7.7/10
2,945
21 user 29 critic

Visions of Light (1992)

Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to... See full summary »

Writer:

Todd McCarthy
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest R. Dickerson ... Self (as Ernest Dickerson)
Michael Chapman ... Self
Allen Daviau ... Self
Caleb Deschanel ... Self
Lisa Rinzler Lisa Rinzler ... Self
Conrad L. Hall ... Self (as Conrad Hall)
William A. Fraker ... Self
John Bailey ... Self
Néstor Almendros ... Self (as Nestor Almendros)
Charles Rosher Jr. Charles Rosher Jr. ... Self (as Charles D. Rosher)
Vilmos Zsigmond ... Self
Stephen H. Burum Stephen H. Burum ... Self
Harry L. Wolf Harry L. Wolf ... Self (as Harry Wolf)
Charles Lang ... Self (as Charles B. Lang)
Sven Nykvist ... Self
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Storyline

Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to Do the Right Thing. Themes: the DP tells people where to look; changes in movies (the arrival of sound, color, and wide screens) required creative responses from DPs; and, these artisans constantly invent new equipment and try new things, with wonderful results. The narration takes us through the identifiable studio styles of the 30s, the emergence of noir, the New York look, and the impact of Europeans. Citizen Kane, The Conformist, and Gordon Willis get special attention. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Art of Cinematography


Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the interviews with Cinematographers were shot using early HDTV production equipment, in order to introduce HDTV to Hollywood Cinematographers. NHK-Japan provided the equipment, hoping that American Cinematographers would start using the new technology. See more »

Quotes

Vittorio Storaro: I understood at that moment that cinema really has no nationality.
See more »

Connections

Features Napoleon (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

Shadow Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played and sung during a clip from Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
See more »

User Reviews

You'll never look at a film the same way after seeing this!!!
22 October 1999 | by twltzoneSee all my reviews

This is a great, I repeat great, documentary on the history of cinematography. No film student should be without it!! It covers all the changes in technology and techniques and its impact on film.

It brilliantly shows the freedom of camera movement during the silent period and how things became more restricted when sound was added later and the transition from B/W to Color. But most importantly, clearly depicts how Directors of Photography over came these limitations and created new techniques which changed film history forever. Brilliant!!!! You'll never look at a film the same way after seeing this.

Covers many different aspects of "the Hollywood look" and the different "Studio looks" throughout time. Also uncovers the secrets of many DP's and how they made their "Stars" look so incredible!!

I especially like the section on Film Noir and the plethora of absolutely breath taking film clips!!! Included in this gem of a documentary are great clips from classics like the 1947 version of "Oliver Twist" and examples from some of the greatest DP's of all time!!! Arthur Miller...etc...

Very entertaining!! Even for non-film buffs!!! I've showed this documentary to friends and relatives and they all seem to watch with amazement!!!

I liked it so much I just had to buy it!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Visions of Light See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,761, 28 February 1993

Gross USA:

$799,856

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$799,856
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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