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Entries in Cinematography (285)

Sunday
Nov272016

In Praise of Bradford Young

Chris here to spread some love for one of my below the line favorites in this year's Oscar Race. Like many of my cohorts here at The Film Experience, I am completely taken with Arrival. Director Denis Villeneuve's last two films (Sicario and Prisoners) resulted in Best Cinematography nominations for the genius Roger Deakins, but this time he partnered up with future legend Bradford Young to stunning results. If the Oscars want to reward some diversity below the line, Young is a mightily deserving talent.

Arrival seems like a fitting film to break him into the Oscar fold considering how it perfectly distills his greatest strengths: layering intimacy and the grandiose in equal measure, complimenting theme, and creating awe in the everyday. Like the film itself, his camera is only deceptively stoic with a great well of feeling underneath. Add in Arrival's many unforgettable images and fluid movement, and we have a real contender.

The cinematography branch is one of the stingiest to let in new voices, but with a major contender like Arrival he can hopefully break through. While much of his past work might have been too small for Oscar, he's been building a steady resume of immaculate work. Let's take a look back at five favorites from his work thus far...

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Monday
Nov212016

Tree of Life Revisited

This weekend a friend of mine invited me to join him for a screening at BAM of Terence Malick's The Tree of Life with a live orchestra. 'But that's only for silent films,' I thought. I said yes right away more to spend time with my friend than to see the film again which I had very much admired but not quite loved in 2011.

Seeing it again five years later proved unexpectedly rewarding. Perhaps it was the huge screen - the first time I'd seen it was on a tiny arthouse screen in Manhattan. Perhaps it was the live accompaniment of a huge orchestra and choir but it felt newly electric...

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Saturday
Nov192016

Live By Night's All-Star Team

One of the advantages of opening extremely late -- though we hate to encourage it! -- is that you're fresh in the minds of voters when ballots arrive. With a film like Live By Night, which would probably not be a player next year if it had opened first quarter as originally planned (it's doing a qualifying week at Christmas) that could mean multiple nominations for its team. Ben Affleck is no fool and lined up a murderer's row of behind-the-scenes giants. Here are the most likely ways that it could affect the Oscar race...

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Saturday
Nov052016

R+J at 20

Did you know that Baz Luhrmann has an instagram account? He's currently using it to celebrate Romeo + Juliet's 20th anniversary with behind the scenes photos and anecdotes (Best LOL: he feels the need to explain what a collage and inspiration boards are for young fans -- ah the days before Photoshop and "mashups".)

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

 

 

Friday
Nov042016

Wake up unashamed!

The weekend is beginning so have fun. Since today is BUtterfield 8's 56th anniversary, let Liz's "Gloria Wandrous" be your spirit guide. Whatever you're planning for tonight, wake up unashamed tomorrow!

More On this Day in Showbiz History goodies after the jump

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Friday
Oct282016

Oscar Horrors: The Uninvited

Boo! It's "Oscar Horrors". Each evening we look back on a horror-connected nomination until Halloween. Here's Tim Brayton on a '40s ghost story...

The Uninvited (1944)  is a rarity among 1940s horror films twice over. For one thing, it's one of the vanishingly tiny number of genre films from that decade to receive Oscar attention, nabbing a Best Cinematography nomination – which is why we're here now, of course. For the other, it's one of the almost-as-tiny number of American horror films of its generation that actually commits to the paranormal. For years, stretching back into the 1930s, almost any time you saw a Hollywood film set in a haunted house, it was an easy bet that by the end of the last reel, you'd find out it was just an elaborate ruse by jewel thieves or some other damn thing. Not so for The Uninvited! Its ghost is real, and presents a genuine danger.

The film's readiness to tell an old-fashioned ghost story without apology or restraint is undoubtedly connected to the recognition given to Charles Lang's deeply shadow-soaked cinematography. 

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