“Life is unpredictable, and I feel, to some extent, lighting and cinematography should be a reflection of that.” – Rachel Morrison
Unbeknown to the general public, the cinematography is more than just camera angles. It involves lighting, aesthetics, the frame, and movement of the camera in harmony with the characters. The cinematography impacts our minds on a subconscious level. Movies are made immortal through their cinematography. In my opinion, there are a few modern cinematographers who have made remarkable breakthroughs and their laurels are the living proof of their sound victory. Here are some of the movies which made a lasting impression on me through the camera work.
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
The struggle to survive of two astronauts in outer space was a visual challenge. Emmanuel Lubezki took up one of the toughest jobs in cinematic history and came up with a way to shoot the movie with brilliance. You can see that every frame of the movie is part of the story and the scale the struggle represents.
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
The Auteur of Roma, Alfonso Cuarón took the camera in his own hands and depicted the life of a family in greyscale. It is one of the best pieces of camera work I have ever witnessed.
Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema
Dunkirk is the greatest Imax movie ever shot. The dogfights and the ocean shots make you feel like you are living along with the soldiers. The cinematography was a tool used to add suspense and thrill in Dunkirk.
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
Birdman feels like one uncut movie. Expressions of the characters are shot with close up scenes, thus capturing true emotions of theatre artists. The cinematography introduces a surreal element which engages the audience.
The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
I agree I am listing Emmanuel Lubezki often, but you can see the genius of his work in all the movies. The Revenant was about the relationship of man with nature, and the entire crew worked tirelessly reaching towards the southernmost corners of the Earth just to find the perfect locations and shots.