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Soundtracking:Southland Tales

"If you'll pardon the bluntness,I am still convinced that Richard Kelly was masturbating the entire time he was filming this movie."-PoliVamp

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Entries in James Laxton (3)

Tuesday
May 23 2017

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Moonlight"

by Nathaniel R

Little and Juan framed by nature

A truth: No matter how much you love a movie on first viewing,what makes it become a classic,a masterpiece even,is less predictable.That's in how it endures and oft times whether it can keep giving you new information.Aging,even for non-living things like a movie which is already "complete,"before it begins that process,is tricky.But after a handful of screenings ofMoonlightover the past nine months,it's quite obvious that the film (not to mention its surprise Best Picture win) will age spectacularly well.A prediction: We're just barely getting to know its marvel.

TheHit Me With Your Best Shot seriesinitially started as an idea to honor Cinematography but film is so collaborative and complex that that's not how it turned out.It's ended up being more of amise-en-scèneappreciation ...sometimes the images that grab you are lighting based,other times it's the perfect marriage of a sound and picture,and then there are performances so indelible that they even become the primary iconic visual.BecauseMoonlightis rich inallof its moving parts,I opted to just look at the first act (for now).And I did something I never do: I watched it with the sound turned off...

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Thursday
Feb 02 2017

24 Days Until Oscar - Your Vote For Best Cinematography?

What if the sexiest category this year is actually Best Cinematography?The lineup is so very strong.This year's DPs hail from all over the Globe including the US,Mexico,Australia,and Sweden.And their movies are all astonishingly beautiful albeit in completely different ways

Which of these talented gents are you rooting for to win the Oscar?

P.S.If you haven't yet seen this great montage of every Best Cinematography Winner ever,you should take 7 minutes and do so...

Wednesday
Jan 11 2017

Cinematography Prizes: ASC and Oscar

The American Society of Cinematographers recently added an very welcome category called "Spotlight"in which they note the work of DPs working in films with either very limited releases or festival only entries.It's a smart way to draw attention to work that might otherwise go unnoticed.In this new category they've nominated Lol Crawley forChildhood of a Leader(which we recently discussed),Gorka Gomez Andreu's work onthe Georgian Oscar submissionHouse of Others,Ernesto Pardo for the Mexican filmTempestad,and Juliette van Dormael's lensing of the Belgian filmMon Ange (My Angel).Why there are only 4 honorees and not the traditional 5 we do not know.

But the marquee category is of course Theatrical Motion Pictures.And here's the beauties they most loved looking at this year...

Bradford Young forArrival
1st ASC nomination.Also his first BAFTA nomination.One previous Spirit nomination forSelma.Other key credits:A Most Violent Year,Pariah,Ain't Them Bodies Saints

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