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Top 10 Films to Watch for Cinematographers

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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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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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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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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

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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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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 biggrin.gif

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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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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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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

 

 

Eraserhead (USA)

The Color of Pomegranates / Sayat Nova (Armenia)

Beauty and the beast (France)

Persona (Sweeden)

Nosferatu (Germany)

Inauguration of the pleasure dome (USA)

Stalker (Russia)

Prosperos Books (UK)

The Holy Mountain (UK/Spain?)

The cabinet of Dr Caligari (Germany)

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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)

 

 

Oooops! missed "Zulu", "Gandhi" and "The third man" off that list!

 

Wow quite a showing for this septic isle! I almost feel proud or something! lol! ;)

 

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

 

except Adrian already mentioned 2046!

Do you prefer that to Chunking Express?

 

love

 

Freya

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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Alien

The Third Man

There Will be Blood

Brotherhood of War

House of Flying Daggers

 

Just a few off the top of my head

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Hey Freya;

I haven't seen Chunking Express in a long time (since film school) but I recall not being overly impressed with it. 2046 and Hero are my go-to Doyle films. Hero is especially beautiful in my opinion, but that's primarily production design choices. I also recommend In the Mood for Love.

 

Just recently I watched Reds, also recommended, and I have to say it, Bridget Jone's Diary. I always really liked the anamorphic photography in that picture, and I'll admit getting a slight crush on Bridget Jones.

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Although expected, I can't make reference to a film based on cinematography alone, or I'd start mentioning films I didn't particularly like such as Matrix. There are a variety of factors that allow me to recommend a film.

 

Some off the top of my head, or I'll be in and out of here forever, and in no particular order :

 

Apocalypse Now (Redux)

Das Boot (full 5 hrs)

Lakposhtha Parvaz Mikonand

Uzak

Alien 3

The Machinist

Archipelago

NEDs

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

Hunger (McQueen)

Children of Men

Three Colours (all 3 but particularly Blue)

Consequences Del Amore

The Family Friend (whilst Sorrentino's mentioned possibly Il Divo)

The Fall

Samsara

Cave of The Yellow Dog

8 and a Half

Syndromes and A Century

Jienne Dielman

 

 

Emmmm that's all I can think of at the minute,

 

Buffalo 66, possibly.

 

Blade Runner... naturally... (directors cut)

 

From what I've mentioned I'd be hard pushed to pick a favourite but Lakposhtha Parvaz Mikonand would be up there.

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