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Entries in Emmanuel Lubezki (11)

Saturday
Apr052014

Team Top Ten: The Greatest Working Cinematographers

Amir here, to welcome you back to Team Top Ten, our monthly poll by all of the website’s contributors. For our first episode in 2014, we are looking at The Greatest Working Cinematographers in the (international) film industry. As long time readers of The Film Experience are surely aware, the visual language of cinema is something Nathaniel and the rest of us are very fond of discussing. Films and filmmakers that have a dash of style and understand cinema as a visual medium always get bonus points around these parts. We celebrate great works in cinematography on a weekly basis in Hit Me With Your Best Shot, but it was time to give the people behind the camera their due.
 

More than 50 cinematographers from all across the world received votes. If the final, somewhat American-centric, list doesn’t quite reflect that, chalk it up to the natural process of consensus voting. Cinematographers like Agnes Godard, Oleg Mutu, Mahmoud Kalari, Rodrigo Prieto and Eric Gautier all had their fans, as did Hollywood stalwarts like Dante Spinotti and Robert Richardson. Furthermore, Harris Savides’s name was attached to several ballots, with the unfortunate note that if he were still alive, he’d be on the list. That would have certainly been the case, so here’s Glenn Dunks with an honorable mention for Savides, and then on to the top ten:

Does anybody doubt that Harris Savides would appear on this list if it weren’t for his death in 2012 at the age of 55? I would even hazard a guess that he could have been number one. I distinctly remember wanting to know who this man was and what his career had been after witnessing Birth. The way he mixed golden hues of UWS high society with the chilly silver of a New York winter captivated me. That film alone with its graceful tracking shots and magnetic opera sequence would be enough of a game changer if it weren’t also for his prior film-defining work with Gus Van Sant on Elephant, Gerry and Last Days. He would later work with David Fincher (Zodiac), Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) and his last great collaborator, Sofia Coppola (Somewhere and The Bling Ring). A mighty force taken too soon.”

 

TOP TEN GREATEST WORKING CINEMATOGRAPEHRS

10. Dion Beebe
“Who on Earth is Dion Beebe?” felt like a common question in the early-to-mid-2000s when the Australian cinematographer stormed onto the Hollywood scene. Whatever it was that director Rob Marshall had seen of his prior work that gave him enough faith to turn to him for Chicago I’m not sure – Australian films Praise and Holy Smoke! were hardly indications to hire him for a lavish musical – but beautiful work it was. Still, if his further collaborations with Marshall on Memoirs of a Geisha (for which he won an Oscar) and Nine (for which he should have been nominated) suggests perhaps little more than a handsome craftsman, then it was his sensual and sensorial work on Jane Campion’s In the Cut, visually representing erotic tingles with images, and Michael Mann’s digital masterworks Collateral and Miami Vice that proved he was a bold and innovative one, too. – Glenn Dunks

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Friday
Feb212014

Your Daily Linkage

Huffington Post a live-blogged review of critical punching bag Pompeii
Pajiba on Lupita Nyong'o on Ellen. We already knew Ellen was a perfect talk show host but Lupita is a natural at talk show guesting as well
Gurus of Gold top threes in each category from the Gurus. Looks like I'm way off consensus on Adaped Screenplay and Editing
Slate Turns out "Chivo", cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, has an instagram feed and Slate is crazy besotted with it
Pop & Hiss P!nk added to performers list at the Oscars. We're guessing aerial acrobatics but they already had those really recently at an Oscars ceremony... like I think just two years ago, right?

NY Times Manohla Dargis delivers an impassioned ode to Jennifer Lawrence's huge career... and thinks she's going to win Sunday night
/Film reports on the Live Read of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction in LA. Lizzy Caplan did the Uma/Amanda parts and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did Vincent Vega and, yes, they got up and danced
NY Times honestly I take issue with this report that Oscar nominations didn't do much for the box office of the nominees. While I agree that the expanded Best Picture field has seriously diluted the marketing pull of "Best Picture!" a lot of these movies would not have done even half of what they did without Oscar buzz. I'm talking ALL of the non-star driven ones
Culture Monster was 2013 really a great year at the movies or does social media just exaggerate all the love?
Playbill oh dear. Lea Michele hasn't given up on starring on Funny Girl on Broadway just yet. Her #1 accomplice Ryan Murphy aims to help her
Keyframe have you seen the video essays on who deserves the Oscars. I thought Best Actress was fairly interesting 
In Contention talks to the sound team on All is Lost
Awards Daily talks to Steven Price about Gravity

Finally, in case you haven't heard The LEGO Movie will be getting a sequel 1190 days from now on May 26th, 2017. Everything will probably not still be awesome -- I loved the movie but it seems like the perfect one-off rather than anything sustainable --  but franchise culture, Lord Business, and the grosses demand it. 

 

Tuesday
Oct082013

Be Careful What You Wish For: Lubezki's First Oscar?

"Oscar giveth. Oscar taketh away."

I've said it often and each year the phrase reasserts its truthfulness. One might also substitute this with "Be careful what you wish for." Oscar maniacs know this warning well. They beg for a first Oscar for Winslet or a third for Streep, for example, and then those things come true and no one is really satisifed with the way it came to pass. And that's just two recent examples. I don't much believe in "locks" in Oscar races in the way most pundits and Oscar fans do -- especially pre-Christmas locks. Upsets do happen, fates don't align, narratives don't take hold and so on. But if there's one or two Oscars this year that I feel are most probable at this juncture, yea even unto lock-dom, it's not Best Actress Cate Blanchett (though she's in third place for "most likely"), but the visual effects and cinematography of Gravity

Famed DP Emmanuel Lubezki is a true genius not just a "genius" in the overindulgent fandom sense. His work is exquisitely lit and beautifully composed but never in quite the same way, each time his light beautifully enveloping and serving the film at hand.  If you think of it like vocal range he's a Mariah Carey/Cyndi Lauper 4 octave diva while most other DPs, even the really fine ones, are closer to the standard 2 octave pop stars. I've wanted him to win the Oscar so many times and I still consider it insane that he lost for both Children of Men (2006) and The Tree of Life (2011).

Oscar Trivia, Computer Trouble, and more after the jump

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Monday
Oct072013

Gravitational Link

The Hollywood Reporter Woody Allen pulls Blue Jasmine from its India release due to anti-smoking laws. Don't tell Woody how his films have to be shown. He gets riled up. See also: Manhattan's (lack of) history on television.
Vulture one of our all time favorite DPs Emmanuel Lubezki looks at scenes from 5 of his beauties: The Tree of Life, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men and Gravity
Cinema Blend Katey on SNL's 50 Shades of Grey audition skit
San Francisco Chronicle how to spot a future classic? interesting article.
The Wrap on the huge amount of documentaries that Oscar voters will have to mull over
Vulture Patton Oswalt reveals his crushes from the Whedonverse. This is so cute
Playbill NYC and Brooklyn residents take note: sing-along screening of Little Shop of Horrors coming up with Rick Moranis 

TV
Pajiba You MUST see this accidental crass move from Disney via Once Upon a Time's spinoff (ugh. one bad show spawns another that will sure attempt to out-ugly Eyesore in Wonderland)
E! Online congratulations to Dot-Marie Jones (Glee) who got engaged to her girlfriend over the weekend. At Disneyland. [Inappropriate Side-Note Given The Happy Times Congratulation: Dot-Marie Jones, like Joan Cusack on Shameless, has competed for "Guest Actress" at the Emmys in three consecutive years. These are series regular roles. Emmy's "Guest" category has, like Oscar's "Supporting" category, gone from being a great idea to a "what is this for?" prize due to the constant fraudulent nominations. Stop the madness!]

I love this photo from behind the scenes of Gravity

Gravitational Pull
The Dissolve a spoiler-laden discussion between two critics on the movie of the moment 
Slate "Gravity is going to be a camp classic"  - this post is so prophetic! 
Vulture fact-checking Gravity with an astronaut. What if you vomit in your spacesuit? 
Deadline on the film's very impressive record-breaking box office

Monday
May202013

Early Bird Oscar Predix Nearly Finished !

Working as fast as I can through the first wave of Oscar charts. I realize 'fast as I can' this year is snail-paced but you have to agree that this year has been a slow-starter anyway. Not that things haven't started now. Cannes is in full swing and in addition to the awards speculation for the Palme D'Or, Cannes prompts film sales, too, and thus distributor shuffling. Stephen Frears Philomena (currently in post) was picked up by the Weinstein Company and given that they had a full slate already -- especially for Best Actress since they're also representing Streep & Kidman in August and Grace -- it must have been more than Judi Dench that prompted the high priced sale. I've added it to the previously completed charts because it's just one of those projects that felt right to me when I first heard about it. Isn't it about time for Stephen Frears to get his mojo back? I've added that new contender to the prediction charts.

But for now, let's talk about the visual and aural categories. What follows is not my predictions but just a few thoughts to kick off a conversation. You can see predictions on the charts here (for visuals) and here (for sound) 

 

Cinematography
It may finally be Emmanuel Lubezki's year. The truly great cinematographer has always been overshadowed by non-discriminatory love for competing films in his nominated years -- in fact he's one of the very rare frequent below the title nominees that does not require any degree of Best Picture heat to be in the conversation. In fact only 20% of his nominations come from Best Picture nominated films. So you know they really love his work and it's not just coattails from the movies. This year he has the now-important advantage (sigh) of working with a ton of visual effects with his frequent collaborator Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity. For reasons that are still unclear to me Oscar voters now view Cinematography as an extension of the Visual Effects category; in the last four years the winners of both categories have been the exact same film. This is a terrible trend since cinematography is an art that's been producing myriad breathtaking works long before anybody had ever heard of CGI. Still... if this is what it takes to finally get Lubezki the Oscar... [more]

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