10 Great Films to Watch for Cinematography

Whether you’re a filmmaker, videographer, or just a stills shooter, there’s a lot that can be learned from some of the greats of cinematography.

“Every frame a painting” is a phrase often associated with great cinematography, and for many, is what one ought to aspire to when shooting. Few films ever breathe such rarified air, but even having a few scenes in which those words could be uttered will likely have the film immortalized by fans.

Although I have studied films to a lesser degree, I’m certainly a rank amateur in knowledge of the craft. However, I can remember the film that sparked my interest in both cinematography, and unconsciously, photography — or rather composition of frames. That film was Amélie. It became a popular film to say you loved some years later, though I suspect it’s now gone the other way with experts in cinematography. However, I knew I loved it without pretense because I was a young teenager, and I hid that I watched it from everyone through embarrassment (though I can’t recall why.)

The first time I watched it, I really enjoyed the film but I couldn’t understand why. Yes, like most, I was enchanted by, and besotted with, Audrey Tautou. But it was more than that. I watched it a second time in reasonably quick succession and I discovered that what I was attracted to wasn’t just Tautou, it wasn’t a quaintly depicted Paris, but color. The use of color to tell some of the story had me hooked on how color can play the role as a character in a picture or scene.

What are the best examples of cinematography to you?


%d bloggers like this: