***let’s dedicate this to great cinematographers who died in the last 12 months: Hungarian Vilmos Zsigmond (4 times nominee, 1 Oscar for Close Encounters), British Douglas Slocombe (Raiders of the Lost Ark , 3 times nominee) US Haskell Wexler (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 2 times winner), Australia’s Andrew Lesnie (Oscar winner for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) and Indian legend Ananadakuttan who shot 75 Bollywood productions***
In the age of CGI, the argument for the creation of two distinct Oscar categories for best Cinematography, (one for old school live takes and one for movies with lots of FX post production) is more relevant than ever. After all, in the old days there was such a distinction between black & white films and color films. For the time being it’s still a single category. And the five great nominees are:
1- Roger Deakins – UK (for Sicario)
From his humble beginnings (after a number of documentary works) showing great promises with UK features like Sid and Nancy and 1984 to his longtime collaboration with the Coen brothers that genius never won the golden statuette. Will this 13th nomination change his luck? Great work with shadows(as always).
2- Edward Lachman (for Carol)
This was a long way to his 2nd nomination for the lesser known man of the competition, but with an impressive resume including great directors like Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog.
3- Emmanuel Lubezki – Mexico (for The Revenant)
A lot has been said about the use of natural light and the physical aspect of the making. After Gravity and Birdman Will he be the first to win this oscar category three years in a row?
4 – Robert Richardson – USA (for Hateful 8)
Another great cinematographer with impressive collaborations, among them Oliver stone, Martin Scorsese and of course Tarantino. As with Lubezki, a lot was said about the way to shoot it. In this case the resurrection of old 70mmm film process was used to shoot the picture – Richardson already got three of these golden statuettes…
5- John Seale – Australia (for Mad Max: Fury Road)
Not that he needs it, the Australian born is one of the greatest, but this time around his (great) work was heavily manipulated in post production to create beautiful images of nightmarish landscapes. It’s his fifth nomination. He Won for The English Patient.