Cinematography: Days of Heaven

Director: Terrence Malick
Cinematographer: Nestor Almendros

When one says "great cinematography," beautiful landscapes, tight close-ups, perfectly balanced colors, and Days of Heaven come to mind.

Days of Heaven, featuring a young Richard Gere, was directed by Terrence Malick. It's a love triangle set in early 20th century America.

The film is notable for its better-than-brilliant cinematography, which was mostly shot by Nestor Almendros. Days of Heaven is visual magnificence.

The film's iconic locust attack sequence.

Cinematography: The Seventh Seal

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Cinematographer: Gunnar Fischer

Last June 11, acclaimed cinematographer Gunnar Fischer passed away. He was 100 years-old. Fischer is best known to film enthusiasts as the man who preceded Sven Nykvist as Ingmar Bergman's cinematographer. In fact his most notable works are the ones he did for Bergman: The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, etc.

The Seventh Seal is the most parodied among Bergman's films. It is set in 13th century Sweden, during the Black Plague. After a crusade, Antonius Block (Max von Sydow), along with his squire (Gunnar Bjornstrand), makes his way back home. Along comes Death (Bengt Ekerot). Antonius, not yet ready to leave this world, makes a deal with Death; if Antonius wins the game of chess, Death will leave him alone.

The Seventh Seal wouldn't be the same without Fischer's haunting cinematography.

Death vs. Antonius


A Superb Drink Up to the Last Sip

Carlos Saura, 1967

Geraldine Chaplin radiates grace in almost every film she's in. That's why I forgive her for taking part in that junk called BloodRayne. I've always been entranced by Chaplin's screen presence. And after watching Cría cuervos, I was intrigued to see more of Carlos Saura's films. So I checked out Peppermint Frappe, his first of nine films with Chaplin.


Cinematography: The Spirit of the Beehive

Director: Victor Erice
Cinematographer: Luis Cuadrado

Cuadrado was already going blind during The Spirit of the Beehive's production. Cuadrado, along with Nestor Almendros, is considered to be one of the greatest Spanish cinematographers who astounded audiences around the world with their breathtaking visions. Both Cuadrado and Almendros went blind later in their careers. Both also died under tragic circumstances; Almendros succumbed to AIDS, and Cuadrado committed suicide. But their works will continue to inspire audiences and filmmakers alike.

Cuadrado's work for The Spirit of the Beehive is one of his best. Victor Erice's film tells the story of a dreamy seven year-old girl who wanders into her own fantasy world after watching Frankenstein. I've always thought that The Spirit of the Beehive somehow inspired Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.

The Spirit of the Beehive is one of the most astonishing films I've ever seen; thanks to Erice's flawless storytelling, Ana Torrent's raw but engaging performance, and Cuadrado's splendid photography.

Wow. Just wow.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...