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Cameraman: the Life & Work of Jack Cardiff
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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 (
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
owes to the man: "using the lens like brushstrokes, not only moving visually, but emotionally and psychologically".
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.
Cast & Crew
7 May 2010
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