8 items from 2014
Wim Wenders’ mastery of the documentary form is again on display in “The Salt of the Earth,” a stunning visual ode to the photographer Sebastiao Salgado, co-directed by the shutterbug’s docu-helmer son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. Long recognized as one of the camera’s great artists, Sebastiao’s sculptural use of light and space is combined with a deep empathy for the human condition, resulting in richly complex black-and-white images that capture the dignity within every subject. “Salt” guides the viewer on a visual odyssey through the photographer’s career, enriched by Wenders’ monochrome footage and Juliano’s color. More traditional than “Pina,” the docu may not quite reach that film’s heights but will still play strongly worldwide.
Wenders hit upon an exceptionally clever, cinematic way of filming Sebastiao discussing his work, by projecting the master’s photographs onto a semi-transparent mirror that allows audiences to see both image and man. »
- Jay Weissberg
In an industry that more often than not celebrates mediocrity over true genius, Gordon Willis occupies a category separate from and above all others. It’s common knowledge among the informed that he stands beside D. W. Griffith, “Billy” Bitzer, John Ford, Orson Welles, and maybe a few others as one of the industry’s great originators. Just as those legendary figures did before him, he not only changed the way movies look, he changed the way we look at movies.
Though Gordon made his place in history with what are probably his best known films, “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II,” the pattern for what he would achieve had been put to effect in a number of smaller, less heralded movies he shot during the previous couple of years. To look closely at any of them is to witness the evolution of a tremendously gifted artist: “End of the Road, »
- Richard Crudo, ASC
Often called “The Prince of Darkness” for his tendency to artfully cloak onscreen characters in ominous shadows, cinematographer Gordon Willis was the closest thing Hollywood had to a Rembrandt. His playful visual style, daring use of chiaroscuro, and seemingly effortless ability to conjure a mood of unsettling paranoia made him the ideal Director of Photography for the 1970s — a glorious filmmaking decade when Technicolor artifice was swept aside for New Hollywood naturalism.
- Chris Nashawaty
One of Hollywood's most celebrated and influential cinematographers has died. Gordon Willis was 82. Suzanne Berestecky of the Chapman Cole & Gleason funeral home in Falmouth, Mass., confirmed Monday that he died and that the home is handling arrangements. Details on Willis's death were not immediately available. Willis was nicknamed The Prince of Darkness for his subtle but indelible touch on such definitive 1970s releases as The Godfather, 'Annie Hall and All the President's Men. He retired after the 1997 movie The Devil's Own. Through much of the 1970s, Willis was the cameraman whom some of Hollywood's top directors relied on during one of filmmaking's greatest eras. »
- Associated Press
Legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis, the "Prince of Darkness" who was responsible for the look of such era-defining films of the Seventies as the first two Godfather films, All the President's Men, Annie Hall and Manhattan, died Sunday at the age of 82, according to Variety. His cause of death was not listed.
A native of Queens, New York, Willis cultivated an early interest in photography and, while serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, joined the motion-picture unit. After the war, »
Influential cinematographer Gordon Willis, whose photography for “The Godfather” series and Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” helped define the look of 1970s cinema, has died, according to his close associate Doug Hart’s Facebook page. He was 82.
Willis was known as the Prince of Darkness for his artful use of shadows, and he was the director of photography on seminal 1970s films including “Klute,” “The Paper Chase,” “The Parallax View” and “All the President’s Men.”
He received an honorary Academy award in 2009 at the first Governor’s Awards ceremony.
Among the other Woody Allen films he shot were “Interiors,” “Stardust Memories,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Zelig,” for which he was Oscar-nommed. His other Oscar nomination was for “The Godfather III.”
- Pat Saperstein
By Tom Lisanti
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Gail Gerber passed away on March 2, 2014 due to complications from lung cancer. Gerber was born on October 4, 1937 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and began studying ballet at age seven. Extremely talented, at fifteen she became the youngest member of Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes in Montreal. Quitting the ballet troupe in the late 1950s and abandoning a husband who was a jazz musician, she moved to Toronto to work as an actress. She appeared on stage and in many live CBC television dramas. As part of the act of legendary vaudeville entertainers Smith and Dale (who were the basis for The Sunshine Boys), she appeared on The Wayne and Schuster Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. Moving to Hollywood in 1963, the talented blonde with a flair for comedy quickly snagged the lead role in the play Under the Yum Yum Tree »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Actors’ behind-the-camera debuts are rarely great. There’s generally a safeness to those movies, where it feels more like an actor testing the waters than having a story they need to tell. A big exception to that trend: George Clooney. Clooney took a major chance on Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Sure, he had a script written by Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation), but he made bold choices as a filmmaker. From the film’s complex style, the timeline they have to show in two hours, and the tonally tricky humor, Clooney’s first directorial outing was an ambitious introduction. Since then he’s tried his hand at varying material, constantly pushing himself as a filmmaker. Nothing against his films since 2002, including the overlooked Leatherheads, but Confessions of a Dangerous Mind remains his best picture. This is a film where big choices were made, and every single one of them hit their mark. It »
- Jack Giroux
8 items from 2014
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