Posts tagged: jack cardiff

Painting With Light: RIP, Jack Cardiff


Jack Cardiff has died at 94.

I think Technicolor is one of the great aesthetic accomplishments of the twentieth century, and no one photographed more striking examples of it than Jack Cardiff. He served as cinematographer on all kinds of stuff, and plenty of it black and white. I am, however, obviously a Powell/Pressburger enthusiast, and so revere him most of all for the holy triumvirate of A Matter Of Life And Death/Black Narcisssus/Red Shoes. His most famous work was probably African Queen, and he makes a problematic film, Pandora And The Flying Dutchman, something of a must-see.

He directed some too. I know Sons And Lovers has plenty of admirers, but I’ve never seen it. I have seen Girl On A Motorcycle however, and let’s just say it’s less than great, and makes one appreciate Cardiff the cinematographer all the more.

I don’t know a lick about photography, but I know what I like. I know Cardiff’s contributions to those British Technicolor flights of fancy have more than a little to do with why I love movies, rather than just like them. I have tremendous respect for him, and his passing is a big deal in my personal headful of film.








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