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Entries in Roger Deakins (17)

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

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan302014

A Spoonful of Linkage Helps the Blogging Go Down

Todays Must Reads
Matthew Scott, cinematographer, has a great detailed piece on Roger Deakins Oscar nominated work on Prisoners
The Wire Joe Reid ranks all seasons of all Ryan Murphy shows. Hot messes they are!

Linkage
Yahoo Movies Tom Hiddleston originally auditioned to be Thor, not Loki
The Wire Jennifer Lawrence ate Doritos in her American Hustle gown 
The Dissolve talks to Sandra Bernhard about her performance in The King of Comedy (1983). Oscar robbed! 


Fandor on why Sally Hawkins should win Best Supporting Actress for Blue Jasmine 
/Film talks to Chris Evans on the set of Captain America: Winter Soldier 
The Dissolve the SXSW lineup  

Music Break
Kenneth in the (212) Oliva Newton John will be doing a Las Vegas residency! You have to believe she is magic.  
Vanity Fair Madonna and Miley's "We Can't Stop/Don't Tell Me" duet. So cute it is

Tough Topics / Soap Boxes
Gays vs the Grammys an article articulating the most disturbing social media trend of the past few months - gays viciously attacking their allies. It wasn't just the Grammys and it needs to stop. I particularly hate the way Madonna is treated by young gays since she stood by the gay community when it was NOT cool (sorry but Lady Gaga, who I enjoy, was not risking anything by supporting us) and it cost Madonna a lot and then to see everyone turn on her? Sick-making. And also just another boring reminder that ageism is still rampant and hip and also the very dumbest prejudice since it's basically self-loathing in advance. 

The Daily Beast
publishes a must-read, unpleasant as the topic is, about the internet's desire to prosecute Woody Allen for Farrow's allegations. The list of top ten widespread assumptions of fact that are wholly and provably false in the beginning of the article is fascinating.

excellent courtroom drawing from 90s Woody/Mia custody battle. ©Marilyn Church

I love this top ten falsities lede because it basically apply to all divisive topics in this age of (mis)information...

Every time I stumble upon this topic on the internet, it seems the people who are most outraged are also the most ignorant of the facts.

It's also telling of how little facts matter to the internet and pop culture at large. I didn't even know some of this stuff and I was a mega fan of both Mia & Woody when all of this went down (and boy was it depressing and remains so because they're both great artists who made at least a few masterpieces together). The reveal that Mia Farrow approved her clips in Woody's Globes tribute is also an eyebrow raiser. Anyway it's a great read and kinder to Mia and Ronan than you'd think given its conclusions. A sad but mitigating reminder: Woody and Mia had an odd but long relationahip, probably non-monogomamous and definitely non-idyllic, and they both have a history of messy and controversial romantic relationships with collateral damage.  

Wednesday
Jan082014

It's Lucky Number Seven for the ASC

Jose here. As if this year wasn’t already complicated enough in terms of finding "the one" frontrunner (don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!), now the American Society of Cinematographers has gone and made matters worse (in a totally beautiful way) by having their first three-way tie in history which led to a whopping seven nominees for their Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Theatrical Release Award. Joining usual suspects 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis were much less “obvious” choices including The Grandmaster (which our friend Michael has been championing) and Prisoners (which is kinda obvious...) and for those who think this means a snub for American Hustle should remember that none of Russell's movies have ever been nominated for a cinematography award by either ASC or AMPAS. 

The full list of nominees:

• Sean Bobbitt, for 12 Years a Slave
• Barry Ackroyd, for Captain Phillips
• Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster
• Emmanuel Lubezki, for Gravity
• Bruno Delbonnel, for Inside Llewyn Davis
• Phedon Papamichael, for Nebraska
• Roger Deakins, for Prisoners

So far, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis have been racking up the critics awards in this category, so it’s interesting to see what an actual guild has to say. We could say that five of these will be our Oscar nominees, especially since the ASC and Oscar rarely agree in their nominees or awards (in 27 years only 10 ASC winners have gone on to win the Oscar).

TRIVIA and more after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct312013

Unbroken Jolie

Did you ever see Angelina Jolie's directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey? I myself missed it, given it's blink and you'll miss it release (there are a handful of movies each year that feel like they didn't come out that, in fact, did.... Oscar qualifying shadiness is usually to blame). It received middling reviews but will she have more success with her follow up Unbroken? I hope so. I'm always wishing her well since she's one of the Earth's greatest celebrities.

The first photos from the set have emerged and in this one, it looks like she's remaking Kon-Tiki the water is so very blue and the man in the raft is so very blonde.

But actually the film is about  US airman and former Olympian Louis Zamperini (played by young Brit star Jack O'Connell with whom I am unfamiliar. Anyone?) and his World War II adventures in the Pacific where he crash-landed before eventually doing time as a prisoner of war. The film which could well serve as a breakthrough for its trio of young actors also features Domnhall Gleeson (you know him) and gorgeous soap star Finn Wittrock who will also be in Darren Aronofsky's Noah next year so he's going to be so soggy and pruney in 2014. Acting while wet!  The legendary Roger Deakins is behind the camera.

Empire promises...

it will also have sharks. Lots and lots of sharks. 

Hmmm.

I'd rather watch Angelina punch them than direct them. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep232013

Review: Prisoners

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Thanksgiving in movies is usually overstuffed with dysfunction and hostility. Who can digest from all the bile at home? That's not the case in PRISONERS, the new dramatic thriller from undersung Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), which is more retrograde in its approach with the family unit as something sacred and continually under attack. Despite the occassional interjection of ominous music (shut up Jóhannsson... there's plenty of time for your score later!) and an initially drab grey color palette, things seem realistically jovial at this get together.

The Dovers (Hugh Jackman + Maria Bello) are celebrating the holiday at the home of the Birches (Terrence Howard + Viola Davis) just down the street -- close enough to walk -- as they clearly do every year (or perhaps they trade off). The parents are realistically both amused and vaguely annoyed by their children, attentive but 'don't bother me' tired. It's only when the film leaves the homes of the Dovers or Birches that there's trouble brewing... somethings just off. Why did the movie open with a father/son hunting trip? Why is that strange RV parked on the road? Where did Anna's (Hugh's daughter) red emergency whistle go? Are Joy and Anna back yet? The two youngest children just went back to the Dovers to grab that red emergency whistle they wanted to p... OHMYGODwhere are Joy and Anna?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb222013

Final Oscar Predictions

This article has been cross-posted at Towleroad

Yesterday on Kathy Griffin's new show she began with an Oscar monologue and brought out a gold trunks-clad model with his hair cropped tight and his body sprayed gold. I'll let it slide that he wasn't actually bald but he stood with his legs spread far apart and his hands behind his back. 

Had he never seen an Oscar statue before?

UR DOING IT WRONG! 

As you may have guessed I hold the Oscars sacred. You might call it my religion. I've been watching them since I was a little kid and as an adult I have spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over them and even made something of a career out of it. [A struggle!]  But never before in my life have I had such a hard time predicting the winners.

Oh sure, Argo will win Best Picture and Daniel Day-Lewis who many of us first fell in love with as a blonde gay punk working in that Beautiful Laundrette will win for becoming President Lincoln but elsewhere in Oscar's 24 Categories there's an awful lot of room for pundits to embarrass themselves this year!

Best Director, for one, is baffling. The tech prizes look like a very bloody battle between at least three pictures (Anna Karenina, Skyfall & Life of Pi). And so on. AFTER THE JUMP my Oscar predictions. If I get everything wrong please forget we ever spoke of this! 

Click to read more ...