Mihai Malaimare Jr. burst onto the international cinematography scene in 2005 with Youth Without Youth, which he shot for Francis Ford Coppola. Malaimare caught Coppola’s eye while shooting screen tests in the cameraman’s native Romania. They went on to make two more features together, 2008’s Tetro, a noirish black and white, and 2010’s Twixt Now and Sunrise. Malaimare latest collaboration The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson is now hitting cinema screens in 70mm glory.
The Master has some parallels in real life, but Anderson uses the story of a charismatic healer (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his damaged acolyte (Joaquin Phoenix) to delve into the human condition rather than to chronicle historical events. The story begins in the period following World War II. Locations included the San Francisco Bay area as well as a few locales in Hawaii and in southern California. Amy Adams and Laura Dern also star.
Wally Pfister, ASC, BSC has created an impressive body of work with director Christopher Nolan. Their collaboration began with Memento, continued with Insomnia and The Prestige, and now includes Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Inception, which brought home four Academy Awards® including a statue for Pfister’s cinematography, as well as four other nominations including Best Picture. Pfister also earned BAFTA and ASC Awards for Inception.
This summer, Nolan’s Batman series will reach its apogee with The Dark Knight Rises, billed as the final installment. As with the previous Batman films, as well as Inception, Nolan and Pfister used a grand canvas. A full hour of The Dark Knight Rises originated in the IMAX® film format, which uses 65mm film in a horizontal orientation to create stunning images with 10 times the negative area of standard 35mm film.
The Kremlin is rocked by an explosion, and the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is supposedly to blame. Team leader Ethan Hunt and his crew turn rogue and must trot the globe to clear the IMF name in Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the M:I franchise. Tom Cruise reprises his role as Hunt, with a supporting cast featuring Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Tom Wilkinson. J.J. Abrams again produces through Bad Robot for distribution through Paramount Pictures.
Handling the visual aesthetics is Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit, ASC—whose credits read as a very long list of very fine work (including Oscar-winning There Will Be Blood; Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck; The Town; Syriana; Magnolia). Handling the directing duties is Brad Bird, whose prior, highly successful directorial efforts involved characters of the animated kind (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, The Iron Giant). M:I-Ghost Protocol marks Bird’s live-action debut.
“When I look at a shot through a lens, I hear music in my mind. Films, like music, need a sense of rhythm that affects everything from composition to editing … I use the same part of my brain to play a melody that I use to make a decision about how I might pan or tilt the camera … it’s about creating a beat or a rhythm.” — Wally Pfister, ASC, BSC
Ask your neighbor, your uncle and aunt, the clerk at your local grocery store and a stranger on the street about Batman. Chances are they will all tell you that Batman is the masked avenger who fights the dark forces of evil in the fictional city of Gotham. Ask Wally Pfister, ASC, BSC and he will tell you that Batman is a dream come true.
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