American Cinematographer Poll Names Amélie Best-Shot Film of 1998-2008
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie, shot by Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC, has been named the best-shot film of 1998-2008 in a recent online poll conducted by American Cinematographer (AC) magazine.
“This is a real honor for me, especially considering the other movies in this list,” says Delbonnel. “These are some of the finest cinematographers, and I’m not sure I deserve to be among them, but I am very happy to be. They are all explorers.”
The poll is a follow-up to one published in 1999 by AC, in honor of the American Society of Cinematographers’ 80th anniversary; that vote covered the best-shot movies of 1894-1997 (www.theasc.com/magazine/mar99/best/index.htm). For the new poll, AC asked its international audience of subscribers to nominate 10 films released between 1998 and 2008 that they believed had the best cinematography. A final ballot listing the 50 most popular nominees was then posted on the ASC website (www.theasc.com), and the final vote was open to the public. More than 17,000 people around the world participated. The Top 10 results are:
1. Amélie: Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC (2001)
2. Children of Men: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (2006)
3. Saving Private Ryan: Janusz Kaminski (1998)
4. There Will Be Blood: Robert Elswit, ASC (2007)
5. No Country for Old Men: Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (2007)
6. Fight Club: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (1999)
7. The Dark Knight: Wally Pfister, ASC (2008)
8. Road to Perdition: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (2002)
9. Cidade de Deus (City of God): César Charlone, ABC (2002)
10. American Beauty: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (1999)
“The wealth of great cinematography during this 10-year period was truly staggering, and the variety and scope of this Top 10 is the tip of the iceberg,” says Michael Goi, president of the American Society of Cinematographers. “What’s immediately evident is how international the craft of cinematography truly is, and how the ASC embraces these artists as its members, regardless of their geographical locations or the budgets they work with. It’s all about the power of the moving image to tell stories.”
The 40 other nominees placed as follows:
11) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Deakins); 12) Tie: In the Mood for Love (Christopher Doyle, HKSC, and Mark Li Ping-bin) and Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Navarro, ASC); 13) The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS); 14) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Ellen Kuras, ASC); 15) Gladiator (John Mathieson, BSC); 16) The Matrix (Bill Pope, ASC); 17) The Thin Red Line (John Toll, ASC); 18) The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (Kaminski); 19) Slumdog Millionaire (Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC, DFF); 20) Tie: Eyes Wide Shut (Larry Smith, BSC) and Requiem for a Dream (Matthew Libatique, ASC); 21) Kill Bill (Robert Richardson, ASC); 22) Moulin Rouge (Donald M. McAlpine, ASC, ACS); 23) The Pianist (Pawel Edelman, PSC); 24) Hero (Doyle); 25) Black Hawk Down (Slawomir Idziak, PSC); 26) O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Deakins); 27) Babel (Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC); 28) Lost In Translation (Lance Acord, ASC); 29) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Peter Pau, HKSC); 30) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Claudio Miranda, ASC); 31) The Man Who Wasn’t There (Deakins); 32) The New World (Lubezki); 33) Sin City (Robert Rodriguez); 34) Atonement (Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC); 35) Munich (Kaminski); 36) The Prestige (Pfister); 37) Memoirs of a Geisha (Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS); 38) The Aviator (Richardson); 39) Zodiac (Harris Savides, ASC); 40) The Insider (Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC); 41) Gangs of New York (Michael Ballhaus, ASC); 42) Tie: Brokeback Mountain (Prieto) and The Fountain (Libatique); 43) The Fall (Colin Watkinson); 44) The Passion of the Christ (Caleb Deschanel, ASC); 45) Snow Falling on Cedars (Richardson); 46) House of Flying Daggers (Xiaoding Zhao); and 47) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Eric Adkins).
American Cinematographer magazine will publish a feature about the Top 10 films in its August issue.
The ASC was founded in 1919 for the purpose of advancing the evolving art and craft of filmmaking. There are more than 300 members today from countries around the world. ASC also has some 150 associate members from allied sectors of the motion picture and television industries. For more information about the ASC, visit www.theasc.com.