Tag Archives: cinematography

Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning, off-beat romance deftly explores themes such as isolation, miscommunication and the superficiality of modern media.

The Double Life of Veronique

Krzysztof Kieślowski avoids all the clichés of doppelgängers, doubles and lookalikes to deliver a meditation on freedom.

Gladiator

Going into production, Gladiator had nothing near a finished script yet one simple change to the start of the story turned it into the greatest opera ever filmed.

Cold War

Despite its title, Cold War is not an espionage thriller. Instead, Pawel Pawlikowski loosely based it on his parents’ lives. But it’s not a biopic either. So what is it?

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This western opened new frontiers for the genre; celebrity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Werner Herzog’s hallucinatory telling of a Conquistador’s search for El Dorado etches a landscape of greed on the human face.

Nosferatu

Long before it was revered as a masterpiece, F.W. Murnau’s radical reimagining of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel had to be saved from the furnaces.

The Godfather

Regarded as the greatest gangster picture of them all, the passing years continue to reveal new layers and meanings in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

Pather Panchali

Pather Panchali translates into English as Song of the Road, but the production was so arduous and fortuitous it should be called Song of Miracles.

Munich

Upon its release, Munich was attacked for historical inaccuracy, political naivety and moral equivalency. But it is one of Spielberg’s greatest works.

Y Tu Mamá También

Alfonso Cuarón’s drug fuelled tale of two oversexed youths and an older woman on a road trip in search of a mythical beach results in a thesis on social connectivity.

Yi Yi

As the title to Edward Yang’s masterpiece indicates, Yi Yi is a series of doubles; narrative, thematic, visual and aural, that deliver a subtle family portrait.

Cries and Whispers

Cries and Whispers was Ingmar Bergman’s fourth colour film but with a palette of just black, white and red, he still painted deep emotions and vivid dreams.

Battleship Potemkin

Sergei Eisenstein devised montage for black and white and silent film. How have the elements of sound, colour and digital cinema extended his theories?

The Cook the Thief his Wife & her Lover

First seen as an eviscerating critique of Thatcherism, 30 years on it belongs with the MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Released in 1971, critics bracketed Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller as a revisionist western. Truth is, the western has always been revising itself.

Easy Rider

Upon its release, it seemed that Easy Rider typified the spirit of the nineteen-sixties. But it really should be viewed as the first film of the seventies.

Bicycle Thieves

Many films enjoy exaggerated reputations, but it is almost impossible to underestimate the beauty, truth and importance of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.

Blow Out

Rear Window, Vertigo, Blowup, Weekend, the Zapruder film and The Conversation are all to be seen and heard in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out.

The Gospel According to Matthew

How did a blasphemous, homosexual, Marxist, atheist manage to make the greatest film about the life of Jesus Christ?

Festen

William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud, Ingmar Bergman and John Cassavetes are just some of the disparate influences on view in Thomas Vinterberg’s masterpiece.

A Matter of Life and Death

Francois Truffaut once claimed ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’ were incompatible. Powell and Pressburger proved him wrong.

Ida

In ancient Greece, all violence took place off stage. How can filmmakers show the violence of the Holocaust without exploiting the memory of the victims?

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