Categories One-by-One: Cinematography

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Sabin
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Cinematography

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:16 pm

It is a rejection of visual effects masquerading as cinematography, but how many films have won Best Cinematography that were 2D visual effects extravaganzas? The difference is (or some might say the snobbery lies) that with a 3D feature, the cinematographer affects lighting and camera placement, but not always camera movement. The rigs in Avatar are absurd! Maurio Fiore may have been the Director of Photography on the film, but the award for Best Cinematography should go to more people than he for doing the shots for that film. Cinematographers take that seriously. Academy voters don't.

That being said because this is an Ang Lee movie so it is deliberately shot and framed, I think Claudio Miranda would have won had Deakins not been involved with the gorgeous Skyfall this past year.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Cinematography

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:47 pm

I don't think it's a rejection of 3D, but a rejection of visual effects masquerading as cinematography. While lightning Pi was still required, he was on green screen much of the time making the necessity for a capable cinematographer less important. Yes, I realize that Cinematography is NOT just about lightning, but also shot composition, but that's largely irrelevant in this debate. My guess is that the ASC preferred a more traditionally-filmed narrative than one that was filmed largely on a sound stage.
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Categories One-by-One: Cinematography

Postby Sabin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:34 pm

The ASC should change their name to 3DH8TRS. It makes me wonder if The Curious Case of Benjamin Button had been a 3D feature (and it's not that difficult to imagine) would it have beaten Slumdog Millionaire also? The American Society of Cinematographers chose The White Ribbon over Avatar and The Tree of Life over Hugo. The cinematography of Inception remains 2D (which is one more D than the characters) and it wins both ASC and the Oscar.

Last year, I predicted Hugo would beat The Tree of Life not because of the 3D factor but rather because Art Direction and Cinematography are pretty much synonymous in the eyes of the voters. The Genius vs. Genius vs. Genius cinematography slugfest that was 2007 becomes easier to predict. Brokeback or Memoirs of a Geisha? The Jack Twist Motel 6 was sure made up to look purty, but Academy voters snubbed it and the clothing on the floor too. In the last ten years, one film won Best Cinematography without an Art Direction nomination: Slumdog. Before that? American Beauty.

While Django Unchained and especially Skyfall could have placed in the Art Direction categories, the nominated lens that filmed the nominated messes on the screen are Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, and Lincoln. So crushing then that the of milky whites and dark skies that the stellar Spielberg and Kaminski collaboration yielded a goose egg, while the homage-bonerage and the dank wax museum tour lighting of War Horse and Lincoln go two-for-two at least to sit and enjoy a meal while Richardson and Scorsese sit on pins and needles at the "Aren't We Too Old For This?" Table. If Lincoln takes it, it's for a few shots not for the moving pictures. It's because its framing looks better in a magazine than on the screen. Anna Karenina (which I still haven't seen) is by all accounts the opposite. A flamboyant circus apparently so loosely devout to its source material, a garish work of a "visionary" director that it may as well be Based on the Novel "Anna Karenina" by Sapphire. Joe Wright's best film is Hanna and Marvel needs to scoop him up for some hack-work because he is a very talented hack.

So, Claudio Miranda takes it, his second nomination. It has everything a Cinematography winner needs in all three dimensions. To all those who pity Roger Deakins, I respond that he knows what he has to do. Film is a medium as old as Bond. Goofy red glasses are forever.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver


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