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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
13
4.4 out of 5 stars


on 29 September 2010
Not just a truly interesting and informative insight into the people who actually realise, the film, the Directors of Photography. Fascinating and anti ageist as most of them were mostly of 'mature years' but still going strong and enthusiastic. The other notable thing was they were all so modest and matter of fact about their talents and they "just did their jobs". without fuss or egocentricity- refreshing!
The early work, in particular demonstrated that "special effects" can't substitute for creativity and craft.
After watching it the first time one can turn it into a learning experience by just turning the sound off and studying the imagery and lighting.
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on 26 April 2004
This is a great documentary.
Across the course of the film, you mayhave your eyes opened as if for the first time: it comprises clips andinterviews about the history of cinematography, or indeed the whole lookand language of film.
While many of the clips show well-known moments in film, their compilationin this way offers one fresh and striking visual after another. Therevelation is the strength of early and rarely-seen films, and theassertion that had sound films been invented a decade later, the visuallanguage of film would have developed and intensified still further. As itis, the images are just ravishing, and it's really rather moving towatch.
This is a warm and thought-provoking look at cinematography, andis highly recommended. The only reservation is the mono sound on the DVD,but it's a small sacrifice when the visuals hold pride of place.
Be prepared -- you'll want to revisit many classics after this!
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on 22 November 2010
Visions of Light is a great insight into the collective work that cinema is. The various DPs that are interviewed cover the realms of photography in a straightforward way. Glimpses of how they trick the light is really helpful.
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on 17 August 2014
I didn't get more that a few minutes into this before deciding to return it. Why? Because this is a documentary about the art of cinema - a subject that demands the best quality transfer. The blurb on the back cover even acknowledges this by boasting about the high definition transfers used... but what we get isn't even standard def, it's lower than that.
Why? Because this is a 4x3 transfer of a documentary that was made in widescreen...that is, it was transferred to DVD with old 4x3 tv screens in mind. The result is that when you play it on a modern TV, you get black bars at the sides to frame the 4x3 image, AND black bars at the top and bottom to frame the widescreen transfer within the 4x3 format. To make matter worse, many of the clips being discussed are in 4x3 so you get a SECOND set of vertical black bars at the sides when these clips are on screen. The net result is that you are watching an image in a window that takes up maybe 30 percent of your screen area. Yes, you can enlarge it, but all that does is reduce the resolution still further to the point where you may as well watch a YouTube video
It's bad enough that this disc was released in this form at a time when widescreen DVDs were already the standard, but to do it to a documentary that is about the art of cinema is compounding the felony absurdly. Watching a flat, blocky image while the narrator describes the beauty of what you're supposedly seeing is just ridiculous. Back it goes.
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on 22 April 2017
nice read on a rainy day
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on 10 July 2016
A superb documentary about cinematography with some well chosen clips and thoughtful, often enthralling comments from the best cinematographers in the business. I watched this documentary as a student in the local arts cinema and it has stayed with me for so long. Many of the clips were from films I had never seen or heard of so it provides a fine intro into the cineaste's world, and believe me, it is a world worth staying in once you enter. An absolute delight from start to finish but also informative and powerful.
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on 19 January 2015
This is a great documentary about a side of filmmaking many viewers don't pay enough attention to. Regrettably, many of the clips, especially from the color films, are from unrestored sources and are faded and look pretty terrible. Many of these cinematographers have passed on since this documentary was made, so this film has special significance. It's definitely worthy of restoration and re-issue on Blu-Ray, but due to the limited appeal of the subject, it's doubtful that will happen.
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on 13 October 2016
The DVD itself is great - it illustrates the arts of cinematography with interviews with amazing cinematographers with wonderful film clips. It is produced in 1992, so the examples are not very up-to-date (for example, you won't find anything about Emmanuel Lubezski's works). Many of the amazing cinematographers featured here are now passed away. But the jacket of the DVD was damaged (slit across the plastic cover) - maybe the seller (musicMagpie) didn't package it quite so well.
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on 8 August 2015
Great doc on the development of cinematography. It does rather lean towards a few favorites, but it's full of anecdotes and clips that make it required viewing for anyone involved or interested in cinematography. Only wish it was longer...
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on 22 June 2013
Great film, covers most of the top camera men espically Greg Toland, on of my favorites for his deep focus work [ i didnt realise that a number of other cameramen were trying to do the same thing around that time, Jimmie Howe for one.]
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