Author Topic: Films with Great Cinematography  (Read 9636 times)

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HeywoodRFloyd

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Films with Great Cinematography
« on: September 13, 2012, 12:42:51 AM »
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So guys, I was wondering what films you think have great cinematography. I'm going to try and list some obscure films, and you guys hopefully do the same so we can discover more

Army Of Shadows (1969)
To Catch A Thief (1955)
Harakiri (1962)
Revanche (2008)
Funny Games US (2007)
Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
Persona (1966)
Children Of Men (2006)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
The Conformist (1970)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
No Country For Old Men (2007)
Psycho (1960)
Days Of Heaven (1978)



Pubrick

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 02:08:55 AM »
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:ponder:

any film shot by a professional cinematographer.

/thread
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Pubrick

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 10:27:25 AM »
+1
i didn't mean to actually kill the thread. :yabbse-undecided:

i think ultimately this category is a bit unwieldy.. at best it comes down to "movies that are pretty/showy/highly visual" or something vague that could encapsulate any movie that isn't Birdemic.

a better way to talk about it i think would be "best cinematographers" or "most interesting cinematographers".. because basically any movie shot by Vittorio Storaro is gonna look good, or anything by Emmanuel Lubezki, or just anyone Woody Allen has ever hired (he's got the BEST taste in cinematographers).

that's an interesting idea actually.. whether it's the cinematographer or the director that makes a movie beautiful. there are very few DPs that could save a film on their own merit.. Christopher Doyle might be one. but everyone else is really at the whim of their director. Rodrigo Prieto made magic working with Ang Lee but look at his recent work, We Built A Zzzzwho?

so yeah. run with that.
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MOGWAI

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 10:57:01 AM »
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Dante Spinotti comes first to my mind with "L.A. Confidential" and "The Insider".

BB

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 11:45:08 AM »
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I think that it's probably the cinematographer that makes the movie beautiful. But this depends on how willing the director is to let it happen. It's my understanding that Woody Allen doesn't "direct" much when it comes to his actors. I would assume the same is true of his approach to cinematographers. And, just as his movies often feature amazing performances, they're often really nice to look at. I think that all comes down to the caliber of the artists and actors he employs.

Spinotti is a great cinematographer and has done some wonderful, inventive work. He's also shot Ratner's entire oeuvre.

Lubezki does amazing work with Cuaron and Malick. But he's also done merely good work with the Coens (Burn After Reading) and Mike Nichols (The Birdcage)... the, uh, the Mike Myers Cat in the Hat, etc.

Storaro is an exception in that he's seemingly always had free rein. Even shit like Bulworth and Ishtar looks interesting. But I haven't seen everything he's done by a long shot.

I realize I'm sort of defining really great cinematography as the showy stuff and that this is not necessarily true. Roger Deakins, for example, is rarely showy but solid and well-regarded. Pubrick was right. Any film shot by a professional is very probably gonna have good cinematography.

HeywoodRFloyd

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 09:14:24 AM »
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Does really interesting camera movement/placement count as being 'Cinematography'? Because that was the other half of my intention when I created this thread.

When I think of camera work in films, I think it as a creative choice from a director rather than a cinematographer (PDL for example).
That's also why I listed a Jean Pierre Melville film, because he's style in camera movement is so articulate and impressive/expressive, it's like a character of it's own. I remember watching an interview with Deakins, and he said the same thing about Melville's films.
I wholeheartedly agree that Storaro, Khondji especially Deakins & Lubezki are the great ones. But stepping outside that circle are there any other films that you've been surprised by from the visual element? from camera movement, to maybe the use of light in a B&W film.. or even colour for that matter

I mentioned Harakiri, which I was extremely surprised by how absorbing that film's camera movement was.

I don't know if I'm in the minority here but I don't think Robert Elswit is in the same league of the cinematographers that have been mentioned, but his films with PTA have been nothing short of beautiful. This surely has to be because PTA has an eye for the visuals too, right? because the camera work is mainly what is so impressive in PTA's films.

I also thought I'd post this brilliant shot from Revanche.



Reelist

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 09:40:20 AM »
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samsong

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 02:20:04 PM »
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some of my favorites (limited myself to one per director.)

le plaisir
the magnificent ambersons
the night of the hunter
black narcissus
portrait of jennie
the thin red line
sansho the bailiff
mccabe & mrs miller
the turin horse
happy together
wings of desire
sunrise
gerry
beau travail
golden door
cries and whispers
tropical malady
andrei rublev
the leopard
the passion of joan of arc
red desert
manhattan
the spirit of the beehive
three colors trilogy (especially blue)
the shining
kagemusha
hiroshima mon amour
down by law

and uh... i guess lawrence of arabia



samsong

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 05:18:22 PM »
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...how many of these threads am i going to kill?

matt35mm

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 05:54:10 PM »
+2
Well, speaking personally, I'm not really attracted to lists of movies, so I wasn't going to engage with this thread in that way. I'd be interested in a discussion of what constitutes great cinematography beyond pretty shots and technical skill, which are nice things but common enough. Indeed, I think that there are some films that look kind of shitty and aren't very skillful that I'd think of as having great cinematography (John Cassavetes's films come to mind). To me, it's more a matter of how the image/camera observes and engages with the content of the movie, and how it works together to create the cinematic experience. The camera has an attitude and is saying its own things, at least in a thoughtfully and sensitively shot film. But this is separate from obvious beauty.

I'm also not that interested in whether it's the cinematographer or director that makes a movie beautiful. I find myself caring more about what was done and less about who did it, unless we're really gonna talk about what it is that the individual brings to the collaborative process... though we can only guess. Even hearing PTA talk about it, he seems to forget who brought what to the table... eventually you just have to say that the team did it.

But I don't think you're doing the thread wrong, (in fact, I think you did it just right) and I don't think you killed it; I just think it's not a very interesting thread, if all we're gonna do is say that these movies were pretty and these cinematographers were good.

With all that said, I just remembered that there's this thread: Evolving Shooting Styles Even though it's not titled "What Makes Great Cinematography?," it's the closest thread I could think of that I remember seeing here.

The other thing is that if we DO go into those kinds of conversations, they're more time-demanding, which is probably why that thread also died. But it'd be nice to revive it.

Sorry, I realize that I've come into a thread and yelled at it for not being something else.

MOGWAI

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 09:45:55 PM »
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Saw "Let the right one in" yesterday for the first time in a while and there were a lot of these kind of angles. Very rare in swedish movies btw.


jenkins

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 07:12:43 PM »
+5
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pete

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 08:20:58 PM »
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wheels on meals!
I like this guy.
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matt35mm

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 12:18:45 AM »
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Your blog is fucking awesome. I shall be following it.

pete

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Re: Films with Great Cinematography
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2012, 06:58:59 AM »
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yeah, greatest newbie ever.
Here's the climatic battle from Wheels on Meals; the Jackie Chan bits are just pure joy.


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