Cinema News and Reviews for the Rest of Us

Cinematographers go for ‘Inception’

The American Society of Cinematographers have given their annual award to Wally Pfister for his stunning work in Inception.  The film has been getting a lot of awards support in the technical areas heading into the Oscars, and it feels unlikely that a King’s Speech surge will cascade into the tech categories, as is sometimes the case if a film builds up too much steam.  My money’s still on Roger Deakins to get his “at long last” Oscar for True Grit, but it’s wonderful to see Pfister get recognized by his fellow directors of photography.  His work in the film is not just stunning, its often wholly original and even revolutionary.  Dense, precise, beautiful, and sometimes staggering in its implied infinity, Inception‘s cinematography is a wondrous achievement that will be lauded for a long time to come.

A shout-out also goes out to The Pacific’s ASC win in the television section, bringing yet another award to HBO’s somewhat underappreciated masterpiece.  The award specifies the episode featuring the Battle of Okinawa, and I couldn’t think of a better episode to zero in on.  The episode’s photography is some of the best ever achieved in the medium of television, painting of nightmare vision of war as somewhere down around Dante’s Ninth Circle of Hell.  It’s enthralling and haunting visual work (sample below)


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