A typically smart and soulful video essay from Scout Tafoya here about the role of the cinematographer and the results of a poll about the best-photographed movies of all time — and scroll down and you also get a bunch of words by me about my own favourite feats of cinematography.

Crowding round are fellow contributors Justine Smith, Dan Sallitt, Carrie Rickey, David Ehrenstein, Jaime N. Christley and many many more.

C/o Fandor.

8 Responses to “Lensers”

  1. Gill Fraser Lee Says:

    Ah, wonderful, what a visual feast! Thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s suggestions and Scout’s video round up was mesmerising

  2. Thanks! It was fun to do. I hate lists (really, i enjoy them, but I think they’re a bad habit) so I had to write some detailed stuff to go with mine to assuage my guilt. And then Scout’s piece retroactively justifies it all.

  3. The video was terrific, and I really enjoyed the individual lists — some of the unexpected choices are always thought-provoking.

  4. Honorable mention to Blake Backlash, whose device of highlighting a single image from each film he chooses strikes me as the most elegant way of justifying his arguments in nutshell form.

  5. That shot from The Innocents is indelible — a ghost in broad daylight. Only black and white cinematography can conjure such an image. A shame so little black and white work was referenced in the survey. A bigger shame it’s so little used these days.

  6. It’s true. And all kinds of expressionist effects, especially dutch tilts, are better in b&w. Orson Welles’ work was never as beautiful in colour.

    The tantalizingl short period where films were being made in b&w AND widescreen produced such good work, I wish there were more of it.

  7. I see Fandor not only wiped out all that work from all those people but thoughtfully ensured that it would kept out of the Internet Archive.

    Sometimes I read that Hollywood’s wholesale discarding of classic films was at least somewhat justified by the cost of storage and the danger of nitrate. But the web demonstrates that no, no further justification is needed: rich people just like destroying things. (David Ehrenstein has his own favorite example, I’m sure.)

  8. Tsk. We’re writing in sand, all of us!

    Hoping Scout kept that material… I may have my own bit somewhere in an email, or in my Facebook history (in which case, good luck finding it…)

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