A survey of the films that have helped define an art form.
Here on the One Perfect Shot side of the Film School Rejects digital empire, we’re all about cinematography. Perhaps you’ve noticed. That’s because we consider the art of cinematography to be somewhat under-appreciated as a facet of filmic storytelling, and as such we seek to shine a light on the moments these men and women capture as imagery with an ability to relate emotion, inform character, progress plot, and convey both universal messages and particular meanings.
Cinematography is more than just an element of film, it is integral and thus essential. You can have a movie without a script, after all, you can have a movie without sound, without actors, without a director even, but someone has to shoot film for it to be a movie, so in this regard the cinematographer isn’t just a spoke on the wheel of filmmaking, they’re the hub.
In the following seven-and-a-half-minute supercut, the fine folks at Burger Fiction have compiled, in order, every single Best Cinematography Winner in the history of the Academy Awards, including the years 1936 through 1966 when there were actually two such awards given out each time: one for black-and-white films, and one for films shot in color.
These are the films that have helped to define the art of cinematography, and therefore they’re more than mere winners, they are building blocks future generations of DPs must use to lay their own path through the field, taking and contributing simultaneously to insure their art is an ongoing evolution and not a static practice.
For a complete list of the films and their cinematographers, click here.