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The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth (2007)

Video  -  Documentary | Short  -  3 December 2007 (UK)
7.6
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Cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth's work on Blade Runner is remembered by friends, colleagues and relatives.

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Title: The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth (Video 2007)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Paul Sammon ...
Himself, author of 'Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner' (as Paul M. Sammon)
...
Himself
Richard Hart ...
Himself (as Dick Hart)
...
Himself
Ernest Holzman ...
Himself
Cary Griffith ...
Himself
Michael Genne ...
Himself (as Mike Genne)
Steven Poster ...
Himself
...
Himself
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Cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth's work on Blade Runner is remembered by friends, colleagues and relatives.

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Documentary | Short

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3 December 2007 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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This featurette is found on the Four-Disc Collector's Edition and Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Editions (DVD, HD DVD & Blu-Ray) of Blade Runner (1982), all released in December 2007. See more »

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Features Blade Runner (1982) See more »

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Respect where it is due
15 March 2009 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This life and times of cinematographer extraordinaire Jordan Cronenweth are discussed in this 20 minute tribute. The majority of the running time is spend talking about his work on Blade Runner, which is only logical as it is part of the bonus features in the 'Fabrication' segment of the 'Enhancement Archive' aka disc 4 of the Blade Runner boxed set. And since the man is no longer with us, he is praised to high heaven by everyone, just like he is in the companion piece documentary 'Dangerous Days' (disc 2). Jordan was already ill during the filming of Blade Runner and spend most of his time in a wheel chair. However, unlike author Philip K. Dick who never got to see the finished product, I was surprised to learn that Cronenweth lived until 1996 and worked on many more features. Actor Brion James (Leon) died in 1999 and he didn't get a documentary of his own, but then Brion didn't create the all important ambiance and lighting with just four one kilowatt Xenon searchlights.

Apart from the fact that he could be quite a stubborn man, nobody has anything bad to say about Jordan Cronenweth. He seems to have been an inspiration to every one working in cinematography before and after Blade Runner, and everybody agrees the Academy made a mistake not nominating Cronenweth for Ridley Scott's 1982 classic. He did however win a Bafta award for that film and, being a very generous person, shared the glory with Steven Poster. Before the filming of the Runnder, Jordan had been diagnosed as having M.S. and been given treatment accordingly. Afterwards they found out it was Parkinson he had instead, meaning he had been taking the complete opposite medicine of what he should have been swallowing. Despite of this, Jordan remained focused, positive and kept on doing what he did best: to love live and to breathe live into motion pictures. More than any other picture on his resume, Blade Runner will stand the test of time and keep on mesmerizing people with the richness of it's light and shadows. A whole new generation of filmmakers have grown up citing this film amongst their greatest influences and some of them were lucky enough to get to work with Cronenweth while they still could.

Many anecdotes and remembrances by Jordan's peers, admirers, co-workers and his son Jeff (who also became a director of photography) are sprinkled over the course of this featurette, and although Ridley Scott has conjured up many more dazzling images in back-lighting, shadows, falling leaves and whatnot, his collaboration with Cronenberg on Blade Runner remains unsurpassed. The film has of course been criticized as being more about light and shadows than about characters, but who's to say they can't be carry a picture by themselves?

8 out of 10


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