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Rate BRAVEHEART's Photography


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#1 Tom Lowe

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:13 PM

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On some cinematography boards, I fell like a NASCAR fan if I dare mention how much I love the photography of Braveheart. It's a grueling, spectacularly beautiful piece of cinematography by John Toll, IMO. Also keep in mind that Toll was working with a first-time director, on a massive period-piece war epic.

Rate Toll's work on a 1-10 scale. Compare it to the alltime cinematography masterpieces, like Lawrence, Days of Heaven, In the Mood, Kane, Apocalypse, etc.

Thanks!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:27 PM

Well, Gibson had directed "The Man Without a Face" a few years before that...

I'm never comfortable with rating movies or listing them best-to-worst because it gets a bit arbitrary -- I prefer more generalized groupings (top ten in no particular order, for example) or simply to talk about "favorite" rather than "best".

"Braveheart" has excellent widescreen photography and beautiful interior lighting, no doubt.
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#3 Tom Lowe

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 11:25 PM

My bad about the directing fact. I can't believe I missed that.

David, would you place Toll's work on this picture in your all-time top 30 or so? Or nothing that special?

BTW, do we have some threads here discussing all-time best cinematography?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:51 AM

I just posted my favorites list here, which has "Braveheart" on it:
http://www.cinematography.com/forum2004/in...showtopic=26361

At some point, it just becomes absurd to narrow it down to the point where I have to choose between "Sunrise", "Black Narcissus" and "Braveheart", you know what I mean?

I mean, as far as "favorite widescreen cinematography for period epics made in the past twenty years", yes, "Braveheart" is way up there, with "Dances with Wolves", "New World", "1492", etc.
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#5 Tom Lowe

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:26 PM

I've never seen 1492. I might have to check that out.

Did that link you posted get truncated? It doesn't seem to work for me.

Edited by Tom Lowe, 21 October 2007 - 01:27 PM.

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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 07:01 PM

I haven't updated it in awhile...

FAVORITE CINEMATOGRAPHY BY DECADE

Silent Era:
Broken Blossoms (1919)
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
The Last Laugh (1922)
Nosferatu (1922)
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Sparrows (1926)
Metropolis (1927)
Sunrise (1927)
Wings (1927)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

1930?s:
All?s Quiet On the Western Front (1930)
Morocco (1930)
Dishonored (1931)
Scarlet Empress (1934)
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Midsummer Night?s Dream (1935)
Garden of Allah (1936)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Alexander Nevsky (1938)
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Gone With The Wind (1939)
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

1940?s:
Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Long Voyage Home (1940)
Rebecca (1940)
Citizen Kane (1941)
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Henry V (1944)
Jane Eyre (1944)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
Spellbound (1945)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Duel in the Sun (1946)
Great Expectations (1946)
A Matter of Life & Death (1946)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
Black Narcissus (1947)
The Fugitive (1947)
Out of the Past (1947)
Hamlet (1948)
Oliver Twist (1948)
The Red Shoes (1948)
The Third Man (1949)


1950?s:
Rashomon (1950)
An American in Paris (1951)
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Othello (1952)
Singin? In The Rain (1952)
Ugetsu Monogatari (1953)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Night of the Hunter (1955)
Pather Panchali (1955)
Aparajito (1956)
Lust for Life (1956)
Moby Dick (1956)
The Searchers (1956)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
Throne of Blood (1957)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Vertigo (1958)
Apur Sansar (1959)
Ben-Hur (1959)

1960?s:
Psycho (1960)
Spartacus (1960)
El Cid (1961)
One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
Yojimbo (1961)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Cleopatra (1963)
8 1/2 (1963)
Hud (1963)
The Trial (1963)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
I Am Cuba (1964)
Dr. Zhivago (1965)
Help! (1965)
Red Beard (1965)
Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1967)
In Cold Blood (1967)
Hell in the Pacific (1968)
Romeo & Juliet (1968)
2001 (1968)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Wild Bunch (1969)

1970?s:
The Conformist (1970)
Patton (1970)
Ryan?s Daughter (1970)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Devils (1971)
Fiddler On The Roof (1971)
The French Connection (1971)
Klute (1971)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Cabaret (1972)
Cries & Whispers (1972)
Deliverence (1972)
Fat City (1972)
The Godfather (1972)
Last Tango In Paris (1972)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Paper Moon (1973)
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Chinatown (1974)
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Lucky Lady (1974)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
The Sugerland Express (1974)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Day of the Locust (1975)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
All the President?s Men (1976)
Bound For Glory (1976)
Network (1976)
1900 (1976)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976)
Robin & Marion (1976)
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
The Duelists (1977)
Eraserhead (1977)
The Exorcist II (1977)
Jesus of Nazarith (1977)
Days of Heaven (1978)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Interiors (1978)
Superman (1978)
Agatha (1979)
Alien (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Dracula (1979)
Manhattan (1979)
1941 (1979)
Tess (1979)

1980?s:
The Elephant Man (1980)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Heaven?s Gate (1980)
Raging Bull (1980)
The Shining (1980)
Stardust Memories (1980)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Excalibur (1981)
Pennies From Heaven (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Reds (1981)
True Confessions (1981)
Blade Runner (1982)
Das Boot (1982)
E.T. (1982)
One From the Heart (1982)
Sophie?s Choice (1982)
Fanny & Alexander (1983)
The Right Stuff (1983)
Rumblefish (1983)
Wagner (1983)
Yentl (1983)
Amadeus (1984)
Dune (1984)
Greystoke (1984)
The Natural (1984)
1984 (1984)
Brazil (1985)
The Color Purple (1985)
Ladyhawke (1985)
Legend (1985)
Mishima (1985)
Out of Africa (1985)
Ran (1985)
Blue Velvet (1986)
The Mission (1986)
A Room With A View (1986)
Angel Heart (1987)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
The Last Emperor (1987)
Red Sorghum (1987)
Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)
Baron Munchausen (1988)
Tequila Sunrise (1988)
Tucker (1988)
Born On the Fourth of July (1989)
Fat Man & Little Boy (1989)
Mountains of the Moon (1989)

1990?s:
Akira Kurosawa?s Dreams
Dick Tracy (1990)
Ju Dou (1990)
The Godfather, Part III (1990)
Hamlet (Zefferilli) (1990)
Henry & June (1990)
Memphis Belle (1990)
Miller?s Crossing (1990)
The Sheltering Sky (1990)
Barton Fink (1991)
Bugsy (1991)
Delicatessen (1991)
The Doors (1991)
JFK (1991)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Terminator II (1991)
Tous Les Matins Du Monde (1991)
Batman Returns (1992)
Bram Stoker?s Dracula (1992)
Far & Away (1992)
1492 (1992)
Jennifer 8 (1992)
Howard?s End (1992)
Like Water For Chocolate (1992)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Little Buddha (1993)
The Piano (1993)
Remains of the Day (1993)
Schindler?s List (1993)
Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Legends of the Fall (1994)
Natural Born Killers (1994)
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Wyatt Earp (1994)
Braveheart (1995)
Casino (1995)
City of Lost Children (1995)
Crimson Tide (1995)
Flamenco (1995)
A Little Princess (1995)
Nixon (1995)
Seven (1995)
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
The English Patient (1996)
Evita (1996)
Fargo (1996)
Michael Collins (1996)
Amistad (1997)
Character (1997)
Kundun (1997)
Titanic (1997)
A Civil Action (1998)
Dark City (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Tango (1998)
The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Matrix (1999)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Snow Falling On Cedars (1999)
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#7 Douglas Wilkinson

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:53 PM

I haven't updated it in awhile...

FAVORITE CINEMATOGRAPHY BY DECADE

[...]

The Thin Red Line (1998)

[...]


This film breaks my heart, visually. The story nearly INTRUDES on the photography. Actually, that's not true, but it certainly takes a backseat. There's a slo-mo bit where the camera tracks up a portion of the hill behind some troops and a butterfly meanders through the frame. CGI? Felicity? Butterfly-wrangler? Beautiful, in any event.
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#8 Tom Lowe

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 09:39 PM

This film breaks my heart, visually. The story nearly INTRUDES on the photography. Actually, that's not true, but it certainly takes a backseat. There's a slo-mo bit where the camera tracks up a portion of the hill behind some troops and a butterfly meanders through the frame. CGI? Felicity? Butterfly-wrangler? Beautiful, in any event.


Thin Red Line is #1 on my all-time cinematography list. I just love it.
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#9 Tom Lowe

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:15 PM

BTW, David, I don't think I see The Last of the Mohicans on your list. Did it come close to making the list?

I loved the photography on that movie, but sometimes I wonder how much of it is the photography and how much is just the great locations. I have to say that the locations for The Last of the Mohicans are some of my favorite for any movie.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:29 PM

BTW, David, I don't think I see The Last of the Mohicans on your list. Did it come close to making the list?

I loved the photography on that movie, but sometimes I wonder how much of it is the photography and how much is just the great locations. I have to say that the locations for The Last of the Mohicans are some of my favorite for any movie.


I might have forgotten to put it on, not sure if it's a "favorite" or not - certainly there's an awful lot to like about the anamorphic cinematography. There are a few uneven shots in there (not shot in enough light) and the style is somewhat mixed due to the switch in DP's.

One story I heard, though I don't know if it's true, is that Michael Mann wanted Doug Milsome to shoot without lights in the woods, only available light, but then didn't like the results, fired Milsome, and brought in Spinotti, who brought in Dinos and whatnot to light the woods, creating shafts of warm light, etc... and Mann loved the results.
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