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2014 / 01 — January Issue of American Cinematographer
2014 / 01 — January Issue of American Cinematographer

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Here's a look at the January 2014 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which focuses on awards season releases.

Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films)
Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC teamed with writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen on this atmospheric period drama that follows downtrodden folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he scuffles his way through the Greenwich Village music scene in 1961. The movie premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. Delbonnel discusses his first collaboration with the Coen brothers and the techniques he used to evoke the story's time period on 35mm film.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century Fox)
Stuart Dryburgh, ASC, NZCS shot this whimsical but emotionally stirring adventure based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber. Ben Stiller directs and stars as the title's diligent but drab office worker, who toils in the photography department at Life magazine. A habitual daydreamer who yearns to romance a female co-worker, Mitty must take a more active role in his own life when circumstances force him to embark on a real adventure that could save his job. Dryburgh discusses his creative contributions to the project, which shot on film in New York and Iceland.

Her (Warner Bros.)
Hoyte van Hoytema, FSF, NSC teamed with writer/director Spike Jonze to craft this unconventional, futuristic romance. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely, soon-to-be-divorced writer who falls in love with a sophisticated computer operating system that's designed to meet his every need, but quickly captivates him with its rapidly evolving personality (voiced by Scarlett Johannson). Van Hoytema discusses the digital cinematography techniques he used to lend the movie its distinctive, melancholy ambience.

The Invisible Woman (Sony Pictures Classics)
Rob Hardy, BSC discusses his collaboration with director-star Ralph Fiennes on this period drama, which concerns the long, secret romance between English author Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and a younger woman (Felicity Jones) who becomes his mistress at the height of his career. Hardy details his use of the 35mm anamorphic format to craft the film's evocative ambience.

The January issue's departments also offer interesting highlights:

  • Short Takes presents a look at Lu, an award-winning dramatic short shot by Kay Madsen for director Korstiaan Vandiver.

  • Production Slate offers an interview with cinematographer Linus Sandgren about the strategies he employed on David O. Russell's 1970s crime drama American Hustle, as well as a Q&A with Florian Ballhaus, ASC about his work on the WWII Holocaust drama The Book Thief.

  • Post Focus presents an overview of the HPA Awards handed out in November by the Hollywood Post Alliance.

  • ASC Close-Up profiles Society member Michael Bonvillain, whose accomplishments include a 2002 Emmy Award for his work on the television series Alias. Bonvillain has also shot episodes of the series Felicity and Lost, as well as the pilots for Fringe, Revolution and Eli Stone. His feature credits include Cloverfield, Zombieland, Wanderlust, Amongst Friends and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.