Cinematography of the Week #2

Hey there! I hope you’re all having a fab week. First of all, apologies for being so inactive recently – I’m currently moving house and was away on holiday last week and have in general been suuuuper busy but I’m ready to get everything up and running again. I may even edit together some clips from my holiday and post them here. Who knows?

La Haine

This week’s feature is from one of my favourite films of all time. La Haine (Dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995, France) follows three young men travelling through the banlieues in France. It touches on subjects such as class injustice, police brutality and racial profiling.

The narrative shook me to my core but it is the incredible work of Pierre Aïm (cinematographer) that caused this film to steal my heart. As a film with an unconventionally slow pace and little dialogue at times, the shots throughout truly help to speak volumes as to how the characters are feeling and how they experience the world around them.

The infamous ‘zolly’ shot (as shown above) is iconic due to the skill it takes and the message it portrays. The (sometimes referred to) ‘Vertigo effect’ is achieved by a wide angle zoom lens, a steady zoom and a dolly. The result is a poetic expression of how these three men who have made their way to Paris feel as though there is a strong disconnect between themselves and the city. All of these characters, none of which are simply French, feel isolated in their own country due to their low class background and different ethnicities.

What other shots do you like from this film? Are there any films you would like to see featured? Comment below!

Cinematography of the Week #1

In light of the recent Academy Awards and the general under-appreciation of cinematography I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the art. For myself, cinematography is the aspect of cinema that draws me in the most. Cinematography, when done well, can provoke emotion, further develop the story and inspire the audience in so many ways.

Professional cinema image-taking should integrate, serve, interest, and enhance the story. I judge cinematography not just for a story well told but for what the story is.

– Haskell Wexler

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Credit: Ellen Kuras

I feel like it’s only right to start with one of the films that always sticks in my mind simply because it’s jampacked with beautiful shots. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Dir. Michel Gondry, 2004, USA) tells the heart-wrenching tale of two lovers who have erased each other from their memories and the journey that they then take together after they meet again. It dives deeply into matters such as emotional vulnerability and connecting with others and the shots taken by the incredible Ellen Kuras echo this.

Let me know what you think of the shots from this film and if you have any requests for future features!