Cameraman: the Life & Work of Jack Cardiff

  • PG
  • Craig McCall (2010)
  • UK
  • 85 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Craig McCall's documentary is an absorbing history of the first cinematographer awarded an honorary Oscar. It traces Cardiff's career from humble beginnings as a silent movie child actor to becoming Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's go-to lighting genius (Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes), to his own directorial career (starting with Sons and Lovers in 1960). Offering insights into his working methods - he was influenced by classic painters such as Vermeer - this illuminating profile finds Cardiff (who died aged 94 in 2009) on engaging and endearing form. His anecdotes take in everything from flatulent directors to Marlene Dietrich's glamour and Marilyn Monroe's funeral. The film is packed with movie clips, significant on-set photos and well-chosen archive material, while Lauren Bacall, Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas are among the stars offering their memories of Cardiff's vintage era. Martin Scorsese, a champion of Cardiff's work, also reveals what Raging Bull owes to the man: "using the lens like brushstrokes, not only moving visually, but emotionally and psychologically".

Plot Summary

Documentary about the acclaimed cinematographer, whose work included The African Queen, War and Peace, and a run of successful films for Powell and Pressburger, including The Red Shoes, A Matter of Life and Death and his Oscar-winning work on Black Narcissus. Edited for daytime broadcast.

Cast and crew

Cast

Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
John Mills
John Mills
Thelma Schoonmaker
Thelma Schoonmaker
Kim Hunter
Kim Hunter
Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
Moira Shearer
Moira Shearer
Kathleen Byron
Kathleen Byron
Alan Parker
Alan Parker
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Freddie Francis
Freddie Francis
Richard Fleischer
Richard Fleischer
Peter Yates
Peter Yates

Crew

Director
Craig McCall

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Optimum
Released 7 May 2010
Categories
Arts
Documentary

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