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Jesse James & Lust, Caution - Head to Head


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#1 Tom Lowe

Tom Lowe
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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:56 AM

I had the great pleasure of watching Lust, Caution and Jesse James back to back last night. I was blown away by both films.

I thought Lust, Caution was a brilliant film, and Rodrigo's work was just beautiful. The photography played such a pivotal role in building ambiance, mood and tension. Without all the hard work and art put into the cinematography, the picture would not have worked, IMO. My favorite composition in Lust was an overhead shot of Wong the morning after she had sex for the first time. The camera is perched above the bed at a high angle, looking down on her... gorgeous frame! I'd like to hang it on my wall. I also loved the shift from Shanghai to Hong Kong. And the love scene where the two of them are are curled up on the bed... stunning.

Jesse James showcases some of the best photography in years. The train robbery scene alone was worth the price of admission. The movie was one part Terrence Malick, one part Dostoyevsky novel. I was particularly impressed with the night scenes. Almost all of the night shots, including indoor night shots, were lit to perfection. Dick Liddle's talk with the lonely wife on the patio recalled Barry Lyndon. I loved the shot of Jesse riding up the snowy hill into the sun. And of course the night scene on the horses with the traitor Miller....Deakins obviously overlit that shot just a bit, to get the trees visible, but it really worked out spectacularly. My only complaint about Jesse James was its length. They should have cut 30 minutes from this movie, IMO.

Deakins will be very difficult to beat this year for Best Cinematography. If anything I have seen thus far has a chance, it would be Lust, Caution.
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Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

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Willys Widgets

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Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

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The Slider

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Aerial Filmworks