As 2022 draws to a close, it’s time to start reflecting on the outstanding achievements made in the world of cinema over the past year. Films released in 2022 delivered remarkable cinematography that pierced the eyes of moviegoers everywhere, from awe-inspiring action sequences to intimate close-ups to dramatic landscape shots.
Well-established masters like Hoyte van Hoytema and Greig Fraseras well as emerging talents, including Arthur Tort and Kim Ji-yong,have worked as cinematographers on the hottest films of the year, using their unique styles to create visual languages that elevate the storytelling of the films they manage. Ranging from potential award-winning projects to visually experimental works of world cinema, some of the best cinematic cinematography of 2022 is sure to go down in cinematic history.
Whereas Andre Dominiqueit is Blond was considered one of the most polarizing films of the year due to its atrocious portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, there’s no denying the film’s remarkable cinematography. Director of Photography Chayse Irvin (who also worked on God’s Creatures this year) offers an immaculate view of Monroe through Blonddirect references to some of the Hollywood icon’s most famous images.
Blond shifts from black-and-white to color with ever-changing aspect ratios as the film navigates the tragic fate of Monroe, producing images that speak to pop culture’s familiarity with the starlet’s most recognizable images. . As bold as Blondes narrative approach, but far more successfully, Irvin’s cinematic efforts contribute significantly to the film’s most successful elements.
“Decision to leave”
In his first collaboration with the famous filmmaker Park Chan-wookDirector of Photography Kim Ji-yong impressively matches the impressive skill of the director to create a magnificent visual atmosphere in Decision to leave. A romantic homage to film noir, Decision to leave is seductive and mysterious.
Kim aligns the film’s cinematography with the genre through a mix of stunning close-ups and wide shots, most of which were shot at night. Additionally, Kim’s camera moves reflect Park’s confidence as a director, never shy of ambitious feats that seriously influence the triumphs of Decision to leave.
polish filmmaker by Jerzy Skolimowski Award-winning film at Cannes eo was one of the most surprising and inventive films of the year. Following a donkey through today’s post-industrial Europe, the bold visual language of eo uses everything from harsh red lighting, panoramic drone footage, dramatic landscape shots, and intimate close-ups to portray the film’s non-linear narratives of our inhumane treatment of animals.eo employed many cinematographers due to the COVID-19 crisis – including Mychal Dymek, Pawel Edelmanand Michael Englert – all relatively unknown but extremely bold in their creative visions for the film. Whereas eo might not be a commercial success in the US when it hits theaters, the film is undoubtedly one of the most invigorating visual feasts of the year.
Without doubt the best blockbuster movie of the summer, Jordan Peleit is NOPE continues to demonstrate the creative genius of the director in the world of contemporary cinema. Hoyte van Hoytema, best known for his work on the films of Christopher Nolan, serves as the cinematographer of NOPEcomplementing Peele’s spectacular sci-fi western through its awe-inspiring photography that perfectly captures the colossal scale of the film’s narrative.
Van Hoytema shot dead Nope on 65 and 70mm film, using custom IMAX cameras to capture unparalleled widescreen shots that play into the film’s homage to the western genre and heighten the unknown terror in the skies above the ranch where NOPE takes place. Van Hoytema’s flawless photography deserves full awards attention in the coming months.
“A nice morning”
French cinematographer Denis Lenoir has worked with notable filmmakers for nearly forty years, and his latest gig has him collaborating with the director Mia Hansen – Love on his last film, A nice morning. A reserved film centered on Léa Seydoux as a Parisian struggling with motherhood, romance and her aging parents, A nice morning is a film that does not need a remarkable spiciness to attract its viewers.
Shot on 35mm, Lenior richly captures the daily life of Seydoux’s character as she traverses Paris and struggles to keep her life in place. Lenoir beautifully lights each scene to emphasize the beauty of the film’s main character and the bustling urban world around him.
One of the most visually arresting films of 2022 is Albert Serrait is Pacification. A sort of peculiar, leisurely-paced political thriller, Pacification takes place on a remote island in French Polynesia, a delightful setting that the film’s cinematographer, Artur Tort, makes full use of.
As a result, Tort’s camera usually stays completely still throughout the film, allowing audiences to be mesmerized by the extended sequences of Pacification. Critics reacted particularly strongly to a scene early in the film, shot from a small boat among surfers in aquamarine waters, where Tort hypnotically captures beautiful waves rolling onto the shore in an elongated take.
For his last two feature films, the Italian director Pierre Marcello was universally praised for the vintage feeling and artisanal qualities conveyed by its filmmaking. For Marcello’s last work, Scarlethe employed Marco Graziaplena as the film’s director of photography.
Located during the interwar period in the French countryside, Scarlet embodies a time when creatives still worked with their hands without the distractions of technology. Graziaplena reflects the same spirit through its use of Super 16mm to capture a certain tactile quality with film images. The use of natural lighting and pastoral landscapes in Scarlet also conveys the film’s fairy-tale tale of a long-forgotten world.
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
The Banshees of Inisherin has quickly become one of the most celebrated films of the year since its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, and the film’s placidly beautiful cinematography has not gone unnoticed. British cinematographer Ben Davisa frequent collaborator of Banshees screenwriter/director Martin McDonaghworked on the film, using dark, blurry interior shots and wide, isolating exteriors that stunningly portray the film’s setting on a windswept Irish island, reflecting the loneliness felt by its inhabitants.
Brilliant greens on the hills of Inisherin meet the dazzling blue of the island’s surrounding seas, creating a visual language that can be instantly associated with Ireland’s natural magnificence. Davis could easily draw attention in the awards race in the coming months due to his impressive efforts on Banshees.
Fresh off of his Oscar win for DunesDirector of Photography Greig Fraser was director of photography on The Batman, which was released earlier this year. Deviating stylistically from other film versions of Batman, Fraser established The BatmanThe visual style of based on the tortured headspace of Robert PattinsonThe brooding interpretation of the iconic character.
Dark and gritty like a 90s thriller, Fraser’s work on The Batman is sinister yet romantic. Fraser’s efforts culminate in some of the most notable action sequences of the year, including a high-speed batmobile chase that will forever be remembered by The Batman months after its release.
“The Eight Mountains”
Fresh off of last year’s Palme d’Or TitaniumBelgian cinematographer Ruben Impens’ the latest project is The Eight Mountainsrealized by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. Based on a novel of the same name, The Eight Mountains focuses on the lifelong evolution of a friendship between two men from different backgrounds who grew up in the Italian Alps.
Shot primarily on location, Impens deviates from traditional notions of panoramic shots of landscapes by using a square aspect ratio; this choice almost frames the film’s mountainous setting as additional characters working in tandem with Mountain Eightthe male protagonists. Whereas The Eight Mountains received little attention on the festival circuit this year, the film is a narrative and visual feast that should be noticed when it hits theaters from Sideshow and Janus films.
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