The Five Best Photographed Motion Pictures of 1979

American Cinematographer, May 1980 | Go to article overview

The Five Best Photographed Motion Pictures of 1979


The technology involved in getting a motion picture image onto the screen has currently attained such a height of sophistication that it would boggle the minds of those who pioneered this industry almost 90 years ago. Marvelously compact and electronically automated film cameras, super-fast lenses that can almost literally see in the dark, new HMI light sources that rival the sun in brilliance while using little power, fabulous new color film stocks with high speed, extremely fine grain and incredible latitude-all these marvels are readily available to the present-day cinematographer.

The tools of the trade used by the Director of Photography and his crew continue to grow more compact, more efficient and more automated with each passing year-but the skill of the man himself, this unique artisttechnician, can never be automated. His metier is much more than a kind of reflex expertise born of vast experience in his chosen field. It involves such all-important intangibles as taste and style and a peculiar gut-feeling for achieving the specific images that will best tell the story.

Five superlatively photographed motion pictures were nominated for the Best Achievement in Cinematography "Oscar" to be bestowed during the 52nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation. Obviously, only one could be the recipient of the cherished statuette. But the members of the American Society of Cinematographers consider the nominations for this highest accolade to be as important as the Award itself, and it is with that thought in mind that the membership of ASC salutes with pride the following Directors of Photography who received nominations in the category of "Best Achievement in Cinematography" for the Academy's 52nd Annual Awards Presentation:

NESTOR ALMENDROS

"Kramer vs. Kramer"

WILLIAM A. FRAKER, ASC

"1941"

FRANK PHILLIPS, ASC

"The Black Hole"

GIUSEPPE ROTUNNO, ASC

"All That Jazz"

VITTORIO STORARO

"Apocalypse Now"

Nestor Almendros remembers his first thoughts when Robert Bentonserrthim a script for KRAMER VS. KRAMER. He felt that the characters were real; that they could be made to come alive on the motion picture screen.

Almendros was also excited about working in New York City, the practical location for the movie: He had studied filmmaking at CCNY, under Hans Richten and the opportunity to work in the city where he had done his early experimental work was exhilarating.

As for the cinemagraphic opportunity, Almendros says, "If someone had asked me whether I thought KRAMER VS. KRAMER would be nominated for an Academy Award"-for cinematography, I would have answered that there was absolutely no chance."

The assignment came on the heels of the completion of principal cinematography for DAYS OF HEAVEN, which earned Almendros an Academy Award last year. In that picture, director Terrence Malick envisioned the cinematography as a graphic extension of the characters' feelings and moods. Creative visuals played an unusually important part in telling the story.

In contrast, KRAMER VS. KRAMER had no spectacular landscapes, crowd scenes, or pageants. Instead, it is a very intimate film with the faces of people telling much of the story. That is not the kind of a film which normally gets an Academy Award for cinematography, as Almendros points out.

We had an opportunity to visit with Almendros after he was nominated for an Oscar for the second consecutive year:

QUESTION: There has been much written about you, especially since you won an Academy Award last year. However, we would like to hear the facts directly from you. Tell us about your background and how you got started in the motion picture industry.

ALMENDROS: I was born in Barcelona and grew up in Cuba. I've been a political exile three times: once in Spain from Franco and twice from Batista and Castro's Cuba. I became interested in movies by going to them when I was very young. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Five Best Photographed Motion Pictures of 1979
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.