gordon Willis made history, and set a deeply felt visual tone for decades of subsequent filmmaking.  And this is an understatement. 
 
Gone with the Wind (Ernest Haller [and Lee Garmes], 39) 
Though it's really a product of special effects, this combination of live action and matte painting somehow illustrates everything one needs to know about this landmark film. 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Tonino Delli Colli, 66) 
A threesome, at each other's throats, and out for blood.  One stupendous film, in one single shot. 

The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Tonino Delli Colli, 64)
A rebel, amongst a band of followers.  And a movie that stands as an inspiration, with its astounding photography as one of its greatest attributes. Still, Delli Colli might be the least talked-about genius of motion picture photography.
 
The Graduate (Robert Surtees, 67)
With this, the veteran Surtees never matched his mastery of bright and dark.  His athletic playfulness here with lighting and focus is something of wonder, even for a photographer as well-versed as he.  


Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki, 2013) 
A absolutely unbeleiveable melding of so many diverse filmmaking crafts, all with the immaculate look of the film as the ultimate goal.  The greatest 3D movie ever made; it makes you feel as if you've never really experienced the whole of the process before. And the attention to cinema detail is just incredible, in all moments.  
  
Great Expectations (Guy Green, 46)
The blending of lights and darks, of art direction and costuming--it's all the evocation of impressive, deeply felt emotion towards and adoration of Dickens' story well told. 

The Greatest Story Ever Told (William C. Mellor and Loyal Griggs, 65)
Widescreen at its most inconceivably brilliant (even if the film is extremely difficult to get through). 

The Green Ray (Sophie Maintigneux, 86) 
A woman's crippling loneliness, seen at its dazzling pinnacle, and then at its brilliant relief.  In my opinion, director Eric Rohmer's most seriously affecting achievement.
 
The Grey Fox (Frank Tidy, 82)
An old cowboy, in a new land. Every wrinkle in our lead's face tells a tale. 

Gun Crazy (Russell Harlan, 50)
One of the great early indie movies, and one that still resonates more than 60 years later as an influence on modern photography.   Its famous single shot of a bank robbery (taken outside the bank) remains a marvel.  

La Haine (Pierre Aim, 95) 
Street thugs in France, in snappily framed black-and-white. Extra exciting! 

 Hair (Miroslav Ondriecek, 79) 
All sides of the late 60s, seen with a dreamy, dynamic feel.

 Harakiri (Yoshiro Miyajima, 62) 
The ultimate in samurai epics, transmitted with suitably breathtaking imagery.
 
Hard Boiled (Wing-Hung Wong, 92)
Action cinematography at its very best. Pure chaos. 
 
The Haunting (Davis Boulton, 63)
Indescribable terror.  In each and every shot, Boulton's lighting works in tandem with the expertly insane art direction to convey an overwhelming sense of unrest. 

Heat (Dante Spinotti, 95)
Law and order battle it out, with a light-dappled L.A. as background.  
 
Heaven’s Gate (Vilmos Zsigmond, 80)
All the way through, even with the negative buzz, one has to marvel at its look!

The Heiress (Leo Tover, 49) 
Absolutely unforgettable in its dark portrayal of a stolen life. 
 
The Hill (Oswald Morris, 65)
Stark and driven, with a perfect use of wide lenses and a stunning sense of of lighting.  

Holy Mountain (Rafael Korkidi, 73)  
Scene after scene, this is one movie that offers the sort of bizarre images that we can barely even dream of.  
 
The Honeymoon Killers (Oliver Wood, 69)
An indie masterpiece, perhaps chiefly because of Wood's grainy, stupendously lit tableaus. 

Hope and Glory (Phillippe Rousselot, 87) 
Britain in WWII splendor, with an appropriately dialed-down color palette.  
 
Hour of the Wolf (Sven Nykvist, 68)
Nykvist pulls out all of his tricks, in service of an insurmountable horror show. 
 
The House of Mirth (Remi Adefarasin, 2000)
This is a trip back in time, all the way through.

Howards End (Tony Pierce-Roberts, 92) 
A painting in movement. 

How Green Was My Valley (Arthur Miller, 41)  
How gorgeous is this? And the entire movie reaches this peak.

Hud (James Wong Howe, 63) 
Oh my god...Howe's work here is beyond reproach, all the way through...absolutely one of the best black-and-white movies ever filmed. 

Hugo (Robert Richardson, 2011) 
Turn-of-the-20th-Century, in Paris, regal and in sumptuous 3D

The Hurt Locker (Barry Ackroyd, 2008) 
The perfect blend of shaky-cam documentary-style and a more grounded narrative-aimed photography. 

The Hustler (Eugene Shuftan, 61) 
A man minus pluck, arriving to shoot against his most respected rival.  Shuftan's expressive widescreen black-and-white photography here is without equal. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Cinematography (E-F)

Early Summer (Yuharu Atsutsa, 51)
Atsutsa's black-and-white photography highlights Ozu's masterful use of shape, line, and space.

East of Eden (Ted McCord, 55)
McCord and director Elia Kazan goose up some truly sumptuous Technicolor work with often jarring dutch angles and sneaky camera placements.

Edvard Munch (Odd-Geir Saether, 74) 
A troubled artist's life, seen through a restless, detail-oriented, documentary-like eye. 

Ed Wood (Stefan Czapsky, 94)
The film's evocative black-and-white work--some of the best ever, in my opinion--makes this low-budget world look incredibly lively and rich.

8 ½ (Gianni Di Venanzo, 63)
Di Venanzo's work here best captures Fellini's unique blending of the real and the surreal, with immutable blinding whites and startling blacks.  

Electra Glide in Blue (Conrad Hall, 73)
Hall's heroic Cinemascope work pits one man against an unforgiving, dwarfing desert backdrop. 

Elephant (Harris Savides, 2003)
With Savides' trained eye, we glide in and out of the halls of this doomed, eerily lit school, stalking both victims and perpetrators from fore and aft.  A surprising radiant movie! 

The Elephant Man (Freddie Francis, 80)
Francis' images seem as if they've been directly beamed from 19th Century Britain; despite the widescreen, each shot seems like absolutely authentic Dagurreotype work.  

Elvira Madigan (Jorgan Persson, 67)  
Incredibly influential and romantic photography; it left its eternal stamp on epics and commercials alike.  Its effects are being felt on movies even today.

The Emerald Forest (Phillippe Rousselot, 85)  
Gorgeous cool greens and blues overtake this strange trip into tribalism.  

Empire of the Sun (Allan Daviau, 87)
War as seen through a child's wide eyes, with epic movement and fantastic emotion.  

The End of Summer (Asakazu Nakai, 61)
Uncharacteristically open and colorful work at Ozu's behest.  

Enter the Void (Benoit Debie, 2009)
Absolutely dazzling POV camerawork, which floats up above us and truly gives us a God's eye view; the dazzling colors on display here are continually not to be believed. 

Eraserhead (Frederick Elmes and Herbert Caldwell, 77)
Lynch's dream of dark and troubling things is given life with the stark contrasts and bland greys of Elmes and Caldwell's superb lensing.  

The Escape Artist (Stephen Burum, 82)
Though set in the 80s, Burum's photography (under the direction of another great cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel) makes our lead character's world into one dominated by memory and nostalgia.  

E.T. The Extraterrestrial (Allen Daviau, 82)  
Daviau's lovely camerawork gives a warm glow to Spielberg's fairy tale, punctuated with mysterious and even disturbing dark interludes.

Excalibur (Alex Thompson, 81)
Absolutely beautiful in every respect, and a pick of mine for some of the most impactful photography ever in movies.  Just a tremendous look to this film, matched with its stupendous art direction and costume design!

The Exorcist (Owen Roizman and Billy Williams, 73) 
Roizman's nearly trademarked blue tints are all over the autumnal Georgetown sequences, while Williams blazes through with bright oranges in the Iraq prologue.  Also excellent in its role in helping sell the special effects and makeup.  

Eyes Wide Shut (Larry Smith, 99)
Kubrick's last cameraman infuses this dreamlike tale with a surplus of reds, pinks, and purples--the colors of passion--while maintaining a continually light-dappled look appropriate for its Christmas-time setting.
 
The Fabulous Baker Boys (Michael Ballhaus, 89)  
Another example of an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, while in the present. 

Fahrenheit 451 (Nicolas Roeg, 66)
Ridiculously bright primary colors; an example of the photography being better than the actual film.

Fail-Safe (Gerald Hirchfeld, 64)
Shocking contrasts, lens choices, and angles. The use of black-and-white here sears itself into your brain, particularly in its dreamy beginning and its dreary end.

Falling Down (Andrzej Bartkowiak, 93)
The downside of L.A., perfectly and believably captured.

The Fall (Colin Watkinson, 2006
Superbly huge and astounding. An underrated epic that rightfully should take its place alongside all the most notable film adventures.

Fame (Michael Seresin, 80)
I love the New York-y work here.  This film looks like no other.  It's simply marvelous to look at.  

Fanny and Alexander (Sven Nykvist, 83)
Definitely among the greatest of all examples of not only Nykvist's work, but of all cinematic photography, ever. 

Far From Heaven (Edward Lachman, 2002)
Absolutely incredible colors all throughout, in deft tribute to the Douglas Sirk look.  

Far from the Madding Crowd (Nicolas Roeg, 67)
Roeg, taking a break from the bright colors, nailing the gloriously authentic visage of the story's time period.  

 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Nicola Picorini, 98) 
Trippy brilliance. 

Fellini Satyricon (Giuseppe Rotunno, 69) 
Shot by shot, totally incredible. How was one person able to do this?  I ask you? 

Fiddler on the Roof (Oswald Morris, 71)
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful--perhaps some of the best cinematography ever. Each and every shot, you just want to eat it up. 

Fight Club (Jeff Cronenweth, 99)
Stupendous in its portrayal of both tremendous wealth and supreme squalor. 

The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T (Frank Planer, 53)
Incredibly vidid!  Like nothing else out there...the supreme representation of Dr. Suess on film.

The Flight of the Phoenix (Joseph Biroc, 65)
A gorgeous, multi-colored adventure film, with Biroc's surprisingly lively lighting and camera angles. 

Flashdance (Donald Peterman, 83) 
Along with Ridley and Tony Scott's movies, the progenitor of that smoky 80s look, and extremely influential in that regard. 

Floating Weeds (Kazuo Miyagawa, 59) 
More sharp angles and vivid colors from the Ozu camp.

Fly Away Home (Caleb Deschanel, 96)
Director Carroll Ballard reteamed with his Black Stallion photographer Deschanel, with similarly sublime and inspiring results.

The Fountain (Matthew Libatique, 2006)
A fantastic story with equally glorious imagery, spread out over a millennium's expanse. 

Frankenstein (Arthur Edeson, 31) 
Iconic photography which defined what horror was to look like for many years to come.  

Full Metal Jacket (Douglas Milsome, 87)  
Deep greens, beiges and cobalt blues dominate the first half, with reds, oranges and greys taking over the final portion of Kubrick's descent into the madness of Vietnam.  

Funny Face (Ray June, 57)
June's ridiculously adventurous and colorful camerawork constantly feels as if it's too unureal to actually exist.