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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Film Score Friday 5/17/19 by Scott Bettencourt
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

No Conrad Hall?

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

I love Conrad Hall. He's the rare DP who managed to maintain his quality of work up until the very end; that posthumous Oscar for Road to Perdition wasn't just based on sentiment. (I love Zsigmond, but Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks isn't exactly The Deer Hunter, and Willis' post-1985 work wasn't as strong as that of his heyday).

The one I should have put in if I weren't in such a hurry to finish the column was Wally Pfister (Moneyball, and every Nolan film from Memento through Dark Knight Rises).

(Thank you for actually reading to the end of the column).

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

I love Conrad Hall. He's the rare DP who managed to maintain his quality of work up until the very end; that posthumous Oscar for Road to Perdition wasn't just based on sentiment. (I love Zsigmond, but Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks isn't exactly The Deer Hunter, and Willis' post-1985 work wasn't as strong as that of his heyday).

The one I should have put in if I weren't in such a hurry to finish the column was Wally Pfister (Moneyball, and every Nolan film from Memento through Dark Knight Rises).

(Thank you for actually reading to the end of the column).


Nolan needs Pfister like Darabont needs Thomas Newman. When cinematographers make the leap to directing, it's a shame that they so rarely go back to what made them notable in the first place (looking at Salomon, de Bont, now Pfister).

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

When cinematographers make the leap to directing, it's a shame that they so rarely go back to what made them notable in the first place (looking at Salomon, de Bont, now Pfister).

That's my fear -- that Pfister will become a hacky director like de Bont, Salomon or Andrzej Bartkowiak rather than return to being a great DP. (I actually liked Transcendence, but if Pfister starts directing TV crap like the remakes of The Andromeda Strain and Coma -- both helmed by Salomon -- I will be very sad. To be honest, I didn't see either of those Salomon miniseries but I understand I didn't miss much).

After seeing that awful Barry Sonnenfeld/Kevin Spacey comedy Nine Lives, I imagined a fantasy-comedy in which a curse was placed upon Sonnenfeld and Spacey, that they would be allowed to continue making movies but only sequels to Nine Lives. Obviously, one of those gentlemen has suffered an even worse career fate, at least for the foreseeable future.

 
 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 4:17 PM   
 By:   Jonathan Foster   (Member)

I love Conrad Hall. He's the rare DP who managed to maintain his quality of work up until the very end; that posthumous Oscar for Road to Perdition wasn't just based on sentiment. (I love Zsigmond, but Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks isn't exactly The Deer Hunter, and Willis' post-1985 work wasn't as strong as that of his heyday).

The one I should have put in if I weren't in such a hurry to finish the column was Wally Pfister (Moneyball, and every Nolan film from Memento through Dark Knight Rises).

(Thank you for actually reading to the end of the column).


Scott,

I'm sure you probably saw this list compiled by the ASC earlier this year:

https://theasc.com/news/asc-unveils-list-of-100-milestone-films-in-cinematography-of-the-20th-century

Something I found noteworthy was that four of the top ten milestone films were not even nominated by the AMPAS cinematography branch as being some of the best work of their respective years. Blade Runner, The Godfather, The Conformist, and 2001: A Space Odyssey were all overlooked by the collective voters.

Perhaps milestones don't always reveal themselves immediately; though, that's difficult to understand when you look at any one of those films now.

-Jonathan

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

I hadn't seen that list, but I'll be sure to check it out, thank you.

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

2001, Conformist and Godfather were all shortlisted for Cinematography, so at least the branch was aware of their greatness. And they stopped doing most of the category shortlists two years before Blade Runner, so it's possible that it could have made the ten if not the five (and Cronenweth was nominated four years later, for Peggy Sue Got Married).

When I first glanced at your post, I thought you were saying that those four didn't make the ASC list, which would have been pretty outrageous -- particularly The Godfather, which was one of the all-time game-changers in cinematography.

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 5:45 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Vittorio3 Storraro

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 7:18 PM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

Vittorio3 Storraro

Storaro is a God, no argument. I almost think of him as the Miklos Rozsa of cinematography, since his work is so inherently beautiful that it can be hard to find the right subject matter to warrant his extraordinary gifts. What would be the point of Storaro shooting a courtroom drama?

(That said, Storaro's apparent determination to crop his past films to an in-between aspect ratio does not exactly sit well with me).

Getting back to my fave, Gordon Willis, I think he's a big reason that Woody Allen's films between 1977 and 1985 were so good. I saw Broadway Danny Rose again not long ago, and there's a brilliantly shot/directed scene where Danny learns he's going to be dumped by his star client. I believe it's in a hotel lobby, and the actors talk as they move across the lobby toward the camera, and just as Danny reaches the close-up he gets the bad news -- I don't know that there's anything in the post-Willis Allen movies that is so simply yet perfectly staged (though I think Husbands and Wives, 7 years after the last Willis/Allen movie, is the director's masterwork).

 
 Posted:   May 17, 2019 - 11:26 PM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

Freddie Young
Caleb Deschanel

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2019 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

I loved Stefan Czapsky's crisp work for Tim Burton in the early 90s (Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Ed Wood).

 
 Posted:   May 18, 2019 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

Freddie Young
Caleb Deschanel


Deschanel in particular is incredible. For my day job, I once had to find a scene from The Natural to show to illustrate his work. It was difficult to choose, as pretty much every shot in the film was perfectly, exquisitely lit.

Re Young: while I don't love Doctor Zhivago or Ryan's Daughter as movies, they certainly look fantastic.

 
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