Tag Archives: cinematography

sex, lies, and videotape

Winning the Palme d’Or with his very first feature, Steven Soderbergh not only made a modern classic, he also delivered a how-to manual for film students.

The Blue Angel

Few film songs come anywhere near the layered meanings of Falling in Love Again, sung by Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel.

A Man Escaped

Robert Bresson’s masterpiece is a perfect example of less is more; natural acting, minimal music, off-screen sounds and restricting yourself to a 50mm lens.

Andrei Rublev

Perhaps the greatest ever film about an artist, Andrei Rublev steadfastly refuses to show its subject painting let alone him holding a brush in his hand.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

How do you make a film about a sociopath who murders his entire extended family and still get the audience to root for him?

Saving Private Ryan

Released to ecstatic reviews in 1998, Spielberg’s film soon suffered a backlash. Far more complex than first thought, 21 years on it has finally come of age.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

If such an inscrutable character sits at the heart of John Le Carré’s labyrinthine plot, how is the adaptation such a lucid film?

Let The Right One In

The vampire genre is so ripe with themes of religion, paganism, sexuality, feminism, xenophobia and disease, did Let The Right One In break new ground?

Gravity

For a film that requires so many special effects in order to create the feeling of weightlessness, how did Alfonso Cuarón still keep Gravity so grounded?

Roma

Alfonso Cuarón has long flirted with the neorealist style. His latest masterpiece, Roma illustrates cinema is not about what you show, but how you show it.

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.

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