Oscar History

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Entries in Ed Lachman (4)

Oct 24 2017

"Wonderstruck"and "Mudbound"

Lynn Lee continuing our Middleburg Film Festival adventure

Dee Rees and Mudbound cast earlier this year.© Daniel Bergeron

It's always a little weird to attend a talk with a directorbeforeseeing the film they're being interviewed about.  That's what happened withMudbound,which concluded a day that began with a very engaging conversation between director Dee Rees and Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday and festival founder Sheila Johnson's presentation of the 2017 "Visionary"award to Rees.  Rees was charming,articulate,and impressively self-possessed,and had many interesting comments on the directorial choices she made inMudbound,which I wasn't sure whether I should keep in mind or set aside while watching the film that night.Rees made clear that she resists being pigeonholed as a director of color,female director,or female director of color,an aversion reflected in her somewhat bland mantra "let excellence be the standard."  At the same time,she agreed that the current system is structurally biasedagainstprioritizing excellence and needs to be opened up...

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Feb 18 2016

Interview: Ed Lachman on the Exquisite "Carol"and Dancing with Todd Haynes

It's our lastCarolinterview,he announced with a catch in his throat,attempting to let the best film of 2015 go for awhile.Our subject today is one of the great cinematographers,Edward Lachman.His filmography is loaded with essential mavericks of independent cinema like Sofia Coppola,Robert Altman,Steve Soderbergh,Todd Solondz and European auteurs,too.But his most fruitful collaboration has been with Todd Haynes.Carolmarks their fourth and arguably best collaboration and brough him his long overdue second Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography.

The New Jersey native started in Studio Arts like painting and art history and viewed them as more creative outlet than profession.Eventually he found he could earn a living as a cinematographer and a rich succession of images have flooded out of him ever since -- think of the golden ragged warmth ofErin Brockovich,the supremely stylized Sirkian homage ofFar From Heaven,and the hazy mystery of The Virgin Suicides.And that's just three titles.

I was eager to get on the phone with the man behind so many beautiful films and share a personal way his work affected me at the beginning of my cinephilia.But first I had to gush overCaroland how much it rewards repeat viewings. He joked thatCarolobsessives have seen the movie more times than he has...and he shot it!

NATHANIEL: I began all myCarolinterviews this season with "Why are you such a genius?"

ED LACHMAN: Someone once wrote that I'm a 'near genius'.I feel like more of a near genius.

NATHANIEL: [Laughs] Stop qualifying.The movie isexquisitelybeautiful

LACHMAN: Thank you.A lot of it has to do with our director Todd Haynes.I'm a conduit to his vision.I interpret it through the images but what's so beautiful about Todd is how he references his stories through conceptual ideas.For me,images aren't just about the aesthetics but the gravity of the content and what the images represent.

More after the jump

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Jan 06 2016

ASC Nominations for Best Cinematography & Adjacent Oscar Histories

John Seale and George Miller on the set of Mad Max Fury Road.Two 70somethings showing everyone how its done.The American Society of Cinemotagraphers have voted on the best of 2015's theatrical features.It's a year that can only be described as a filthy rich in terms of this artform.One only has to peruse the work oflower profile contendersthat didn't make it to feel staggered by the abundance of worthy creative work being done in the field.

But the rising talents -- and even some of the older giants -- in this arguable new golden age of the artform will have to wait another year for ASC and possibly Oscar honors.The guild went with a murderer's row of international legends this year.The ASC Nominees hail from five different countries (UK,Poland,Mexico,their average age is 62½  and between them they've amassed 31 Oscar nominations,5 Oscar statues,8 BAFTAs,and 5 Spirit Awards.That's a whole lotta statuary honoring their influential careers.

Cinematography history and more on the nomineesafter the jump...

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Dec 22 2015

"Carol"Week: An Evening with Cinematographer Ed Lachman

Kieran,here wishing everyone a very happyCarolweek.  If ever there was a film that truly deserved an entire week dedicated to celebrating it,it's Todd Haynes' sumptuous cinematic buffet.The film is a rare animal in the landscape in that it truly feels like every element of its filmmaking works cohesively in service of the overall vision.That was apparent on a re-watch last Friday evening in Los Angeles and even more so afterwards listening to cinematographer Edward Lachman talk to the audience about the process of finding the appropriate look for it after the screening.

"Todd always does great research before every film,"one of the many moments of him singing his director's praises.  "One of the greatest mandates was making sure it didn't resembleFar From Heaven,"Lachman stated.[More...]

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