Old-school films with the best cinematography!

Old-school films with the best cinematography!

What makes a cinematographer’s work perfect? The lighting, the framing of a shot or the movement of a camera? Is it simply one person’s work or an effort of a group of people? In an attempt to find some kind of common thread among the films that most consider “great” in terms of cinematography, Fandor’s Scout Tafoya personally polled over 60 film critics, asking them to list out films that “feature their version of ideal or perfect photography.” This is the result: 6 films that received the most votes.

  1. Days of Heaven (1978)

Old-school films with the best cinematography!

This film gave us the iconic dialogue, “You’ve got to go through Hell before you get to Heaven” amongst many other things. This romantic drama film is set in 1916 and talks about a farm labourer who convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune. The film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

  1. Barry Lynden (1975)

Old-school films with the best cinematography!

Barry Lyndon follows the adventures of an opportunistic Irish nitwit, Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal), as he clambers inelegantly up the social ladder in search of a title and a fortune. At the 1975 Academy Awards, the film won four Oscars in production categories. Although having had a modest commercial success and a mixed reception from critics on release, Barry Lyndon is today regarded as one of Kubrick’s finest films. In numerous polls, it has been named one of the greatest films ever made.

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Old-school films with the best cinematography!

2001: A Space Odyssey

“The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ but in how little”, says critic Roger Ebert. Despite initially receiving mixed reactions from critics and audiences, the film garnered a cult following and slowly became the highest-grossing North American film of 1968. Even today, it is regarded as of the most influential films to have been made. The film has also been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

  1. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Old-school films with the best cinematography!

The twist is supposed to arrive at the end of the movie, but Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans pulls the rug from under our feet much sooner than that. What’s commendable is the fact that this silent film was the 1st ever film to have won an Academy Award for ‘Unique and Artistic Picture’. In this fable-morality subtitled ‘A Song of Two Humans’, the ‘evil’ temptress is a city woman who bewitches farmer, Anses and tries to convince him to murder his neglected wife, Indre.

  1. The Conformist (1970)

Old-school films with the best cinematography!

Bertolucci makes use of the 1930s art and decor associated with the Fascist era: the middle-class drawing rooms and the huge halls of the ruling elite in his political drama The Conformist. Vincent Canby, film critic for The New York Times, liked Bertolucci’s screenplay and his directorial effort. Not only this, but the review generator at ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ gave this film a 100 percent positive review.

  1. Night of the Hunter (1955)

Old-school films with the best cinematography!

Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis Grubb, Night of the Hunter was adapted for the screen by James Agee and Laughton under film noir. The story focuses on a corrupt reverend-turned-serial killer who attempts to charm an unsuspecting widow and steal $10,000 hidden by her executed husband. Much like most of the films on this list, this film too was not a success with either audiences or critics at its initial release.

10 Films For March: The best films you missed in 2014

Each month we countdown 10 films that are worth pulling out for a rewatch. This month, we look that some of the best films from 2014 that you probably didn’t see.

nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler
The first of two Jake Gyllenhaal film on our list! The film explores the sleazy world of US tabloid journalism where TV networks compete for gory and exploitative footage of crimes and accidents. Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a ruthless, self-delusional sociopath who finds success as a freelance video journalist when he crosses the line between capturing and creating crime footage.

Levithan

Leviathan

Leviathan
Kolya, a small-town Russian car mechanic, struggles to keep his family house from the land-grabbing plans of a corrupt local mayor. He is up against an endless list of challenges – the corrupt government, the useless legal system and even his own friends and family. The world weighs down on him – is it really worth the fight?

The-Tale-of-The-Princess-Kaguya-1

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Somewhat lost in the noise of The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Big Hero 6, this was by far the best animated film of 2014. The film offers breathtaking, hand-drawn animation from the legendary Studio Ghibli, and a heartbreaking story of what it means to grow old.
A childless bamboo cutter discovers a tiny girl inside a bamboo plant. He and his wife raise her as their daughter, however she grows and ages much faster than other children. Determined to give her a comfortable life, they move to a city and try to prepare her for marriage.
This film will be loved by the whole family. You can catch it in the original Japanese with subtitles, but the English version, with voices from Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan is great.

Blue-Ruin-Dwight

Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin
A gritty thriller wrapped up in lyrical visual poetry. This is what you hope to end up with when a talented cinematographer turns director – carefully composed frames with layers of meaning.
A homeless man wants vengeance when his parents’ killer is released from prison. However his bungled assassination attempt drags him and his estranged family into danger.  There is wonderful black humor in watching a ‘non-hero’ character trying to be an action star.

locke

Locke

Locke
An 80 minute feature film, with one on-screen character (Tom Hardy) as he drives his car from Birmingham to London, in real time. The action takes place through the phone calls he makes, to his wife, to his mistress and to the construction project that he is supposed to be supervising.

GirlNightThroat

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
For a world, hopefully tired of glossy Twilight vampires, 2014 gave us two fresh vampire flicks: Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, and Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
We caught A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night at the Mumbai Film Festival and were blown away by this ‘Iranian vampire western’. Light on story but huge on mood, we follow a lonely vampire girl as she skateboards around her crime-ridden Iranian city, stalking her prey.
Will she find love, or forever dance alone under her mirrorball?

the-drop

The Drop

The Drop
An understated crime drama that serves as a vehicle for two of our favourite actors: James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy.  Throw in a story by one of our favourite writers – Denis Lehane, the scribe of Mystic River, Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone and parts of The Wire and Boardwalk – and you just know that this is going to be great.
Small but expansive, simple yet gripping, and highly worth a watch.

Force Majeure

Force Majeure

Force Majeure
The best films often have a simple premise that really makes us think. Picture the perfect family on a vacation – a loving father, mother and kids. When a disaster strikes, the father panics and saves himself, leaving his family behind. Everyone is fine, except that they are not really. Can the father rebuild the relationship with his family?
This is a hilarious and wickedly dry black comedy from Swedish writer-director Ruben Ostlund.

enemy-feature

Enemy

Enemy
This is one of those films that takes a couple of watches to really understand everything that went on.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a bored, uninspired professor. He spots an actor who looks exactly like him in a film. As he tries to meet his doppleganger, his life begins to unravel.
Menacing, eerie and surreal, this film was too arty for the mainstream box office but will be a rewarding watch and rewatch for lovers of great cinema. The final image is probably the scariest twist of any film in 2014.

Starred Up

Starred Up

Starred Up
A gripping British prison drama. A young man – violent and unpredictable – is transferred from juvenile to adult prison. He wears this as a mark of pride, the fact that he grew up in ‘the system’, and sets out to further his tough reputation.
His father, a life-term prisoner, is determined to see that his son doesn’t follow in his shoes.
There’s a great appearance by Rupert Friend (Quinn from Homeland) as a prison psychologist who wants to give the inmates another chance.

Ass_direction_03