Magazine article Variety

Documentary Roots Define Lenser's Work

Magazine article Variety

Documentary Roots Define Lenser's Work

Article excerpt

Newton Thomas Sigel has deep roots in documentary One of his first professional jobs was operating the camera on what became Kenneth Anger's docu short "Lucifer Rising." In 1982, he connected with DP and director Haskell Wexler through documentary work in Central America, including "When the Mountains Tremble," about crimes by the Guatemalan military against the indigenous Mayan population, and "El Salvador: Another Vietnam," which was nominated for an Academy Award for documentary feature.

Sigel also served as cinematographer on Errol Morris's "The Thin Blue Line" and on Barbara Kopple's "American Dream," among others.

"It's been very circular in a sense," he says. "Although my resume has films like 'X-Men' and 'Superman Returns,' my attraction is really much more to content-driven movies with true human stories that have a resonance in what's happening in the world around us."

He adds, "I was fascinated with Haskell and with [his film] 'Medium Cool' because of the way it mixed narrative storytelling with documentary and social commentary. …

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