Jump to content
manigandan srinivasan

Top 10 Films to Watch for Cinematographers

Recommended Posts

I've always found is useful to look at films shot for near nothing budgets (or even complete nothing). It's amazing to see how many such films were shot by DP's who have gone on to become top guys. Matthew Libatique and Pi is one that really makes me open my eyes. That guy is mind blowing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a real names policy here, please change your User Name to one, thanks. From the registration page:

 

You must register using your REAL NAME as your account's Display Name.

 

That means your first name, a space, then your last name. If you don't use your real name, or you register with a name that looks like your real name but we find out is not your real name, your account will be permanently disabled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anonymous

In Cold Blood

Drive

Shawshank Redemption

Seven

Interiors

No Country For Old Men

Edited by Julian Hitomi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like these films-

 

1.) Fightclub

2.) Se7en - Both by Fincher but with different DPs. Cronenweth and Khonji respectively. Lots of interesting stuff in FightClub. Yojimbo

3. ) Crank 2. Interesting.

4.) The Mummy - Adrian Biddle did this. Captures the adventure mood completely.

5.) Yojimbo - Kurosawa classic.

6.) American Pie 2 - Films don’t always have to be dark and sinister. Has a bright tone to it which makes it nice to watch. I think filming in this style is probably just as much of a challenge as filming something dark.

7.) Once upon a Time in the West - Framing is spot on in everything.

8.) Jeepers Creepers 2 - Creepy and well shot, even if the story is a bit lapse. Has some quality imagery in it.

9.) The Hills have Eyes (2006)- loved the way this was filmed. Didn’t watch much longer after the caravan scene though.

10.) Pirates of the Caribbean 1- again like the mummy captures the tone of a pirate movie perfectly.

11.) Aliens - Classic Action film. Adrian Biddle again!

12.) Terminator 1, Terminator 2 - Adam Greenberg DP’s. First one probably edges it for me in terms of style.

 

@pjscott89

Edited by PETER JAMES SCOTT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In The Mood For Love

 

2046

 

There Will Be Blood

 

The Assassination of Jesse James

 

Children of Men

 

The Coen Brothers

 

The Royal Tenenbaums

 

Stanley Kubrick.

 

Director's cut of The New World

 

Schindler's List

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's purely about the Cinematography, here's my list.

 

10. Star Wars

Not a favorite of mine, but it looked like nothing else when it came out. They had to reinvent the camera to do this one.

 

9. Dragonheart

The first and last CGI movie to ever drop my jaw. It looked stunning.

 

8. Platoon

Every scene drove home what these guys were going through. Platoon was to cinematography in war movies what Apocalypse Now was to editing.

 

7. What Dreams May Come

I hated this movie, on a story, acting and directing basis. But that Velvia stock looks like nothing else.

 

6. Wild at Heart

It's hard to say if this movie looked so good because of Frederick Elmes (the DP) or David Lynch (the director). But it did look good.

 

5. Blow

I really liked how they managed to sync the film stocks to the time period (50s, 60s, 70s), yet keep everything clear. Really nice use of camera angles and blocking in this one.

 

4. Lawrence of Arabia

Mentioned a lot here. In a 70mm print, it looks beyond fantastic.

 

3. The Lake House

It's easy to make a visually stunning epic or sci-fi piece. It's much harder to make a (relatively) low budget chick flick pop. Every scene in this movie looked beautiful.

 

2. Touch of Evil

The intro scene alone still drops my jaw. 10 minutes, one continuous take. To this day, I've never seen anything match it.

 

1. Gone With the Wind

This movie invented the sweeping epic. On a good film print, it still blows you away.

 

Hollywood dominates, but then there's a reason for that. Hollywood may not be tops in choreography (fight or dance). Hollywood often follows behind on story, which is why they make so many remakes. But Hollywood cinematography is second to none.

 

Cinematography is kind of an afterthought most places. Stalker (a Tarkovsky film mentioned earlier) is a brilliant film, but an example of this. The cinematography was lacking. The shot composition was sloppy most of the time. Yet it was a brilliant, original movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love reading this topic; it always gives me new movies to watch. Anyways, some of my favorites are:

 

color:

Paris, Texas

The Red Shoes

Buffalo '66

Walkabout

Moonrise Kingdom

 

b&w:

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Hud

High and Low

La Haine

Psycho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Black Stallion" shot by Caleb Deschanel,, but it has Ballard's signature direction on it.

"The Secret Garden" shot by Roger Deakins

"Ladyhawk", Vittorio Storaro

"RAN", Asakazu Nakai, Takao Saitô, Shôji Ueda (I don't know who was 2nd unit here)

"Ben-Hur", Robert Surtees

"The Neverending Story", Jost Vacano

"The Odyssey", Sergey Kozlov

"Alien", Derek Vanlint

"Blade Runner", Jordan Cronenweth

"Kingdom of Heaven", John Mathieson

 

Can it be a top 18 list?

"Arn the Templar" Eric Kress

"Excalibur", Alex Thomson

"Dragonslayer", Derek Vanlint

"Fitzcarraldo", Thomas Mauch

"The Natural" (outstanding shots in this one), Caleb Deschanel

"Never Cry Wolf", Hiro Narita

"The Bear", Philippe Rousselot

"Cyrano d'Bergerac", Pierre Lhomme

 

A ton of others that I can't remember, but the lensing in those films is really good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

I had a film history instructor at the local JC, Bruce Campbell, tell the class the same thing. At the time I had never seen the film so I didn't know what to say either way, but when I brought up my instructor's commentary to a bunch of film grad students at a local studio, I felt like I had really put my foot in my mouth, even though I was only repeating what my instructor had told me.

 

I've seen large chunks of it, and it is pretty racist in huge chunks. White women fearing for their lives from black men with lust in their hearts...really ridiculous stuff. But again, it was based on what Griffith had heard and thought to be the truth. He put a positive portrayal of other people, but he was clearly a product of his time.

 

I'll have to see the film again to make a real neutral judgment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Movies I've seen in bold, movies i agree with underlined.

 

The other 3 are great movies, but in terms of cinematography I feel like those wouldn't be worthy of top 10

 

heres mine. no particular order

 

Citizen Kane

American Beauty

Road to Perdition

Children of Men

Amelie

Melancholia

Fight Club

Kill Bill

Butch cassidy and the sundance kid

Saving Private Ryan

Edited by Bracey Lemons

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apocalypse Now Redux

Lawrence Of Arabia

Days of Heaven

Black Narcissus

Excalibur

The Godfather

2001 a Space Odyssey

Star Wars

Citizen Kane

Sunrise:A Song of Two Humans

 

Next Ten:

Frankenstein (1931 version)

Birth Of a Nation

Gone With The Wind

Blade Runner

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Barry Lyndon

Chinatown

Raging Bull

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

 

AND the NEXT 10

Raiders Of the Lost Ark

The Last Samurai

The Wizard of Oz

Ben Hur

Ran

Schindler's List

Saving Private Ryan

American Beauty

Taxi Driver

Gladiator

 

Now THAT'S Cinematography!

Edited by James Steven Beverly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't choose ten as there are just too many great examples of cinematography out there. I do think Bicycle Thieves, Raging Bull and Delicatessen are high up my list though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dean Semler (Dances with Wolves, Apocalypto)

Robert Richardson (JFK, A Few Good Men)

Roger Deakins (Shawshank Redemption)

Jack Green (Unforgiven)

Geoffrey Unsworth (2001 A Spacey Odyssey-Superman)

Caleb Deschanel (The Patriot, Passion of the Christ)

Wally Pfister (Inception)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for foreign films, I don't really have a top ten list though I'm actually partial to the Italians, particularly to Leone's Spaghetti Westerns and of course Fellini. I love the way the Leone used the techiscope camera. the juxtaposition between the extreme wide shots and the extreme tight shots as well as the warm lighting that actually make one "feel" the desert heat. As for Fellini's use of the camera, what can be said that hasn't been said before. The challenge of B&W in many of his films made it even more remarkable. Off the top of my head, I don't remember who their cinematographers were but they definitely helped to make these two men legendary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off the top of my head... (In no particular order)

 

Three Colours Trilogy

Days of Heaven

Apocalypse Now

Night of the Hunter

Persona

Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Barry Lyndon

Red Shoes

Once Upon a Time In The West

Touch of Evil

 

Honorable Mentions:

Z

Wages of Fear

French Connection

McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Raging Bull

Badlands

Tree of Life

Thin Red Line

There Will be Blood

Boogie Nights

Blade Runner

Lawrence of Arabia

Godfather I & II

Black Narcissus

Road to Perdition

Black Swan

Seven Samurai

Ran

Rashomon

In the Mood for Love

Amelie

JFK

Hunger

2001: A Space Odyssey

The Shining

Dr. Strangelove

Rosemary's Baby

Citizen Kane

8 1/2

La Dolce Vita

Jules et Jim

Memories of Murder

Cries and Whispers

 

And anything by Ophuls

 

I'm sure I'll look at this in 5 minutes and think of 20 I should have wrote.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

these are based on how much i enjoy just watching these movies. I pretty much agree with all the other ones I've read on here as well.

 

"The Fall" - Colin Watkinson

"Sunshine" - Alwin H. Kuchler

"the Fountain" - Matthew Libatique

"Blade Runner" - Jordan Cronenweth

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." - Hoyte Van Hoytema

"Alien" - Derek Vanlint

"Children of Men" Emanuel Lubezki

"Prometheus" - Dariusz Wolski

"The Watchmen" -Larry Fong

"Hero" Christopher Doyle

"Legend" - Alex Thomson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

these are based on how much i enjoy just watching these movies. I pretty much agree with all the other ones I've read on here as well.

 

"The Fall" - Colin Watkinson

"Sunshine" - Alwin H. Kuchler

"the Fountain" - Matthew Libatique

"Blade Runner" - Jordan Cronenweth

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." - Hoyte Van Hoytema

"Alien" - Derek Vanlint

"Children of Men" Emanuel Lubezki

"Prometheus" - Dariusz Wolski

"The Watchmen" -Larry Fong

"Hero" Christopher Doyle

"Legend" - Alex Thomson

 

Legend!! How could I have possibly forgotten Legend! One of the most beautifully photographed films of all time! Though I do prefer the "Ultimate Edition" version by far. I also forgot One From the Heart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Citizen Kane

Cranes are Flying

Seven Samurai

2001: a Space Odyssey

Tarkovsky's Solaris

Days of Heaven

Godfather 1 + 2

Blade Runner

American Beauty

Amelie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AAAHHH The Cranes are Flying was shot on Konvas' There are some pics of Mikhail Kalatozov with them on set. I also agree it is a very well shot film and the fact that it's B&W makes it even more amazing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite impossible...

 

First Five all by Dante Spinotti A.S.C A.I.C

 

Then

Halloween by Dean Cundey A.S.C.

Shining by John Alcott B.S.C.

Excalibur by Alex Thomson B.S.C

The Cell Paul Laufer

Memoirs of a Geisha by Dion Beebe A.S.C A.C.S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Blade Runner

2. The Godfather

3. The Godfather Part 2

4. Alien

5. Lawrence of Arabia

6. Citizen Kane

7. Raiders of the Lost Ark

8. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

9. Laura

10. Psycho/Vertigo

 

There are lots more but those are some of my favorites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To name a few:

 

2046 (cinematography by: Christopher Doyle)

The visuals from this film are so unique in it's use of colors and lighting. Very unearthly visuals that stun me every time I watch it. Also, the framing is so meticulously work out in every shot. Hypnotizing movie throughout.

 

Il Conformista (cinematography by: Vittorio Storaro)

Great in every aspect of cinematography. The way Vittorio plays with his lighting is a pleasure not only to the eye, but also to the mind. Grandeur, yet simple and pure. Every frame could be a painting.

 

Vozvrashchenie (The Return) (cinematography by: Mikhail Krichman)

Very thoughtful filmmaking, portrayed in every frame. The images can grab you by your throat, until the end of the movie. Simple, pure and unsettling.

 

The Tree of Life (cinematography by: Emmanuel Lubezki)

Purely poetic in every aspect. Especially because of the way how the camera moves, in combination with a very naturalistic approach of lighting. I find this film to feel very 'naked' somehow, and at the same time creating a transcendental mood, as if the whole film is weightless.

 

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (cinematography by: Sacha Vierny)

Rich and unique way of using color. Somewhat theatrical approach in terms of camera placement (and set decorations), which remind me of baroque paintings. But this movie also feels more like a moving painting than a movie, in my opinion.

 

La Double Vie de Véronique (cinematography by: Slawomir Idziak)

Romantic portrayal of an otherwise soberly told story. The cinematography gives this movie a very expressive moody and dreamy tonality without becoming too distracting. Beautiful combinations of blue, green and yellow, of which I personally think it succeeded more than in Amélie Poulain.

 

The Godfather Trilogy (cinematography by: Gordon Willis)

Somehow also the godfather of the claire-obscure photography in movies. Largely set the tone on a greater scale for the use of warm overhead lighting, and dark, brown-orange color schemes.

 

Enter The Void (cinematography by: Benoit Debie)

Daring and unique use of colors and camera-movement to say the least, and should be mentioned here just because of its original approach in visual storytelling. Wether this is your cup of tea or not, the images succeed in evoking an certain unease and dizziness, that are essential in telling this story, mainly told through the point of view from our main charachter.

 

Taxidermia (cinematography by: Gergely Poharnok)

Absurdity, comedy and surrealism combined. Nice use of wide-angles lenses and some original camera-tricks. Weird, yes. Visually fascinating, absolutely.

 

The Turin Horse (cinematography by: Fred Kelemen)

One of the most beautifully photographed black & white films in my taste, reminiscent of the photojournalism from the early 20th century. Very minimalistic, yet stylized and narratively strong imagery. Also very mesmerizing because of the use of long-takes (this film contains only 30 shots). This effect results in you, the viewer, getting grasped into the movie both visually and subconsciously. It takes you into a deeper layer of the film, which is of course the essence of storytelling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my list :

 

1. Persona (Sven Nykvist) - the single-point lighting and the unique way of capturing close-ups of faces

 

2. Fanny and Alexander (Sven Nykvist) - organic, logical, naturalistic lighting at its best. Complimented by the great art direction.

 

3. Red Desert (Carlo Di Palma) - unique use of colour (which is not saturated, which is not glossy). the colour depicts the mood.

 

4. 3-iron (Jang Seung-Beck) - the abstract story expressed through abstract angles and soft lighting...

 

5. Chungking Express, Away with words (Christopher Doyle) - highly stylish. The compositions, a daze of colour, camera movements of the hand-held cam that will show you more than can be seen by naked eye. Integral with the poetic tone of the film

 

6. Amelie (Bruno Delbonnel) - Highly eloquent. this fairy tale has each and every shot carefully crafted like a painter's work.

 

7. Turtles can fly (Shahriar Assadi) - haunting compositions and lighting. unsettling frontal shots to depict the micro-effects of a war

 

8. Melancholia (Manuel Alberto Claro) - the grand compositions, the colour, organic camera movement, shows the melancholy of a nice world in this apocalyptic drama.

 

9. Jalsaghar (Subrata Mitra) - The declining legacy of a landlord. Wonderful naturalistic lighting, simplistic compositions, minimalistic sets, how objects enter and leave the frame. Great chemistry between a film-maker and cinematographer.

 

10. Requiem for a dream (Matthew Libatique) - unconventioned narrative of this ensemble well supported by the cut-crisp cinematography will have a long-lasting impact on you

 

11. Go go second time virgin (Hideo Ito) - one of the most unsettling movies ever. the casual, informal camera work

 

12. Pieta (Cho Yeong-Jik) - dark, sinewy. Not just the light, but also the shadow is important in cinematography.

 

13. La Dolce Vita (Ortello Martelli) - Cinema is resemblance of life, but gets more real than life itself. Grand, highly organic.

 

I won't say that these are the greatest, but my favourites and the ones I remember right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • G-Force Grips



    Serious Gear



    CineLab



    Ritter Battery



    Just Cinema Gear



    Glidecam



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Metropolis Post



    Wooden Camera



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Tai Audio



    Abel Cine



    Visual Products



    FJS International



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Paralinx LLC


×
×
  • Create New...