Monday, February 15, 2016

30th Annual ASC Award Winners

Yesterday the guild had their awards ceremony and it is official I'm in full downhill mode loosing interest in whoever wins whatever in the Oscars, sigh.  No surprises for many when The Revenant won top award.

Most interesting is the Spotlight award that in the first edition had a tie between magnificent Macbeth and outstanding Son of Saul.  To be honest all three nominees deserved an honor and would have been surprising if there was a three-way tie.

I'm glad to hear that extraordinary Vilmos Zigmond was honored during the night as he had a true remarkable career behind the camera. R.I.P.

To check winners in TV and other categories go official site here.

Winners are in *BLUE.

Today the American Society of Cinematographers announced the nominees for the Spotlight Award which recognizes outstanding achievement in cinematography in a feature film that was exhibited at a film festival, internationally or in limited theatrical release.

These are the nominees:

*Adam Arkapaw for Macbeth
*Mátyás Erdély for Son of Saul
Cary Joji Fukunaga for Beasts of No Nation

Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel, premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and subsequently screened at several festivals around the world. It made its U.S. debut at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Son of Saul, directed by László Nemes, also premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. It premiered in the U.S. at the Telluride Film Festival and went on to win the Bronze Frog at the Camerimage International Film Festival.

Beasts of No Nation, which Fukunaga also directed, premiered at the 2015 Venice Film Festival and made its U.S. debut at Telluride. It was the first original feature produced by Netflix, and it received a limited theatrical release and began streaming on Netflix on the same date.

All three cinematographers are first-time ASC Award nominees.  Had no idea Fukunaga was also the cinematographer as knew he directed, wrote screenplay and produced, but didn't pay attention to the cinematographer.  Great for him as he is a great director that also excels writing and behind the camera.


Today, January 6th,  the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) announced the nominations for feature film category and believe no one is surprised with the choices but many are commenting about the films that didn't grab a nomination like, for example, The Hateful Eight filmed in 70mm which is the very wide format once popular in the films of the 1950s and 1960s and even do can be a novelty nowadays there are not many theaters left with the capacity to screen this type of film. Also others have been complaining that the huge format is a bit wasted on a movie that is largely interiors. So maybe is no surprise when film got no ASC nomination.

The winner will be announced on Sunday, February 14 at the awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

Roger Deakins for Sicario
Janusz Kaminski for Bridge of Spies
Ed Lachman for Carol
*Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant
John Seale for Mad Max:Fury Road

It's hard not to notice that each of the nominated films represent a different genre and a masterfully distinct visual style, but agree that all have in common outstanding quality which visually delights many no mater the genre or style.  I'm very visual and many times have enjoyed films just because they are visually outstanding, no matter the story and sometimes, no matter dreadful performances or direction; that's the power of great cinematography for me.

All cinematographers are big names in the industry so there is no surprise when we review the following stats.

This is Deakins’ 14th ASC nomination. He won for Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption and The Man Who Wasn’t There, and was also nominated for Unbroken, Prisoners, True Grit, The Reader (shared with Chris Menges, ASC, BSC), Revolutionary Road, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, Kundun, Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

This is Kaminski’s sixth ASC nomination, following Lincoln, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad and Schindler’s List.

Lachman has been nominated for ASC Awards twice previously, in the theatrical-release category for Far from Heaven and in the MOW/miniseries category for HBO’s Mildred Pierce.

Lubezki has won the ASC Award in this category four times, for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Gravity, The Tree of Life and Children of Men. He was also nominated for Sleepy Hollow.

This is Seale’s fifth ASC nomination. He won for The English Patient and received additional nominations for Cold Mountain, The Perfect Storm and Rain Man.

I have no doubt that the Oscar winner has to come from the above five nominees and my vote absolutely goes to Carol as not often cinematography is used to generate -against complement- emotions and in Carol emotions started to pour with the use of outstanding cinematography, then the acting complemented the scene and together reached an intense emotional climax. Bravo.

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