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Tom Lowe

Your "Top Five" Cinematographers?

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(No specific order)

 

Conrad Hall

Roger Deakins

Sven Nykvist

Gordon Willis

Greg Toland

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Frederick Elmes

Robert Richardson

Vittorio Storaro

Chris Doyle

Ossie Morris

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With over 100 years of cinema, I think it would probably be better to separate "current" from "past" DP's rather than combine them -- I certainly couldn't restrict myself to only five if I had to take a century of movies into account. I might even break it up into three periods.

 

Off the top of my head, who comes to mind as personally inspirational over the years:

 

Silent era through 1950's:

Toland

Barnes

Wong Howe

Shamroy

Cardiff

Figueroa

 

mid-50's through 1980's:

Young

Morris

Unsworth

Watkin

Willis

Hall

Watkin

Alcott

Slocombe

 

current:

Storaro

Daviau

Toll

Lubezski

Deakins

Adafarisin

Zsigmond

Richardson

Doyle

Kaminski

Prieto

 

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting someone...

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Guest Glen Alexander

What about

 

F.A. Young?

 

Jack Hildyard?

 

Asakazu Nakai?

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Asakazu Nakai?

 

Or Kazuo Miyagawa? Or Edward Tisse? Or Raoul Coutard? Subrata Mitra? Sergei Urusevsky? Aldo Graziati? Freddie Francis?

 

I mean, where do you start or stop? So much great work done by so many... I think that's why you have to consider these lists as not inclusive, just a list of personal favorites, and what's a favorite is not always easily defendable or not everyone is going to agree with it. Not everyone shares my love for Geoffrey Unsworth's work, but I still watch his stuff over and over again.

 

I'm always amazed that more people don't recognize the importance of Ozzie Morris, for example, in the history of cinematography.

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John Alton

 

Ernest Haller

 

Joseph Walker

 

Nicholas Musaraca

 

Harold Rosson

 

 

Wow, George Barnes-- what a great DP and a real character. Did you know he used to give out scholarships and cash awards to amateur movie makers in the 30s?

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My favorites are:

 

 

Conrad L. Hall

 

Roger Deakins

 

Christopher Doyle

 

Vitorio Storaro

 

Vilmos Zsigmond

 

...but there are several others to name...

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top 10 is easier

 

Christopher Doyle

Robert Elswit

Adam Greenberg

Robert Richardson

Matthew Libatique

Dean Cundey

Conrad Hall

Michael Chapman

Jeong-hun Jeong

Sven Nykvist

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1. Gordon Willis

2. Nothing

3. Nothing

4. Nothing

5. Nothing

 

No, seriously.

 

1. Gordon Willis

2. Nothing

3. Nothing

4. Nothing

5. Ted Moore.

 

NO, seriously! OK.

 

1. Gordon Willis

2. Conrad Hall

3. Harris Savides

4. Emmanuel Lubezki

5. Ozzie Morris (agree with Mullen on that one)

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Because I love Snakes On A Plane and Santa Clause 2. Jk, Terminator 1&2 and Near Dark are three of my favorite movies, plus I've seen some of his older stuff from Poland which is really nice. Now he doesn't really do anything as groundbreaking as T2 but still.

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Top Cinematographers? Its relative who is the premier cinematographer.

 

With that in mind. Most "sane" people don't go to see movies based on cinematography. Just as no sane person would go see a film for the sound designer or costume designer. Well, maybe their relatives.

 

I, for one, think that almost all of these cinematographers are being mentioned because they contributed to great movies. With the exception of Gregg Toland. I don't think that anyone of them can carry a film.

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Darius Khondji

laszlo Kovacs

Raoul Coutard

Jack cardiff

Subrata Mitra

 

So Many great lensmen and women how can I have just 5

 

Noski Deville is one of our greats, yet to step into the lime light (watch this space)

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Forgot William Daniels. He did everything from Greed to the Maltese Bippy, with an early, verite-ish The Naked City somewhere in the middle.

 

Besides that, he helped pioneer the incredibly lush, incredibly slick MGM look of the early 50s. I don't think it gets much better than Daniels.

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"Old Masters":

 

Leon Shamroy (The Agony and the Ecstasy)

Eugen Schüfftan / Eugene Shuftan (The Hustler)

Russell Metty (Spartacus)

James Wong Howe (Shanghai Express)

Jack Cardiff (Black Narcissus)

 

 

Contemporary:

 

Roger Deakins (The Hudsucker Proxy)

Robby Mueller (Mystery Train)

Jost Vacano (Das Boot)

Roger Pratt (12 Monkeys)

Jean-Marie Dreujou (La Fille sur le Pont)

 

This game surely takes time! I spent almost an hour thinking about my favourite DPs without even noticing it... :)

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