Through a most beautiful lens, we meet the cameraman behind the magic.
Film making has existed for ten decades and legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff had a career that spanned nine of those. His work with Technicolor forever changed how we see film and his vivid colors and effects brought stories to life. It can be argued that Jack Cardiff was the greatest color cameraman who ever lived.
He was behind the camera, working for 87 years. Most people do not even live that long, but that is what corresponds to the dates on his resume. 87 years and a body of with that includes films such as “Black Narcissus’’ (1947) and “The Red Shoes’’ (1948). Films that showed the world that Technicolor was made of astonishingly vibrant colors that sprung forth from the screen. In addition, he directed 13 films and worked in both Hollywood and in London. It’s hard to imagine the same man capturing the magical ballet in “The Red Shoes” being the same man who focused on the blood in “Rambo” First Blood Part II”.
About half way through the film, there is a director who asks for an opening shot where mist is needed and Jack simply walks over to the front of his camera, breathes onto the lens and misty magic is created. He painted the glass, created filters and worthed with light that was ingenious at the time. He loved light and shadow and created effects long before special effects departments existed. For 87 of his 94 years of life, he lived, breathed and made films. Artistically, beautifully, magically and graciously – he painted the canvas of film like the art masters – bringing us something entirely new and drawing us into the work.
The interviews with the people who worked with him show a man who was respected, admired and loved. He himself discusses his love of photography and shares some iconic portraits of the beautiful actresses of the time.
“Cameraman’’ is a poignant look at a man who changed the way we see the world.
We loved it not only for the history but also for the amazing photographs in his personal archive.
Pick up this amazing documentary on Amazon. A must for film lovers!