What an awesome year it has been for movies.
I tried to see all of the Oscar nominated movies before the award ceremony and I almost made it. I still have to watch The Hateful Eight though. I know I know I know. I’ll do it, I promised I would. I’ll do it. It’s ok.
Here’s my thoughts on the Cinematography nominated movies:
The Revenant, directed by Alejandro Inairitu, shot by Emmanuel Lubezki aka Chivo. I knew it was going to win. I knew it. Me and ten thousand other people. I’ve been obsessing about this movie since the day I saw the trailer. I read every single article out there and saw every interview that I could find on this movie in the known universe. How they made it happen it’s still beyond me.
It’s not very often that I get to watch movies that are so heavily depended on mood and this movie is really all about mood. And also medium shots on wide lenses that make every actor in that movie seem like they came out of the National Geographic.
I suggest following Chivo on instagram if you want to see more awesome portraits.
Sicario, directed by the very talented Denis Villeneuve and shot by probably one of the greatest cinematographers ever, Roger Deakins.
Mr. Deakins will never cease to amazing me, like, not even in a million years. A few days before watching Sicario, I went to watch Hail, Caesar, the new Coen brothers movie, also shot by Roger. Hail , Caesar takes place in the 50s and therefore it was shot on film. It follows an almost film noir style at times, with minimal camera movement and gorgeous lighting.
A few days later, I watched Sicario and I felt that I was looking through a set of new eyes. That’s the only way I can explain what I felt. Sicario has way more complex camera movements, an extremely clean style and a very interesting lighting and framing. A lot of the times we see the actors through curtains or windows, sometimes they are sitting in the shadow in low lit rooms and sometimes they are sitting in enviroments that their lighting makes you feel awkward, like for example that yellow interrogation room.
What I’m trying to say is that both movies were shot by the same person but if you didn’t know it you wouldn’t have guessed it. That’s the trick of being a talented cinematographer, that you can adjust your style based on the story, and Roger knows how to do that in an extremely masterful way.
Here’s an awesome conversation he has with Matthew Heineman:
It’s so lovely to see Roger asking questions, because he is the one who always gets a million questions from everyone. But sometimes you get to know someone and the way they think by the questions they are asking, and let me tell you Roger is a great guy and a great cinematographer.
Carol, directer by Todd Haynes and shot by Ed Lachman. This movie is simply gorgeous. I think I wrote somewhere else that it feels that it has tiny touch of Christopher Doyle. Shot on Super 16mm, with strong tones of green and red it feels like you are watching a movie made out of old pictures. And that was the idea, their reference for this movie was photography that came out in the 1950s. Explain better by Lachman himself here: http://variety.com/2015/film/in-contention/carol-cinematographer-edward-lachman-todd-haynes-far-from-heaven-1201655217/
Mad Max, directed by George Miller and shot by John Seale. All of my thoughts of this awesome movie were written down a while back here: https://christianacharala.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/mad-max-fury-road/
Cinematography-wise I think it’s one of those movies that you have to be some sort of a cinema god to be able to shoot it. I mean honestly, I think that you must have 100 years of experience, 1000 pounds of talent (not sure what unit we are using these days to measure talent) and I’m sure that it would still be incredibly difficult to shoot it.
I remember that when I went to watch it, I came out of the theater feeling that I was still running. And the crazy part is that I was never running to begin with.