WEIRDLAND: Zodiac and Brokeback Mountain in The Best Cinematography of the Last Decade

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Zodiac and Brokeback Mountain in The Best Cinematography of the Last Decade

"That’s what 17,000 voters at American Cinematographer — the house journal of the American Society of Cinematographers — have expressed in a new poll, the results of which were slipped over Movieline’s transom this morning. But back to the original question: Amélie? Really?

The methodology is a little… hinky: “AC asked its international audience of subscribers to nominate 10 films released between 1998 and 2008 that they believed had the best cinematography,” the release notes. “A final ballot listing the 50 most popular nominees was then posted on the ASC website, and the final vote was open to the public. More than 17,000 people around the world participated.”
And somewhere — and somehow — along the line, Bruno Delbonnel’s admittedly lovely work trumped Emmanuel Lubezki’s watershed Children of Men. Chris Doyle’s amazing shooting on In the Mood for Love isn’t even in the Top 10:
1. Amélie: Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC (2001)
2. Children of Men: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (2006)
3. Saving Private Ryan: Janusz Kaminski (1998)
4. There Will Be Blood: Robert Elswit, ASC (2007)
5. No Country for Old Men: Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (2007)
6. Fight Club: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (1999)Heath Ledger as The Joker and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight

7. The Dark Knight: Wally Pfister, ASC (2008)
8. Road to Perdition: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (2002)
9. Cidade de Deus (City of God): César Charlone, ABC (2002)10. American Beauty: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (1999)

The remaining selections are below. Biggest omission? Probably Peter Deming’s contributions to Mulholland Drive, right? Only one Robert Elswit film seems a pretty grave oversight as well, considering Good Night and Good Luck, Magnolia and even the underrated Punch-Drunk Love.
11. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Deakins)12. Tie: In the Mood for Love (Christopher Doyle, HKSC, and Mark Li Ping-bin) and Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Navarro, ASC)13. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS)Kirsten Dunst as Mary in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Ellen Kuras, ASC)
15. Gladiator (John Mathieson, BSC)
16. The Matrix (Bill Pope, ASC)
17. The Thin Red Line (John Toll, ASC)
18. The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (Kaminski)
19. Slumdog Millionaire (Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC, DFF)
20. Tie: Eyes Wide Shut (Larry Smith, BSC) and Requiem for a Dream (Matthew Libatique, ASC)
21. Kill Bill (Robert Richardson, ASC)
22. Moulin Rouge (Donald M. McAlpine, ASC, ACS)
23. The Pianist (Pawel Edelman, PSC)
24. Hero (Doyle)
25. Black Hawk Down (Slawomir Idziak, PSC)
26. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Deakins)
27. Babel (Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC)
28. Lost In Translation (Lance Acord, ASC)
29. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Peter Pau, HKSC)
30. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Claudio Miranda, ASC)
31. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Deakins)
32. The New World (Lubezki)
33. Sin City (Robert Rodriguez)
34. Atonement (Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC)
35. Munich (Kaminski)
36. The Prestige (Pfister)
37. Memoirs of a Geisha (Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS)
38. The Aviator (Richardson)Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Graysmith in Zodiac (2007)

39. Zodiac (Harris Savides, ASC)
40. The Insider (Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC)
41. Gangs of New York (Michael Ballhaus, ASC)Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain (2005)

42. Tie: Brokeback Mountain (Prieto) and The Fountain (Libatique)
43. The Fall (Colin Watkinson)
44. The Passion of the Christ (Caleb Deschanel, ASC)
45. Snow Falling on Cedars (Richardson)
46. House of Flying Daggers (Xiaoding Zhao)
47. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Eric Adkins)


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