Shutter Angles

Conversations with DPs, directors and below-the-line crew by Matt Mulcahey

  • “Found Footage with Style”: Cinematographer Maryse Alberti on M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit

    As a teenager in the south of France, Maryse Alberti’s first two trips to the cinema led her impressionable eyes to Duel and Harold and Maude. If she’d instead began her cinematic journey with The Barefoot Executive and Escape From the Planet of the Apes, maybe she wouldn’t have become the cinematographer of The Wrestler, Happiness, When We Were Kings and Crumb. But the combined spell cast by Steven Spielberg and Hal Ashby – the great populist entertainer and the iconoclastic humanist – set Albert on a path that has led to a four-decade career pivoting between documentary and fiction. Alberti’s latest straddles…  Read more

    On Sep 21, 2015
  • “I’ve Gotten Carried Away with Graininess in the Past and I Probably Will Again”: DP Sean Price Williams on Queen of Earth

    The major studios’ current preference for selecting the shepherds of their franchise properties is to pluck directors from the relatively obscurity of indiedom. Colin Trevorrow went from Safety Not Guaranteed to Jurassic World. Josh Trank moved from Chronicle to Fantastic Four. Jon Watts leaped from Cop Car to the reboot of the reboot of Spider-Man. Alex Ross Perry opted for the opposite approach. After his breakthrough film Listen Up Philip, Perry stripped down his budget, cast, and crew for a character piece about a pair of female friends (Elisabeth Moss, Inherent Vice’s Katherine Waterston) whose relationship unravels during a week-long…  Read more

    On Sep 10, 2015
  • Thinking of Tarkovsky While Making New Zealand Look Russian: DP Tim Orr on Z For Zachariah

    The settings for Craig Zobel’s 2012 behavioral experiment Compliance and the director’s new post-apocalyptic tale Z for Zachariah couldn’t be more different. The former takes place almost entirely in the claustrophobic confines of a fast food restaurant’s employees-only areas. The latter unfolds amidst lush, bucolic tranquility. Yet at the heart of both films is a study of group dynamics. Set in an idyllic valley mysteriously immune to an extinction-level catastrophe, Z for Zachariah begins as a two-hander featuring Margot Robbie as a Christian farm girl who believes she’s the last person on earth until the arrival of an atheist scientist…  Read more

    On Sep 4, 2015
  • Hitchcock + Haneke: DP Edu Grau on The Gift

    Amongst a summer movie season awash in sequels, remakes and presold tentpole properties, it’s rare to find a sleeper at the multiplex, an unknown quantity with the ability to surprise an audience. Such is The Gift, an unnerving psychological thriller that begins as a post-Fatal Attraction variant before veering into the domain of Roman Polanski and Michael Haneke. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall star as a married couple leaving behind personal tragedy in Chicago to start a new life in Los Angeles. Shortly after their arrival, Bateman bumps into former high school classmate Joel Edgerton, who begins to insinuate himself into…  Read more

    On Aug 27, 2015
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