Visions of Light


Visions of Light, 1992, AFI/NHK

Oliver Twist (David Lean, 1947)
dp Guy Green

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
pd Stanley Cortez

How Green was my Valley (John Ford [AA], 1942)
dp Arthur Miller (AA)

Peter Ibbetsen
1935
Charles B. Lang

Birth of a Nation (D. W. Griffith, 1915)
dp Billy Bitzer

The Cameraman
1928
Elgin Lessley and Reggie Lanning

The Crowd
1928 (camera down slippery-dip)
Henry Sharp

Way Down East (D. W. Griffith)
1920 (ice-floes)
Billy Bitzer

Ben Hur
1926 (chariot-cam)
Karl Struss

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene)
1919
Willi Hameister

The Last Laugh
1924
Karl Freund

Sunrise
1927 (back projection; hand-held?)
Charles Rosher, and Karl Struss

The Locked Door
1929 (mike in flower vase on table; cf. Singin')

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
1931 (pan etc.)
Karl Struss

Applause (Reuben Mamoulian)
1929 (track thro backstage)
George L. Folsey Jr

The Cocoanuts
1929 (camera on dolly)
George L. Folsey Jr

Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy) [choreog. Busby Berkeley]
1933 (fluid camera)
Sol Polito

What Price Hollywood?
1932 (machine shops, labs)
Charles Rosher

The Sea Hawk
1940 (dwelling)
Sol Polito

The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle
1939 (tracking on dance-floor)
Robert deGrasse

Possessed (Clarence Brown)
1931 (train passing)
Oliver T. Marsh

Jezebel (William Wyler)
1938 (dominance of star [Bette Davis])
Ernest Haller

Red Dust (Victor Fleming)
1932 ([Jean Harlow])
Harold Rosson

Camille
1936 ([Greta Garbo])
William H. Daniels

As You Desire Me
1931 ([Greta Garbo])
William H. Daniels

Queen Christina
1934 ([Greta Garbo])
William H. Daniels

Shanghaii Express
1932 (more light [Marlene Dietrich])
Lee Garmes

Desire
1936 ([Marlene Dietrich])
Charles B. Lang

Midnight
1939 (Claudette Colbert: one side of her face)
Charles B. Lang

Midnight
1939
Charles B. Lang

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles)
1942 (studios vs DOPs)
Stanley Cortez

How Green was my Valley
1942
Arthur Miller

Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock)
1940
George Barnes

The Long Voyage Home (John Ford, starring John Wayne)
1940 (Sven Nykvist discusses)
Gregg Toland

The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford)
1940 (light of a match)
Gregg Toland

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
1941 ('all the rules he could break'; deep focus)
Gregg Toland

The Killers (Robert Siodmak)
1946 (film noir; road: car-cam; 'basic visual information')
Woody Bredell

Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur)
1947
Nicholas Musuraca

Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz)
1945
Ernest Haller

T-Men
1947 (sketched)
John Alton

The Big Combo
1955 (cigarette falls; very little grey; final shot ... silhouette; cf. Casablanca)
John Alton

Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
1958 (hand-holding seamless)
Russell Metty, Philip Lathrop, camera operator

The Wizard of Oz
1939 (colour)
Harold Rossen

The Red Spectre
1907 (painted frames)

Intolerance (D. W. Griffith)
1916 (blue/red colour filters)
Billy Bitzer

Mystery of the Wax Museum
1933 (two colour process)
Ray Rennahan

Becky Sharp (Rouben Mamoulian)
1935 (three colour process)
Ray Rennahan

The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz)
1938
Tony Gaudio and Sol Polito

Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming)
1939 (long pole, derrick: like crane; philosophical adaptation; b/w=>colour)
Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan, Lee Garmes

Meet me in St Louis (Vincente Minnelli)
1944 (colour)
George L. Folsey Jr

Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)
1955 (b/w [Lilian Gish])
Stanley Cortez

Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick)
1957 (newspaper [Tony Curtis])
James Wong Howe

Hud (Martin Ritt)
1963 ([Paul Newman])
James Wong Howe

Picnic (Joshua Logan)
1956 (technique)
James Wong Howe, Haskell Wexler, second unit (helicopter)

Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
1962 (Cinemascope; camels)
Freddie Young, BSC (AA)

Jules et Jim (François Truffaut)
1962 (nouvelle vague; doco feel; free camera)
Raoul Coutard

Napoleon (Abel Gance)
1927 (steadicam; ropes; dollies; cranes)
Jules Kruger

The Graduate (Mike Nichols)
1967 (new tools [Dustin Hoffman, Ali McGraw)
Robert Surtees

The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci)
1969 (use cinema of the period)
Vittorio Storaro, AIC

Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper)
1969 (fast country...pictorial elements)
Laszlo Kovacs

Cool Hand Luke (Stuart Rosenberg)
1967 (flaring the lens)
Conrad Hall

Fat City (John Huston)
1972 (so little light...no eyes)
Conrad Hall

Day of the Locust (John Schlesinger)
1975 (windows blown)
Conrad Hall

The Professionals (Richard Brooks)
1966 (day for night [Burt Lancaster])
Conrad Hall

In Cold Blood (Richard Brooks)
1967 (b/w; rain on window onto face [Robert Blake])
Conrad Hall

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Mike Nichols)
1966 (realistic light like doco)
Haskell Wexler (AA)

McCabe and Mrs Miller (Robert Altman)
1971 (desaturated colours like faded photos; flashing)
Vilmos Zsigmond

Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski)
1968 (telephone around corner)
William A. Fraker

Young Man with a Horn (Michael Curtiz)
1950 (New York style)
Ted McCord

Naked City (Jules Dassin)
1948 (new lights; no arcs)
William Daniels (AA)

On the Waterfront (Eliz Kazan)
1954 (great blacks)
Boris Kaufman

Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger)
1969
Adam Holendar

Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet)
1975 (energy; semi-doco look)
Victor J. Kemper

Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)
1976 (New York style; dark look; overhead shot; art film [Paul Schrader script])
Michael Chapman

The French Connection (William Friedkin)
1971
Owen Roizman

Annie Hall (Woody Allen)
1977
Gordon Willis

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)
1972 (lighting directed by makeup: can't see Brando's eyes in darkness)
Gordon Willis

The Godfather II (Francis Ford Coppola)
1974 (under-exposing; drive-ins need light light levels)
Gordon Willis

Chinatown (Roman Polanski)
1974 (hand-held in bathroom; lighting like doco; 2.35:1 anamorphic; hand-held key-light: voyeuristic look)
John Alonzo

Jaws (Steven Spielberg)
1975 (most expensive hand-held movie [no Steadicam then]; sea-level cam)
Bill Butler

Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick)
1978 (sunset: magic 20" of day, romantic; light from electric bulbs in lamps)
Nestor Almendros (AA)

Sunrise (F. W. Murnau)
1927 (lights are props; diffusion-fog filter)
Charles Rosher

Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese)
1980 (like Life photos; long take; overcranking: 24/48/24 frames ps)
Michael Chapman

Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola)
1979 (communal art of lighting dp; dir overall artist; light: sharp/soft, warm/cold, nat/artif)
Vittorio Storaro

The Last Emperor (Bernardo Bertolucci)
1987 (analogies light=life, red=born, yellow=consciousness, green=knowledge)
Vittorio Storaro

The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese)
1988 (MS starts from shot)
Michael Ballhaus

Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)
1990 (tracking back/zooming in: world changes while characters still)
Michael Ballhaus

Eraserhead (David Lynch)
1976
Frederick Elmes

Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
1986 (Dorothy's apartment looks like ...)
Frederick Elmes

Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
1989 (heat: hot colour; waiting for the light; one day on one block: changes of light obvious; 'DOP is author of use of light in the story'
Ernest Dickerson

'… the studio … There was the gloss of Paramount [Busby Berkeley], the harder-edge look that Warner Bros was noted for [gangsters], and the glamour that you associated with MGM [stars].'
 ' … Garbo wouldn't have anybody but Bill Daniels do her picture …'

References and Links

Wikipedia page
IMDb page


Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 18 January, 2019 | Now: 15 November, 2021