Tuesday, September 20, 2011
video topic: cinema
entry type: Documentary
video title: Visions of Light - The Art of Cinematography
artist featured: mixed
director: Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy
producer: American Film Institute (AFI), NHK
run time: 91 mins
size: 698 mb
release date: 1993
description and preview:
(click "read more" below)
Visions of Light is a 1992 documentary film directed by Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy, and Stuart Samuels. The film is also known as Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography.
The film covers the art of cinematography since the conception of cinema at the turn of the 20th century. Many filmmakers and cinematographers present their views and discuss why the art of cinematography is important within the craft of filmmaking.
The film is the equivalent of a walk through a cinema museum. The doc interviews many modern-day directors of photography and they illustrate via examples their best work and the scenes from films that influenced them to pursue their art.
Many known cinematographers are interviewed, including: Nestor Almendros, John Bailey, Conrad Hall, Michael Chapman, László Kovács, and others.
They discuss their craft and pay homage to the cinema pioneers like Gregg Toland, Billy Bitzer, James Wong Howe and John Alton. The practitioners also explain the origins behind many of their most indelible images in cinema history.
Visions of Light is not just for film buffs. In fact, if the presentation of the Oscar for Best Cinematography is your cue to take a bathroom break from the Academy Awards, then this exhilarating documentary will help you see movies in a whole new light. Named Best Documentary by the National Society of Film Critics as well as several film-critic associations, Visions of Light traces the history and illuminates the art of cinematography. It profiles the cameramen who pioneered the visual language of cinema (such as D.W. Griffith’s cameraman Billy Bitzer and Gregg Toland, who shot Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane), as well as the masters they influenced, among them stor Alemendros (Days of Heaven), Vilmos Zsigmond (McCabe and Mrs. Miller), and Gordon Willis, the affectionately nicknamed “Prince of Darkness” who shot the Godfather films.
From Birth of a Nation to Blade Runner, from Gone with the Wind to GoodFellas, this feast for the eyes spans nearly a century with sequences from more than 125 movies made immortal by the artful use of light and shadow to realize the director’s vision. William Fraker, who shot Rosemary’s Baby, recalls filming the scene in which Ruth Gordon’s sinister character is seen in a bedroom talking on the phone at the far end of a corridor. Director Roman Polanski suggested that Fraker move his camera so her body would be concealed by a door and audiences could only see her back. Fraker remembers later watching this scene in theaters and seeing the audiences shift in their seats trying to peek around the door. –Donald Liebenson
Experience the dazzling story of cinematography as seen through the lenses of the world’s greatest filmmakers and captured in classic scenes from over 125 immortal movies. Discover Gordon Willis’s secrets of lighting Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” and Greg Toland’s contributions to “Citizen Kane.” Hear William Fraker on filming “Rosemary’s Baby,” Vittorio Storaro on his use of color and light in “Apocalypse Now” and much, much more. From black and white to Technicolor, silent to “talkie,” glittering Hollywood musical to film noir and art film to blockbuster, this critically acclaimed masterpiece presents movies in a new and unforgettable light!
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