Forum Thread: Favorite cinematography scenes/shots

List your favorite scenes for their cinematography.  If you can post photos, even better.  These are the first that come to my head:

-Casino - DeNiro at the window when Sharon Stone pulls up.  It's shot from behind him but when the headlights hit his face, you see his reflection on the glass for a split second.  So simple, but so original and profound.

-The Conformist - when Marcello visits his old Professor and talks about Plato's metaphor of the cave.  There's so much subtext to begin with, but the way in which Storraro shoots this scene to mimic this principle is the perfect synthesis of story and visuals.

-All The President's Men - The crane up overhead shot of Woodward and Bernstein in the library.  The higher it goes, the more it emphasizes the web they've walked into.

-Road to Perdition - the reflection at the end (trying to avoid spoiler...)

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5 Responses

It's a small world when I'm surfing Google Images and I randomly stumble across one of your posts -- agreed whole heartedly with everything your post (although I need to re-watch All the President's Men) but well put!!  No wonder you're officially famous.


Some of my favorites:

Mulholland Drive — When Betty and Rita enter Club Silencio.  The camera seems otherwordly, creepily floating toward them as they get out of the taxi and walk inside, while the blues sedate.  Seems effortlessly eerie.

Children of Men — In the beginning, as Theo is followed into the coffee shop and back out, then the explosion, all in one take (at least, so it seems).  Perfect combination of cinematography and blocking.  And it set the bleak tone throughout the rest of the movie.

The Night of the Hunter — When Henry kills his wife.  The shape of the attic and the shadows are foreboding, thanks to the beautiful black and white, expressionist cinematography.  This scene totally illustrates Henry's character from thereon.

Once Upon a Time in the West — The opening sequence.  There's a large degree of separation between Frank's men throughout, in single shots, and even when they are together when the train approaches, which makes it more believable when Harmonica takes them down; if they were united, they would have been more powerful.  And the stationary shots convey the desperation of the time, the isolation, entrapped.  Harmonica's reveal is great.

Once Upon a Time in the West!!  My professor in college prefaced that scene by saying "Everything you need to know about filmmaking is in this opening scene."

The train robbery scene from The Assassination of Jesse James (Roger Deakins)

The end-birthday party scene from Meet Joe Black (Emmanuel Lubeszki)

The assassination/rain scene from Road to Perdition (Conrad Hall)

The missing girl search/arrest scene from Atonement (Sheamus McGarvey)

Conrad Hall...

Browse clips by any cinematographer here.

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