Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cinematography, the Oscars and "Tree of Life"

AS everyone in Los Angeles knows well, Oscar nominations were just announced today. I've written about some of the films nominated, including The Artist, which drew 10 nominations.

One article I've not posted, because I can't seem to find an online link, was a story in which I spoke to cinematographers from five films: My Week With Marilyn, The Descendants, Drive, Margin Call and The Tree of Life. Emmanuel Lubezki of Tree of Life was just nominated for an Academy Award which he seems to have a good shot at.

(The Mexican-born Lubezki, by the way, also shot Children of Men, The New WorldY Tu Mama Tambien and Ali.)

Whatever you make of this film -- which has become the love-it-or-hate-it movie of the last year -- it's visually distinctive, from its verdant recollections of 1950s Texas suburbia or its more cosmic sections that recount the history of the universe.

Here's a bit of what he told me -- the full story is in AwardsLine's Issue 5.

Though the film has been compared to “2001: A Space Odysssey” and Renaissance painting, Malick’s edict was that the film capture the chaos of life itself. “He wanted the film to feel found, not rehearsed, not designed,” Lubezki says. “You had to wait for a moment that felt real, before you rolled the camera. We could not control the butterfly that flew by, or the wind, or what a baby might do: It’s watching, helping Terry and everybody else get to these moments that felt almost like an accident.”

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