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Watch: Why Gordon Willis’ Lighting in Interiors is Another Character Element

In conjunction with the Museum of Moving Image’s first ever cinematographer-centric retrospective, Reverse Shot has produced a small tribute to Gordon Willis’ work on Woody Allen’s Interiors. Staging their own recreations of the film’s many portraits, editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert examine how Willis’ lighting contributes to the emotional interiority of Diane Keaton’s character, Renata. By casting her in shadows for the majority of the film, Willis reinforces her isolation. It’s an important consideration of how cinematography can not only set the external tone of a film, but also play a necessary role in the characterization of its inhabitants.

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