Magazine article American Cinematographer

VideoGram

Magazine article American Cinematographer

VideoGram

Article excerpt

Love and Death

Produced by Charles H. Joffe

Directed by Woody Alien.

Photographed by Ghislain Cloquet

(Key Video)

Key Video continues their "Spotlight" series with seven Woody Alien films, each with their own special look thanks to the respective cinematographers: Gordon Willis, ASC, on Annie Hall and Stardust Memories; Andrew M. Costikyan on Bananas; Lester Shorr, ASC, on Take the Money and Run; David M. Walsh on Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask and Sleeper; and Ghisland Cloquet on Love and Death.

The warm tones and amusingly borrowed compostions from Bergman and Eisenstein make Love and Death one of Alien's best looking films. Marxian dialog (Groucho, not Karl) and truly absurd situations abound in marvelous montage. Ralph Rosenblums' slick editing gives the film its cutting edge.

The Learning Tree

Produced and directed by Gordon Parks.

Photographed by Burnett Guffey, ASC.

(Warner Home Video)

The film version of Gordon Parks novel is filled with bitter sentimentality. If you can imagine the story of Tom Sawyer set in Kansas, during the 1920's, and that Tom is black, then you have a pretty good idea of what this story is about.

What the film lacks in power, it makes up for in dignity. Its strengths are fairness and honesty in dealing with touchy subject matter.

The photographic expertise of Parks and cinematic sense of Guffey make this a must see and think about film. Its simultaneous release on video with The Color Purple hopefully won't overshadow the importance of this very personal film.

The Miracle of Morgan 's Creek

Produced and directed by Preston Sturges.

Photographed by John F. Seitz, ASC.

(Paramount Home Video)

Preston Sturges' view of small town America during WWII was bold for its time and still holds some surprises for those not used to candycoated cynicism.

Manic performances by Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, William Demarest, and the Sturges company of players are captured in beautiful black and white by Seitz.

When the frame isn't packed with flamboyant performances, the camera is tracking for entire sequences, stopping occasionally to take advantage of the back lighting.

The video version is a crisp collectable.

Young Man with A Horn

Produced by Jerry Wald.

Directed by Michael Curtiz. …

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