There's a couple that really stand out that made me realize, as a burgeoning film nerd, that there's this thing called "cinematography" that can greatly influence a film.
I think the first time I really picked up on it was in Casino, by Robert Richardson. I was thinking "Why do all the lights have that hazy, surreal look to it?" Especially everything that falls out of focus or into the background turns into this fuzzy sort of haze, it looked incredible. I was at film school at the time and I asked my teacher about it, he really broke it down how much of an impact cinematography can have on a film and the effect it has on story and mood and characters and the like. After that, it really became apparent to me and I watched for it. (I think that was around 97-98)
Another film that just knocks me on my ass is Apocalypse Now shot by Vittorio Storraro. All the weird colors and stuff he uses, how he makes the greens and some of the really vibrant colors stand out makes it seem surreal and dreamlike, which is obviously the effect Coppola is going for. One of my favorite scenes is when Chef and Willard are in the jungle looking for mangos and they encounter the tiger. The way he brought out all the vibrant colors on those huge plants and juxtaposed the muted color of the characters and some of the background against it made it seem like they were on another planet.
Gordon Willis' work in the (first two) Godfather films is ridiculous too, the way he has everything so dark and contrasty and brings out all the blacks and browns really sets a nice color palatte. His extreme overexposure makes the film very dark and really compliments the tone of the characters and the dark nature of the film as well.
I guess those were some of the biggest and clearest examples that really got me interested in motion picture photography and continue to amaze me every time I see them.
What say ye? What are some of your guys' best examples?
What are some of your favorite movies, photography wise?
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