Today Zerorojo wants to remember 10 films that by its impressive photography, art direction and production design are not only outstanding they also remain indelible in our memory by the amazing image management that without a doubt makes us want to see them again. It’s true that there are many pieces in the cinema world with these features but remember them all would require a book not a blog, so this is the basic count considered by Zerorojo who invites readers to comment on ¿what other film or films you consider that stand out in its photography?
Schindler’s List (1993)
Director: Steven Spielberg – winner of the Oscar and Golden Globe.
Photography: Janusz Kaminski- Oscar winner.
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley.
Duration: 195 minutes.
With a black and white hard to forget Schindler’s List won numerous prizes, including the Oscar for Janusz Kaminski. The colors, the lighting and sequences of this tape contribute in an incredible way to the drama embodied in it.
Dolores Claiborne (1995)
Director: Taylor Hackford- also director of The Devil’s Advocate, and Ray.
Photography: Gabriel Beristain
Cast: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer.
Duration: 132 minutes.
The adaptation of the book by Stephen King is a wonderful mixture of colors that transport us from the past to the present with warm and cold shades, certainly this element makes an announcement of the constant flashbacks during the development of the plot.
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Director: Baz Luhrman
Photography: Donald McAlpine.- Candidate for BAFTA Awards.
Art Direction: Catherine Martin Brigitte Broch – winning the Oscar.
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor.
Duration: 127 minutes.
The famous love story is acclimatized in an impeccable way, there is no frame of this film in which there is no meticulous presence of the art direction and of course an excellent photography: the lighting in a unique way points out the moments of love and joy, of abandonment and death in a very specific way.
Kill Bill Vol.1 And Vol. 2 (2003 – 2004)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Photography: Robert Richardson
Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine.
Duration: 111 and 136 minutes respectively.
Although Robert Richardson did not win an Oscar for his participation in this film his long list of movies and nominations (Django Unchained, Hugo’s invention, JFK, The Aviator, among others) lead us to understand the quality of his work. Kill Bill makes use of multiple photographic elements to give life to the story: high contrasts, cold and warm filters, black and white and a mix of amazing drawings and sequences that make this film divided into two chapters a masterpiece worthy to repeat many times.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Director: Brad Silberling
Photography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Art Direction: Cheryl Carasik -Oscar nominated.
Starring: Jim Carrey, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Meryl Streep.
Duration: 108 minutes.
This film in addition to having an excellent art direction and photography, you can note that was made with love, although it didn’t win all the awards that deserved, the world created for Lemony Snicket’s is the exquisite union of many works of art within each scene. The details of props, locations and costumes (worth mentioning) are meticulous, attractive, and, together with the macabre coloring photography that at times recalls to Tim Burton and the varied levels of framings achieves to result in one word: Magic.
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Director: Zhang Yimou
Photography: Zhao Xiaoding
Cast: Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro.
Duration: 119 minutes.
Zerorojo considers the photography in this film as the mother of the aesthetic: each frame of this story well may be the subject of a postcard, the art direction and production design are impeccable and tough to beat, has an excellent taste, unique range of colors and a beautiful exaltation at the nature, in addition to the above each frame is a perfect and pleasant construction. The story has a little of cliché but the image of the film is definitive and amazing and this one great detail makes it worthy of being seen several times. The amount of awards that this film won for his photography speaks for itself, curiously was nominated but didn’t win the Oscar or the BAFTA, but won the Boston Film Critics, National Society of Film Critics and the Satellite Awards in this category.
Sin City (2005)
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino.
Photography: Robert Rodriguez.- Nominated to Satellite Awards.
Cast: Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro.
Duration: 126 minutes.
In the challenge of taking a comic book to a film and that still seems a comic resides the beauty of this tape. The monochromatic dotted with details of color loaded with symbology make Sin City a film worthy of remembering. The grim lighting and the high contrasts fused with the art direction and photography are now opting for keeping alive the comic and reload it with the sadistic drama, sensuality and melancholy that Miller prints in the comic stripes of his books.
Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005)
Director : Rob Marshall
Photography: Dion Beebe. Winner of the Oscar, BAFTA and others…
Cast: Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh.
Duration: 145 minutes.
Dion Beebe was creditor to an enviable list of awards for this film, and is understandable: Memoirs of a Geisha not only accounts with excellent lighting and dazzling framing it also features with a irrefutable forcefulness to take advantage of each element: the composition of the scenes and the layout of the elements surrounding the characters make the story something so lived that the viewer believes to be watching the past unfolds before its eyes.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Director: Guillermo del Toro.
Photography: Guillermo Navarro.- Oscar, Goya Awards and Ariel winner.
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta – Winners of the Oscar.
Cast: Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi Lopez.
Duration: 112 minutes.
Guillermo Navarro was Academy award, Goya Award and Ariel winner by this film. Pan’s Labyrinth is the perfect sample of the coordination between photography, art direction and production design. Many of the sequences of the story are a fairy tale in motion: the warm and accented colors united to the grim and surreal aesthetic printed in the story pure fantasy, however, the photography is responsible for making the reality something so special, so unique that comes to seem unreal.
Life of Pi (2012)
Director: Ang Lee – Oscar winner
Photography: Claudio Miranda – Oscar winner
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan.
Duration: 127 minutes.
In addition to all the visual effects that has Life Of Pi can be counted among its major attributes the photography which is excessively explicit: the colors and filters used mark strongly moments in the story: the real and the unreal, the past and present. This film has many attractive elements on a visual level, however here is noted that this one is considered definitive, not all the films contain this beauty in color: acidic and alive mixtures with some evocation of vintage filters.