What Inspires Roger Deakins

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2008/02/deakins-thumb.jpgHe may have lost the Best Cinematography Oscar to Robert Elswit’s There Will Be Blood this year (and deservedly so, from what I’ve heard, and hope to see at some point this week – more on that later), but he was nominated twice this year (The Assassination of Jesse James and No Country for Old Men) and he’s still one of the greatest and most celebrated cinematographers of our time. Bottom line – when Roger Deakins talks, filmmakers everywhere had better sit up and listen.

Los Angeles filmmakers and cinephiles will get their chance on Wednesday, February 27th, when the UCLA Film and TV Archive continues their “occasional series in which today’s leading directors, actors, writers and other filmmakers present the films that have most influenced their careers.

The Archive’s Honorary Chairman and series curator Curtis Hanson hosts.” (From the UCLA Film and TV Archive website.)

More info after the jump.

The film:

(1969, France) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Director Jean-Pierre Melville (LE SAMOURAI, BOB LE FLAMBEUR) spent 25 years bringing Joseph Kessel’s saga of the French Resistance to the screen only to see his screen adaptation dismissed by French critics as a “Gaulist” tract on its initial release in 1969. Since then, ARMY OF SHADOWS has emerged as a modern masterpiece of style and suspense, as well as the crowning achievement of Melville’s career.

The screening starts at 7:30. Deakins and Hanson will be there in person to discuss the film after the screening. Tickets are available from the UCLA Film and TV Archive website.

8 thoughts on “What Inspires Roger Deakins”

  1. Wait, so you have not seen TWBB?

    Did you even see Assassination of Jesse James (one of the most breathtakingly gorgeous films) or No Country? In a well-projected theatre?

    How can you say he lost “deservedly so” based on someone else’s opinion?

    Deakins split his own votes, which was predicted by about anyone who knows anything. The Oscars are a joke, and even Elswit, as great as he is, acknowledged that in the press room.

    In my opinion, Jesse James and No Country were far more interesting looking than TWBB (and I have seen them all multiple times).

  2. I have to agree with P on this. All of the movies photography was brilliant and worked, but No Country had a stunning range of visuals going on (vs. TWBB’s mostly one note feel for the entire film).

    But all the more reason to go and see Deakins talk.

  3. Deakins is phenomenal, reminds me of the work of the great Nestor Almendros. And, yes, the double nomination, unfortunately, cancelled him out come voting time.

  4. i saw no country for old men, but not assassination or twbb. i’m most interested in twbb because it is probably one of the last (if not THE last) of the big studio films to go through a completely photochemical post process (no digital intermediate), and also because everyone who’s seen it has raved about the cinematography.

  5. That’s an interesting tidbit, Cutter. Have you heard/read anything about Anderson’s POV on this? If so can you point me in that direction?


  6. Good stuff. Thanks for the links.

    And thanks again, Cutter, for posting this in the first place. I was there last night thanks to you. Deakins’ comments about Melville being closer to neorealism than to film noir gave me something new to think about and appreciate.

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