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New Cinematographers

by Alex Ballinger

A cinematographer’s skill can make or break a film’s overall look, and yet cinematographers are legendarily reticent to discuss their craft. New Cinematographers meets this challenge, featuring the work of six major, young, contemporary cinematographers whose vision defines the way films look today. Extended studies of each cinematographer’s work — fully illustrated with stills, lighting charts and storyboards — help show how each translates their aesthetic vision into the actual filmed work. The book includes a detailed resource section, an annotated bibliography and detailed technical glossary.

Featured cinematographers (and their partial film credits) include:

Lance Acord
Buffalo ‘66 (1998), Being John Malkovich (1999), The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2001), Adaptation (2003), Lost in Translation (2003).

Lance Acord’s eclectic filmography reflects his roots in commercials (Becks, Nike and Calvin Klein) music videos (Sonic Youth and REM) and independent film-making. His raw and uncompromising collaborations with Vincent Gallo (Buffalo ‘66), Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), Peter Care (The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), and Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) justify his reputation as a ‘renowned lenser’.

Jean Yves Escoffier
Boy Meets Girl (1984), Mauvais Sang (1986), Les Amants du Pont Neuf (1991), Gummo (1997), Nurse Betty (2000), Possession (2002), The Human Stain (2003).

Escoffier’s trilogy made with director Leos Carax (Boy Meets Girl, Mauvais Sang and Les Amants du Pont Neuf) are landmark films in their use of black & white and color cinematography. Escoffier is a master of the art of colored light and one of the leading practitioners of nighttime urban cinematography.

Darius Khondji
Delicatessen (1991), City of Lost Children (1995), Seven (1995), Stealing Beauty (1996), Alien Resurrection (1997), The Beach (2000), Panic Room (2002), Anything Else (2003).

Khondji is arguably the pre-eminent ‘painter of darkness’ of his generation and his intense collaborations with Jean Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children and Alien Resurrection) and David Fincher (Seven and Panic Room) emanate from a passionately committed cinematographer, who describes making films as ‘close to making love in terms of pleasure and intimacy’.

John Mathieson
Love is the Devil (1998), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001), K-PAX (2001), Matchstick Men (2003).

A decade of grafting in music videos (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Garbage, Prince, UNKLE) followed by low-budget skin-of-your-teeth British film-making with Julien Temple (Vigo) and John Maybury (Love is the Devil) prepared Mathieson for his productive relationship with the Scott dynasty (Jake Scott on Plunkett & Macleane and Ridley Scott on Gladiator and Hannibal).

Seamus McGarvey
The Winter Guest (1997), The War Zone (1999), High Fidelity (2000), Wit (2001), Enigma (2001), The Hours (2003).

At 33, McGarvey is the youngest person ever to become a member of the British Society of Cinematographers and has already amassed an extraordinary range of films with first-time directors Michael Winterbottom (Butterfly Kiss), Alan Rickman (The Winter Guest), Tim Roth (The War Zone) and industry giants such as Stephen Frears (High Fidelity), Mike Nichols (Wit) and Michael Apted (Enigma). This combination underlines McGarvey’s cutting-edge and innovate technique combined with an understanding of the traditions of classical cinematography.

Harris Savides
The Game (1997), The Yards (2000), Gerry (2002) and Elephant (2003)

Savides’ apprenticeship was served in music videos (Madonna, Bowie) and commercials (Nike, Levi’s, Calvin Klein). However, his collaborations with Phil Joanou (Heaven’s Prisoners), David Fincher (The Game), John Torturro (Illuminator) and James Gray (The Yards) shows a mastery of light and shade which keenly evokes the classic cinematography of 1970s cinema.

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New Cinematographers
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers,
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1856693341


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