First up we have the 2019 psychological thriller THE NEON DEMON, from iconoclastic Danish writer/director Nicholas Winding Refn and brilliant Argentinian cinematographer Natasha Braier (who won the “Robert Award” for Best Cinematography at the 2017 Danish Film Awards). Refn and Braier are at their boldest and most stylistically playful in this film, making liberal use of low key colored lighting, optical effects, graphic framing, and plenty of lens flares. If you’re putting together a look book for your next music video, fashion film, or dream/fantasy sequence, you’ll definitely want to mine this one for inspiration.
Next there’s Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical musical drama, ALL THAT JAZZ. This film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, was nominated for 9 Academy Awards (including Cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno), and ultimately won four, including Costume Design and Art Direction. A backstage musical unlike any other, this film launches the viewer headfirst into the drink and drug-fueled daily life of a workaholic broadway director played by Roy Scheider. Check out the images toward the end of the film for one of the most fabulously unique death sequences in film history.
Then we have last year’s WWI epic 1917, from James Bond director Sam Mendes and arguably the greatest living cinematographer, Roger Deakins, who took home his second Oscar for this film. As fantastic as this film is to have on ShotDeck in still image form, it really needs to be watched in motion to appreciate the jaw-dropping technical and creative achievement of its cinematography. You can rent/stream it using the icons at the top right of the film page. Keep an eye out for the sequence in the bombed-out city, a little over an hour into the film. Deakins’ use of military flares passing overhead, to illuminate the set and to cast moving shadows across the ruins, is nothing short of breathtaking.
And finally we’ve added the 2019 independent drama, THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO. This moving story of family heritage and gentrification, penned by director Joe Talbot (who won the 2019 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award for this film) and lead actor Jimmie Fails, traverses the diverse landscapes and communities of its title city, crafting something halfway between documentary and fable. Shot by music video veteran Adam Newport-Berra (who was nominated for the Golden Frog at Cameraimage in 2019), the film has some of the most gorgeous portrait cinematography in recent memory – a perfect resource if you’re in need of some poignant straight-to-camera medium closeups.
We hope you find these films a valuable addition to your visual research on the site and an exciting new source of inspiration for your next project.