Empire of Light – camera work

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  • #178611
    simon m

      Hello Roger,

      Just saw Empire of Light last night. Loved it. I really enjoyed your use of lockoff shots, especially in the opening sequences. It really removes the camera in a way, and the scene becomes pure observation. The starkness accentuates her isolation in those opening scenes. I really feel the lockoff shot is overlooked for the power it can convey.

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    • #178641
      Roger Deakins

        Yes, I agree. Far too often the camera moves in a film with little regard for story.


          I loved Empire of Light. Olivia Colman’s performance is amazing. I find that the stillness of the camera in this piece creates a lot of emotional tension and suspense, right from the opening montage. I also notice how much more important each cut is. The momentum and rhythm come from the cut instead of camera movement. It seems a more generous conveyance. I hope for more movies like this.

          Roger Deakins

            You might want to watch the films of Robert Bresson or Luchino Visconti! There are plenty of films with a similarly controlled camera style but less in contemporary mainstream cinema.

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