My Favorite Cinematographers of All-Time

The cinematographer’s job is one of the most vital in filmmaking. They are tasked with listening to the director and reading over the script to capture what these people have imagined on camera. The imagination is infinite, which means this can be anything from a conversation between two people at a kitchen table to an intergalactic battle. To do this, the cinematographer has to have a masterful understanding of lighting, angles, blocking, movement, the elements of production design, the way an actor appears on camera, editing, and post-production effects that will be added later. The cinematographers on this list are not responsible for all of my favorite scenes in cinema, but they have a hefty body of work which, in my opinion, positions them as masters of the craft. Not every movie they have worked on has been a gem, but the camera shines when they have found the right collaborator in a director.

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PopCult Podcast – A Wounded Fawn/In the Mood For Love

Love can be painful in a myriad of ways, whether you’re on a weekend date with a serial killer or feeling yourself growing closer to the spouse of the person your own spouse is having an affair. Damn, it’s complicated.

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My Favorite Films About Love

Brief Encounter (1945)
Written by Noel Coward
Directed by David Lean

David Lean’s breakout film, Brief Encounter, feels so simple, but within this context, he delivers one of the most complex & realistic love stories ever put to film. Laura is a bored English housewife whose shopping trips to a nearby town provide her an escape from the drudgery of suburban life. She meets the virtuous doctor Alec Harvey through an acquaintance, and an unspoken attraction blooms between the two. Laura starts making her trips weekly to meet up with Alec, sharing a cup of tea and some quiet moments together. They are both married, and this fact looms over their encounters, keeping them from crossing certain lines despite feeling pulled toward each other. There is such a beautiful melancholy to this film, an understanding that attraction doesn’t happen conveniently & there is much about it we can’t explain. The rigid social expectations of the time will prevent Laura & Alec from being together. It may be better that they aren’t. There’s a chance that this is an escape for them that, if they were allowed to consummate it, would lose the magic that the restraint provides. Few dramas today handle the complexity of infidelity & attraction outside of marriage in such a nuanced & thoughtful manner. 

Read my full review here.

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February 2023 Posting Schedule

New Movie Reviews
Feb 10 – Babylon

Film Series
Feb 1 thru 8 – Charles Burnett: In Rebellion
Killer of Sheep, My Brother’s Wedding, The Glass Shield, Namibia: The Struggle For Liberation

Feb 13 thru 17 – Three Colors trilogy
Blue, White, Red

Feb 20 thru 27 –  Four by Douglas Sirk
Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, Written on the Wind, Imitation of Life

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Looking at Art – Winter 1946

Welcome to Looking at Art. Here’s what we do: I just spend some time looking at the piece, writing down thoughts & questions I have. Thinking about how it makes me feel and trying to make connections. Then I will do some research and report back to you with any details that are relevant to the piece. Finally, I put all that together and contemplate how the piece’s meaning has changed for me & what my big takeaways are. Today’s selection is:

Winter 1946 (1946)
Andrew Wyeth
Tempera on board
79.7 cm × 121.9 cm

We’re around midwinter, so I thought this would be an excellent painting to discuss. I’m not terribly familiar with Andrew Wyeth beyond one other image, Christina’s World. I’ve always found that piece to be highly evocative, bringing up horror and cinematic suspense ideas. You have to look closely at it to see those elements coming out, but they are there. The same sort of danger you might encounter in a Coen Brothers film. 

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PopCult Podcast – In Front Of Your Face/The Rainmaker

South Korean cinema continues to deliver incredibly thoughtful movies about the human condition. And Coppola continues making bonkers movies that wildly vary in quality.

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