Jack Cardiff on the set of John Huston’s, The African Queen, filming Katharine Hepburn with good old fashioned movie magic (in today’s time a similar scene like this might be done entirely on a sound stage and completed with digital effects). [via Museum of Cinema]
In 2001 Jack Cardiff (1914-2009) became the first director of photography in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Honorary Oscar. But the first time he clasped the famous statuette in his hand was a half-century earlier when his Technicolor camerawork was awarded for Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus. Beyond John Huston’s The African Queen and King Vidor’s War and Peace, the films of the British-Hungarian creative duo (The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death too) guaranteed immortality for the renowned cameraman whose career spanned seventy years.
In this fascinating documentary, Jack Cardiff describes his superb career as one of the ultimate Technicolor cinematographers of the twentieth century, who worked on 86 films. Beginning work in 1918, he continued up until 2007, dying in 2009. Telling fascinating stories of the film production, films, directors, and actors that he worked with, Jack shows a keen sense of humor. Martin Scorsese also offers commentary throughout.
As a portrait photographer, Cardiff captured fascinating images of his female stars: Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Anita Eckberg, Janet Leigh, Marilyn Monroe. We also get a chance to see several of his home movies of film production and stars. It is a fascinating view of behind the camera.
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (official site) is currently out on home video and Blu-ray.