Cleverly constructed and compiled, this fascinating documentary brings audiences face to face with 26 leading cinematograhers talking about their work and that of others, combined with well-chosen excerpts from famous films. At a time of expanded interest in the way films are made, this revealing study of the cinematographer’s job of putting images on fim is constantly absorbing and frequently exciting. The camera people herein all have pertinent observations to make about how and why they photographed certain films the way they did, and how past cinematographer’s work have influenced them. The 125 or so film excerpts encompass a visual history of mostly US films, from Billy Bitzer’s The Birth Of a Nation to Gregg Tolan’s Citizen Kane, through to the Godfather Part 111, shot by Gordon Wilis
From beautiful close-ups to sweeping crane shots, it provides a new appreciation of that overworked phrase. the magis of the movies: Glasman, Samuels, McCarthy and colleagues have produces an elegant and insighful chronicle proving once again that the American film at its best is truly an art.