Cinematography is an art form that can be as bold as a gong crashing after a moment of silence, or as subtle as the tide coming in. It elevates a film to the heights of accolade or turns a movie into a frustrating mess when it misfires.
While at the heart of cinematography is the Director of Photography or Cinematographer, to get something from the script to the final shot takes a whole team of professionals, and it is their talent that we champion today.
So without further ado, these are the moments of cinematography that took our breaths away in 2021. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners/titles to be taken to the full reviews.
“Beware reflections” a warning to camera operators and teenagers chanting into the mirror.
Directed by – Nia DaCosta
Cinematography by – John Guleserian
There is no spectacle that is quite like Dune.
Directed by – Denis Villeneuve
Cinematography by – Greig Fraser
Land captures the reality of remoteness; it is both deeply intimate yet humbling in its grand scope.
Directed by – Robin Wright
Cinematography by – Bobby Bukowski
The Dry is a film that captures the essence of the title in every frame.
Directed by – Robert Connolly
Cinematography by – Stefan Duscio
The Green Knight is a film where every frame is interesting in some way.
Directed by – David Lowery
Cinematography by – Andrew Droz Palermo
And the Winner is!!!!! – Dune
Well The Green Knight was a close number 2 here, but I have to give it to the scifi epic. At the heart of what makes Dune work as well as it does visually, is its use of contrast. Arrakis, Caladan, Giedi Prime & Salusa Secundus all feel like distinct places, and yes that is partly because set design, but it is also down to the cinematography. Every frame feels like a snapshot into his world that feels both old and new.