VISIONS OF LIGHT
DIRECTOR: ARNOLD GLASSMAN, TODD MCARTHY, STUART SAMUELS
COUNTRY: USA 1992
CINEMATOGRAPHY: NANCY SCHREIBER
CAST: The best cinematographers of the past fifty
years and then some.
SUPER FEATURES: THE REAL STARS BEHIND THE FILMS.
There are certain things which make a film standout, and many times we are not ready, as viewers, to realize what
it is that got our attention. And the person usually responsible for this, is more than likely the
CINEMATOGRAPHER, than it is the director. Unless the director happens to have been a cinematographer, which then
becomes another story. Any film director who handled a camera before, has a tendency to be extremely visual, and
detailed, and provide many shots which add to our curiosity, much more than just another living room styled
portraiture, which is what the eraly styles of the cinema concentrated on with their glamorous stars. These
styles often had many highlighted faces, to make sure the lead stars were noticed as bigger than life, since they
were the ones that brought in much money to the studios. Later in film, specially Europe, much more
experimenting went on, not to say that it didn't also happen in America. The golden age of cinematography might
have started here and gone abroad, where there is a tendency to respect cinematography as an art form rather than
just a film.
The film gives us a small capsule of the things the cinematographer has to know, like the emultions, the
lighting, and now, the sound. And his shots have to create the image which will help the actors come alive on a
screen. And then it gets on to the real magic of the business..... the actual stars talking about some of their
best bits and pieces. The best is no doubt, Conrad Hall's discussion of the effects use on Robert Blake's face
in the film IN COLD BLOOD. The other highlights are Roman Polanski's ability to get people curious about his
films....Gordon Willis describing how he felt about Marlon Brando in the Godfather.....Vittorio Storaro
discussing both The Last Emperor and Apocalypse Now as if they were Rembrandts on the wall....and many other
moments of true beauty.
There are a lot of things which happen accidentaly in film making and it is the responsibility of the
cinematographer to be in tune well enough to make sure these bits and pieces do not get lost. This film more than
anything else illustrates how a well thought out cinematographer can enhance the film....check out Greg Tolland
and Orson Welles.... they even billed themselves together on the same screen for CITIZEN KANE.
A VERITABLE HISTORY OF FILM MAKING
I WISH THIS WERE LONGER.... THERE ARE MANY OTHER DIRECTORS OF CINEMATOGRAPHY THAT DESERVE CREDIT FOR GREAT WORK.
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