7.8/10
2,874
20 user 29 critic

Visions of Light (1992)

Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to... See full summary »

Writer:

Todd McCarthy
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Documentary about the art of film editing. Clips are shown from many groundbreaking films with innovative editing styles.

Director: Wendy Apple
Stars: Kathy Bates, Zach Staenberg, Jodie Foster
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

War stories and life lessons from the industry's top writers.

Director: Peter Hanson
Stars: Allison Anders, Jane Anderson, Doug Atchison
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

110 of the world's top cinematographers discuss the art of how and why films look the way they do.

Director: Jon Fauer
Stars: Remi Adefarasin, Russ T. Alsobrook, Howard A. Anderson III
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The career and life of Stanley Kubrick is explored through pictures, clips from his films, his old home movies, comments from his colleagues and a narration by Tom Cruise.

Director: Jan Harlan
Stars: Katharina Kubrick, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Kubrick
Side by Side (2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The documentary investigates the history, process and workflow of both digital and photochemical film creation.

Director: Christopher Kenneally
Stars: Derek Ambrosi, Michael Ballhaus, Andrzej Bartkowiak
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary examining the decade of the 1970s as a turning point in American cinema. Some of today's best filmmakers interview the influential directors of that time.

Directors: Ted Demme, Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, Robert Altman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie.

Director: Kenneth Bowser
Stars: Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bogdanovich
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tells the history and importance of The National Film Registry, a roll call of American cinema treasures that reflects the diversity of film, and indeed the American experience itself.

Directors: Paul Mariano, Kurt Norton
Stars: Jeff Adachi, James H. Billington, Robin Blaetz
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar. But the first time he clasped the famous statuette ... See full summary »

Director: Craig McCall
Stars: Jack Cardiff, Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A documentary about the production of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and the people who made it.

Director: Sarah Kelly
Stars: Rick Stribling, Ken Bondy, Amy Minda Cohen
Making 'The Shining' (TV Short 1980)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look behind the scenes during the making of 'Stanley Kubrick (I)''s The Shining (1980).

Director: Vivian Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Vivian Kubrick, Terry Needham
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest R. Dickerson ... Himself (as Ernest Dickerson)
Michael Chapman ... Himself
Allen Daviau ... Himself
Caleb Deschanel ... Himself
Lisa Rinzler Lisa Rinzler ... Herself
Conrad L. Hall ... Himself (as Conrad Hall)
William A. Fraker ... Himself
John Bailey ... Himself
Néstor Almendros ... Himself (as Nestor Almendros)
Charles Rosher Jr. Charles Rosher Jr. ... Himself (as Charles D. Rosher)
Vilmos Zsigmond ... Himself
Stephen H. Burum Stephen H. Burum ... Himself
Harry L. Wolf Harry L. Wolf ... Himself (as Harry Wolf)
Charles Lang ... Himself (as Charles B. Lang)
Sven Nykvist ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to Do the Right Thing. Themes: the DP tells people where to look; changes in movies (the arrival of sound, color, and wide screens) required creative responses from DPs; and, these artisans constantly invent new equipment and try new things, with wonderful results. The narration takes us through the identifiable studio styles of the 30s, the emergence of noir, the New York look, and the impact of Europeans. Citizen Kane, The Conformist, and Gordon Willis get special attention. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Art of Cinematography


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$799,856
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Todd McCarthy had hoped to include an interview with the legendary cinematographer, John Alton, whose work is highlighted in the film, but could not locate him. Alton had quit the movie business after working on Elmer Gantry (1960), and for many years, even close friends didn't know his whereabouts, or if he was still alive. In 1992, McCarthy was shocked to receive a phone call from the now 91-year-old Alton, who had heard about Visions of Light (1992), and wanted to attend the premiere. Alton insisted that there was nothing mysterious in his disappearance, that he and his wife had simply decided to give up the movie business and travel a bit. They had lived in France, Germany, and Argentina, and had a great time. Alton died in 1996 at the age of 95. See more »

Quotes

Vittorio Storaro: I understood at that moment that cinema really has no nationality.
See more »

Connections

Features Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

If 6 Was 9
(uncredited)
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience during a clip from Easy Rider (1969)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Lovely
6 February 2006 | by karen-128See all my reviews

Yes, it ignores most of Europe and the rest of the worlds contributions, but for what it is, it's just lovely.

It's an introduction to the art of cinematography in American movies, with clips and comments from the greats about American film from birth till 1990 or so, when it was made. Some of the cinematographers are humble and self-effacing, some clearly have large egos, but they all obviously love and care deeply about film and film making.

This is a terrific film to show your children, a behind the scenes that is informative rather than salacious or snarky.

Highly recommended.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed