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Greatest cinematographers?


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#1 of 26 john davies

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Posted November 11 2003 - 05:52 AM

Some all-time greats:

Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Miss Oyu, Ugetsu Monogatari, Sansho Dayu, Yojimbo..)

Vittorio Storaro (The Conformist, Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky..)

Sven Nykvist (Persona, Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander, The Sacrifice..)

Gregg Toland (Wuthering Heights, The Grapes of Wrath, Citizen Kane, The Best Years of Our Lives..)

Edouard Tissé (Strike, Battleship Potemkin, Alexabder Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible 1&2)

Robbie Muller (Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road, Paris Texas, Breaking the Waves)

Robert Burks (Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Birds..)

Gordon Willis (Klute, The Godfather series, All the President's Men, Annie Hall, Manhattan..)

Jack Cardiff (A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes..)

Raoul Coutard (A Bout de Souffle, Shoot the Pianist, Jules et Jim, Pierrot le Fou..)

Nestor Almendros (My Night with Maud, Claire's Knee, Anne and Muriel, Days of Heaven..)

Robert Krasker (Henry V- Olivier, Brief Encounter, Odd Man Out, The Third Man, El Cid)

Douglas Slocombe (Dead of Night, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Servant, Raiders of the Lost Ark..)

Conrad Hall (Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty, The Road to Perdition)

#2 of 26 Angelo.M

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Posted November 11 2003 - 06:45 AM

You've got many of the greats. Also...

Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan, AI, Minority Report, Catch Me if you Can, Amistad, Schindler's List)

Darius Khondji (Panic Room, Seven, Delicatessen)

Jordan Cronenweth (State of Grace, Stop Making Sense, Blade Runner, Altered States, Rattle & Hum)

Lun Yang (Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou)


#3 of 26 john davies

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Posted November 11 2003 - 08:16 AM

Ah yes, i keep forgetting Kaminski, though his name reminds me of the beginning of Lubitsch's classic comedy To Be or Not to Be!

#4 of 26 Lew Crippen

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Posted November 11 2003 - 08:50 AM

One of my current favorites is Christopher Doyle. A favorite of Wong Kar-Wai, he was also responsible for Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Quiet American.
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#5 of 26 MartinTeller

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Posted November 11 2003 - 09:07 AM

I was about to mention Doyle too. A few more:


Benoit Delhomme (Scent of Green Papaya, Cyclo, What Time Is It There?)

Robert Yeoman (Drugstore Cowboy, Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, Royal Tenenbaums)

John Alcott (A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining)

Thomas Mauch (Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo)

Frederick Elmes (Eraserhead, River's Edge, Blue Velvet, The Ice Storm)

Roger Deakins (Sid & Nancy, Shawshank Redemption, all the Coen Bros movies since Barton Fink)

#6 of 26 Kevin Leonard

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Posted November 11 2003 - 09:08 AM

Where's the love for Robert Richardson (Kill Bill, Platoon, Talk Radio, JFK, Natural Born Killers, Casino, Bringing Out the Dead, The Doors)?
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#7 of 26 Rob Tomlin

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Posted November 11 2003 - 05:10 PM

Shame on you guys.

No mention yet of Freddie Young!?

Glad to see Robby Muller mentioned! He has also been the DP on Dead Man, Down by Law and other Jim Jarmusch movies and does beautiful work.

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#8 of 26 Walter Kittel

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Posted November 11 2003 - 05:52 PM

Not to squelch the discussion ( please continue by all means ) here is a link to an older Cinematography draft that contains a number of great films and cinematographers...

Cinematography Draft

- Walter.

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#9 of 26 Brook K

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Posted November 12 2003 - 03:30 AM

Michael Ballhaus - Whity, The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant, Fox And His Friends, Chinese Roulette, The Marriage Of Maria Braun, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Gangs of New York

Roger Deakins - Barton Fink, Fargo, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn't There
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#10 of 26 Zen Butler

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Posted November 12 2003 - 03:37 AM

Jack Cardiff ... yes

I'd add Freddie Francis

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#11 of 26 Simon_Lepine

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Posted November 12 2003 - 04:22 AM

Sacha Vierny (Année dernière à Marienbad, Hiroshima Mon Amour, The Cook, The Thief His Wife & Her Lover)

Also, John Alton for all his great film noirs and Mario Bava

#12 of 26 john davies

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Posted November 12 2003 - 04:40 AM

Ballhaus' work; an interesting combination for Fassbinder and Scorsese. His use of reflective surfaces in Chinese Roulette makes the film, and he does a great job too on The Age of Innocence, which is surely the director's most underrated film.

#13 of 26 Agee Bassett

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Posted November 12 2003 - 05:36 AM

Some greats not mentioned here yet:

Joseph August - The Informer, Gunga Din, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), The Devil and Daniel Webster, They Were Expendable, Portrait of Jennie.

Lee Garmes - City Streets, Shanghai Express, Scarface, Zoo in Budapest, Gone With the Wind, Duel in the Sun, Nightmare Alley, The Paradine Case, Land of the Pharaohs.

Harold Rosson - Docks of New York, The Garden of Allah, The Wizard of Oz, Duel in the Sun, The Asphalt Jungle, The Red Badge of Courage, Singin' in the Rain.

Gabriel Figueroa - La Perla, The Fugitive (1947), Los Olvidados, Macario, The Exterminating Angel, Night of the Iguana.

James Wong Howe EMark of the Vampire, Kings Row, Body and Soul, Picnic, Sweet Smell of Success, Hud, Seconds.

George Barnes ECondemned, Dames, Rebecca, Meet John Doe, Jane Eyre, Spellbound, Force of Evil

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#14 of 26 JohnRice

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Posted November 18 2003 - 04:53 PM

Glad to see Jordan Cronenweth get in there so quickly. Though, I've never been that wild about Kaminski.

To flesh out Freddie Francis' list, The Elephant Man, The Man in the Moon, Glory.

Bojan Bazelli, who is a total chameleon. Probably the reason I like him so much and am not that wild about Kaminski. The Rapture, Dangerous Beauty and Body Snatchers. Anyone who has seen all three of those. Tell me, honestly, that you though they were shot by the same guy.

Barry Sonnenfeld. Great DP, shitty director. Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona and When Harry Met Sally.

Jan DeBont. See comments about Sonnenfeld. Flatliners, Black Rain.

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#15 of 26 Patrick McCart

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Posted November 18 2003 - 05:06 PM

James Wong Howe's cinematography in Laugh Clown Laugh and Yankee Doodle Dandy is also fantastic.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Karl Freund yet. He shot The Last Laugh, Metropolis, Dracula, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Good Earth, and Key Largo. Not to mention he also directed The Mummy and Mad Love. His pioneering camera work on I Love Lucy is also worth mentioning.

Arthur Edeson's work on All Quiet On the Western Front, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Mutiny on the Bounty, Frankenstein, the 65mm The Big Trail, The Bat, The Invisible Man, the silent The Lost World, Douglas Fairbank's Robin Hood, and The Thief of Baghdad (also Fairbanks).

#16 of 26 Dome Vongvises

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Posted November 18 2003 - 05:47 PM

Let's say I want to find a cinematographer who's great with soft photography, use of space both tight and large, and simple geometric arrangements. Whose style best fits that description?

#17 of 26 Brook K

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Posted November 19 2003 - 03:03 AM

Probably many could fit that description Dome, Karl Freund, Nestor Alemendros, Sven Nykvist, Michael Ballhaus, etc
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#18 of 26 JohnRice

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Posted November 19 2003 - 05:35 AM

Dome, I don't think there really is an answer to that question. To me, a good cinematographer is not limited to just those aspects. Cinematography is storytelling. If a DP limits himself to those strengths, he limits his storytelling.

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#19 of 26 Brian Lawrence

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Posted November 19 2003 - 07:02 AM

One of the better cinematographers that always seems to be neglected in these discussions is Tak Fujimoto, his work may not be as flashy as some of the more well known DPs, but I can't think of many that are better at creating mood and atmosphere. Plus he has a superb eye for framing and lighting faces, whether it's Jodie Foster, Bruce Willis or Tom Hanks, actors always seem to have more range and expressiveness when being filmed by Fujimoto.

A few films he has worked on.

Badlands
The Sixth Sense
Beloved
Devil in a Blue Dress
Philadelphia
Silence of the Lambs
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
A Thousand Acres

#20 of 26 Simon_Lepine

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Posted November 19 2003 - 08:37 AM

Framing, composition and arrangements should be the work of the director, like the choice of the shots, angles, etc. It probably varies from director to director, but to me the ideal director take charges of those thing.

If not, what exactly is his role, talking to the actors? The DP's role, IMO, is getting the right lighting, mood, focus, colors, etc, that fits the movie. It's a more of a technical job, the artistic vision should come from the director.