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Top 10 Films to Watch for Cinematographers


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#1 manigandan srinivasan

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:11 PM

Hello People, In this Post i would love to know "Your Personal Top 10 Films to Watch for Cinematographers". I feel Sharing your list of films here will be very helpful for others. And, it will be good to be introduced to good visuals.

My Top 10 For cinematographers: (from the films i have enjoyed)
1.Baraka (Documentary)
2.Road to Perdition.
3.No Country for old men.
4.Rock on (Hindi Film).
5.guru (Hindi Film).
6.Citizen Kane.
7.Children of Men.
8.Inception.
9. Black (Hindi Film).
10.Inglorious Basterds.

Not in Proper 1,2,3 Order all these 10 are Great Works for me).
Waiting to Know every ones list :) so that i can see films i dint see yet & Know ppls taste :)
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 05:19 PM

Interesting idea - I'm not sure I could omit Blade Runner from any list like that, though.I've also never understood the infatuation with No Country...

It was an early DI, fine, but it just looks, I don't know... brown?
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

Interesting idea - I'm not sure I could omit Blade Runner from any list like that, though.I've also never understood the infatuation with No Country...

It was an early DI, fine, but it just looks, I don't know... brown?


Erm, was 2007, Phil. Are you thinking of "Oh Brother, where art thou"?

Agree on the Blade Runner omission though.

Alien
Blade Runner
The Godfather (1 & 2)
Apocalypse Now
Man on Fire
Memoirs of a Geisha
Seven
Assassination of Jesse James


not a top 10, but some of my favorites.
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#4 Jaron Berman

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:14 PM

if you watch the film "visions of light," I think there's a lot more than 10, but I'd say every one of the films they reference is a "must watch." I certainly learned of a few that I would not have known about that have since become favorites, not only from a visual standpoint. Night of the Hunter is a particular example. And watching Cameraman (about Jack Cardiff) - there's an interesting interview with Martin Scorsese about his influences - especially The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. The fun thing about docs like those - you get to see glimpses of films you may not have seen before.

If my list even got to "modern" films I'd definitely agree with Stuart about Jesse James - in my opinion it's Deakins' finest work. Actually I think my list would overlap his quite a bit.

Also - films like Lawrence of Arabia are quite impressive at home, but SPECTACULAR when shown from an original 70mm print. Hard not to include that one.

Edited by Jaron Berman, 03 January 2012 - 06:16 PM.

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#5 Daniel Smith

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:29 PM

On the contrary, the mistake I made (when I actually studied film) was watching too many films that were highly regarded for their cinematography. I had no sense of contrast between good and bad cinematography, and therefore found it difficult to fully appreciate films like Citizen Kane and The Godfather.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:07 AM

Erm, was 2007, Phil. Are you thinking of "Oh Brother, where art thou"?



Oh. Yes. I am. D'oh.

It was late, OK? But it's interesting that when I complained about an early DI that was brown, you immediately knew exactly what I was talking about Posted Image

I was reluctant to include Memoirs on the basis that it's quite modern and I'm naturally reticent to include very recent things, which intrinsically lack context, on "best ever" lists. But it is very nice.


Oh, and Man on Fire too.

P
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#7 Dal Neitzel

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:34 AM

Snow Falling On Cedars
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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

it's interesting that when I complained about an early DI that was brown, you immediately knew exactly what I was talking about


Well to be fair, you did say an early Deakins DI (actually the first by any major movie).

Snow Falling on Cedars is worthy of any list, and Richardson's earlier work should also be talked about. JFK looks great, and Natural Born Killers is worthy of inclusion for it's restless inventiveness.
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

I'd add on A Midsummer's Night's Dream (1935) filmed by Hal Mohr, the only film to win Best Cinematography on a write in ballot! And some very interesting photogaphic techniques therein.


I'd also go with 2001: A Space Odyssey

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (always found that one the most visually pleasing for me)

Zulu

Gandhi

The Good the Bad and the Ugly (great framing!)

2046
Hero (Great usages of Color for both of them)

The Sixth Sense (also nice use of the color red in frames)

La Jetee

Tideland

Lost in Translation



that's just kinda my off of the top of my head list...
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#10 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:03 AM

Barry Lyndon

The Godfather, or almost anything shot by Gordon Willis

Man of Aran

Sweet Smell of Success

Once Upon a Time in The West

Night of the Hunter

Citizen Kane

Seven

Sunrise

Nostalghia

Amazing that I've omitted Hitchcock, but you would watch his films anyway. Also forgot Storaro!

Edited by Jon Rosenbloom, 05 January 2012 - 12:05 AM.

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#11 Jaron Berman

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:20 PM

As soon as I write this I'm gonna wanna change it I'm sure.


Lawrence of Arabia - jaw dropping visuals that serve the epic
Night of the Hunter - best Noir
Bladerunner - best color noir
The Conformist - hybrid of so many things
Lifeboat - no repeated shots and visually still works to wrap you into the story
Memoirs of a Geisha - the "slickest" film I've seen in a long time
Seven - probably visually my second favorite of all time behind Lawrence
Apocalypse Now - the colors!
Assassination of Jesse James - Deakins' best work
Children of Men - the camera as a character, best usage of that method

Bonus Pick - Touch The Sound - the best-shot doc I've ever seen.
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#12 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

Birth of a Nation - just to watch cinematic grammar being invented. (And a gob-smacking example of how entrenched racism was at the time.)
The Third Man - for its inventive take on noir lighting
Wages of Fear -how to film tension, certainly rivals anything by Hitchcock
Badlands - less overt cinematography than later Mallick films but just as effective in creating a mood
Andrei Rublev - from the sublime to the base and back again
Bladerunner - sci-fi and noir, a match made in heaven
Baraka - just a feast for the eyes
Diving Bell and the Butterfly - utterly immersive
Children of Men - somewhat groundbreaking I thought
Public Enemies - a great example of how even gifted professionals can completely screw up :blink:
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#13 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:22 PM

Hello People, In this Post i would love to know "Your Personal Top 10 Films to Watch for Cinematographers". I feel Sharing your list of films here will be very helpful for others. And, it will be good to be introduced to good visuals.

My Top 10 For cinematographers: (from the films i have enjoyed)
1.Baraka (Documentary)
2.Road to Perdition.
3.No Country for old men.
4.Rock on (Hindi Film).
5.guru (Hindi Film).
6.Citizen Kane.
7.Children of Men.
8.Inception.
9. Black (Hindi Film).
10.Inglorious Basterds.

Not in Proper 1,2,3 Order all these 10 are Great Works for me).
Waiting to Know every ones list :) so that i can see films i dint see yet & Know ppls taste :)


any list leaving out masters of light such as john alton, jack cardiff, gordon willis, haskell wexler, connie hall, vimos zsigmond, lazlo kovacs, nestor almendros, michael chapman, allen lindau, sven nikvist, vittorio storaro, luciano tovoli, giuseppe rotunno, raul coutard, janus kaminski, christopher doyle, emanuel lubezki, harri savides (just to mention a few you missed) is quite pointless.

a few years ago AIC - the italian society of cinematographers - with IMAGO - the european federation of cinematographers - published a beautiful book about the 150 most meaningful films (in terms of cinematography) ever made, how can you just limit 110 years of glorious history to 10 films?
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#14 Pat Murray

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

any list leaving out masters of light such as john alton, jack cardiff, gordon willis, haskell wexler, connie hall, vimos zsigmond, lazlo kovacs, nestor almendros, michael chapman, allen lindau, sven nikvist, vittorio storaro, luciano tovoli, giuseppe rotunno, raul coutard, janus kaminski, christopher doyle, emanuel lubezki, harri savides (just to mention a few you missed) is quite pointless.

a few years ago AIC - the italian society of cinematographers - with IMAGO - the european federation of cinematographers - published a beautiful book about the 150 most meaningful films (in terms of cinematography) ever made, how can you just limit 110 years of glorious history to 10 films?


Pointless? I don't think so. Brevity is the soul of wit.

No offense to the massive tome put together by the AIC and IMAGO, but I think it's a bit much (elitist?) to ask contributors to post at least one film from all the cinematographers you mentioned in a discussion board thread. It doesn't have to be a mic swinging exercise, if you get what I mean.

Once Upon A Time In The West
Children of Paradise
Amelie
Citizen Kane
Birth of a Nation
Faust
Godfathers 1 and 2
Barry Lyndon
The Thief of Baghdad (1940)
Broken Blossoms

Lots of wonderful selections in this thread. Bring them all together for a terrific bucket list of must see/own movies.
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#15 Pat Murray

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:25 PM

Birth of a Nation - just to watch cinematic grammar being invented. (And a gob-smacking example of how entrenched racism was at the time.)


It was used by the KKK, but it isn't the intentionaly racist propaganda movie people attribute to DW Griffith. Based on Karl Brown's "Adventures With DW Griffith" and other sources, Griffith was surprised by the negative attention the movie received. He simply wanted to produce a historical epic and based the movie on stories his father told him. Still racist, but unintentionaly racist. Or historicaly naive, if you will. He thought he was actually depicting historical fact. I mention this because I think future directors and Hollywood in general has given Griffith a bad rap he does not deserve and should be remembered for the totality of his contributions to film history. DW Griffith was actually a civil libertarian by today's standards and contrary to what is commonly reported, "Intolerance", rather than being a response to or apology for "Birth of a Nation" was actually a very personal movie that expressed his POV about the treatment of the poor, the working man, the week, the downtrodden. If he were alive today, he would have been an active participant of Occupy Wall Street.
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#16 Jay Stewart

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:07 PM

Sunrise
M
Citizen Kane
Double Indemnity
Touch of Evil
Psycho - from the wiper blades looking like knives to the angle and lighting high above the door well at the top of the stairs, and of course that shower scene
Peeping Tom
Barry Lyndon
Blood Simple - pure genius by Sonnenfeld from the car headlights/burial scene to the gun fire through the wall
Rush - the oranges and the reds oh boy
Tequila Sunrise - lol
Road to Perdition
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#17 Freya Black

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:34 PM

Eraserhead
The Color of Pomegranates / Sayat Nova
Beauty and the beast
Persona
Nosferatu
Inauguration of the pleasure dome
Stalker
Prosperos Books
The Holy Mountain
The cabinet of Dr Caligari



Good call on Tideland Adrian! Very underated film! Reminds me of my childhood, so a bit of a horror film for me, but really amazing film.

How about Brazil?

I want to fit Lost Highway in there somewhere but I already had Eraserhead...

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 27 January 2012 - 01:39 PM.

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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:02 PM

He thought he was actually depicting historical fact. I mention this because I think future directors and Hollywood in general has given Griffith a bad rap he does not deserve and should be remembered for the totality of his contributions to film history.


I felt The Ten Commandments (1923 film) was more racist, certainly I was sitting there going "WTF!!!!" a couple of times! Birth of a nation just made me think of welsh coal miners for some reason. ;)

DW Griffith was actually a civil libertarian by today's standards and contrary to what is commonly reported,


"by todays standards..." I find this kind of thing facinating. There is a great moment in Far from heaven by Todd Haynes, where she runs into her gardener in the art gallery. She starts off "I'm not prejudiced..." and then every word coming out her mouth.... really, really spot on... and of course the irony is, she probably IS the least racist person there at the time. It's my favourite scene in that film.

Also interesting as I get older to watch what people are okay with in terms of hate and prejudice shifting and to see people say, "I don't feel okay with this anymore" and people redrawing their lines.

love

Freya
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#19 Amarjeet Singh Sadal

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

Great titles there everyone. But why many international titles are omitted/ignored:

- Das Boot (Germany)
- Vozvrascheniye (Russia)
- Confessions (2010 Japan)
- Memories of Murder (S.Korea)
- Come & See (Russia)
- Reconstruction (Denmark)

- Traffic
- Revolutionary Road
- There will be Blood
- Seven
- Eyes Wide Shut
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#20 Freya Black

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

Great titles there everyone. But why many international titles are omitted/ignored:


Titles from everywhere get ignored because it's just a thread about what pops into peoples head. I think international films are making a good showing.

Certainly Germanys doing fantastic with Nosferatu, M, Faust, Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Sunrise.

The UK is even doing surprisingly well with Prosperos Books, Lawrence of Arabia, Peeping Tom, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and Man of Aran! (I'm shocked)

...and theres lots of other international films too! I'm just surprised nobody has mentioned any Christopher Doyle films yet!

love

Freya
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