Magazine article American Cinematographer

Andrij Parekh Bets on Mississippi Grind

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Andrij Parekh Bets on Mississippi Grind

Article excerpt

When Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck - the pair that made waves with their first feature Half Nelson in 2006 - approached cinematographer Andrij Parekh with the script for Mississippi Grind, he was instantly drawn to the material. And as it was to be their fourth collaboration, the trio were on the same page when it came to the look.

"They showed me a lot of 1970s films," says Parekh, an NYU Tisch graduate. "From that, the inspiration for Mississippi Grind was clear. They were attracted to Robert Altman films like California Split, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, and Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas. All films I love. That's the style and feeling we tried to give to this film - long, slow zooms mixed with handheld."

Mississippi Grind, which premiered at Sundance, stars Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn as two down-and-out, lost souls traveling across the American Midwest in search of fortune and better days. Parekh wanted it to feel like a 70s road movie, and to give it the texture of those films - "a sense of timelessness of another era," he explains. "The film is a journey, and we tried to capture the feeling of the Midwest and the South with all the decay, the timelessness, and the nostalgia."

For Parekh's goals of matching the image to the patina of an America past its prime, he used KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 5219 and KODAK VISION3 250D Color Negative Film 5207, underexposed 2/3 of a stop, and processed normally. "I wanted the blacks slightly milky with some desaturation, and underexposure helps me achieve that slightly worn look."

Early on in prep, the discussion inevitably came up regarding format. They were on a tight budget and Parekh didn't want to add more pressure to that, but based on all of the creative discussions they'd had, it seemed that film was the way to go.

Parekh proposed shooting 2-perf 35mm on an ARRICAM Lite Camera, which he had recently used on Sophie Barthes' Madame Bovary. …

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