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Best Cinematography of EVERY Year

by Kilgore Trout
Best Cinematography of EVERY Year by Kilgore Trout
…of the sound era at least. There are a few years where due to wildly different styles and my own indecision, I had to declare a tie. I realize after the fact that some of the greats like Coutard, Wong Howe, Hall, Miyajima, Menges, Elswit, Delbonnel, Lachman, Alton, and Ondrícek aren’t listed, such is the trouble with trying to keep it to one. 1975 proved the hardest choice, I come down in favor of Barry Lyndon but how not to mention The Mirror? Anyway, enough ado, the list: 2017 (so far): It Comes at Night (Daniels) 2016: La La Land (Sandgren) 2015: Hard to Be a God (Ilin & Klimenko) 2014: Mr. Turner (Pope) 2013: Gravity [& To The Wonder]… Read more

…of the sound era at least.

There are a few years where due to wildly different styles and my own indecision, I had to declare a tie.

I realize after the fact that some of the greats like Coutard, Wong Howe, Hall, Miyajima, Menges, Elswit, Delbonnel, Lachman, Alton, and Ondrícek aren’t listed, such is the trouble with trying to keep it to one. 1975 proved the hardest choice, I come down in favor of Barry Lyndon but how not to mention The Mirror? Anyway, enough ado, the list:

2017 (so far): It Comes at Night (Daniels)
2016: La La Land (Sandgren)
2015: Hard to Be a God (Ilin & Klimenko)
2014: Mr. Turner (Pope)
2013: Gravity [& To The Wonder] (Lubezki)
2012: Samsara (Fricke)
2011: The Tree of Life (Lubezki)

2010: Enter The Void (Debie)
2009: The White Ribbon (Berger)
2008: The Fall (Watkinson)
2007: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Kaminski) & Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford (Deakins)
2006: Children of Men (Lubezki)
2005: The New World (Lubezki)
2004: 2046 (Doyle)
2003: Gerry (Savides)
2002: Russian Ark (Buttner)
2001: The Vertical Ray of The Sun (Lee) *listed in Auteurs database as “At The Height of Summer”
2000: Werckmeister Harmonies (de Ranter)

1999: Magnolia (Elswit)
1998: The Thin Red Line (Toll)
1997: L.A. Confidential (Spinotti)
1996: Hamlet (Thomson)
1995: La Haine (Aïm) & Se7en (Khondji)
1994: Rouge (Sobocinski)
1993: Baraka (Fricke)
1992: Europa (Bendtsen, Klosinski, Meurisse)
1991: The Double Life of Veronique (Idziak)
1990: GoodFellas (Ballhaus)

1989: Do The Right Thing (Dickerson)
1988: Wings of Desire (Alekan)
1987: Yeelen (Ferragut/Humeau)
1986: The Sacrifice (Nykvist)
1985: Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Bailey)
1984: Paris, Texas (Muller)
1983: Koyaanisqatsi (Fricke)
1982: Diva (Rousselot)
1981: Blow Out (Zsigmond)
1980: Raging Bull (Chapman)

1979: Apocalypse Now (Storaro)
1978: Days of Heaven (Wexler/Almendros)
1977: The Duellists (Frank Tidy)
1976: Spirit of the Beehive (Cuadrado)
1975: Barry Lyndon (Alcott)
1974: The Godfather Part II (Willis)
1973: Playtime (Badal/Winding)
1972: Cries and Whispers (Nykvist)
1971: A Clockwork Orange (Alcott)
1970: The Conformist (Storaro)

1969: Medium Cool (Wexler)
1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Unsworth)
1967: The Red and The White (Somló)
1966: Andrei Rublev (Yusov)
1965: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Bestayev & Ilyenko‎)
1964: I Am Cuba (Urusevsky)
1963: The Leopard (Rotunno)
1962: Lawrence of Arabia (Young)
1961: Last Year at Marienbad (Vierny)
1960: L’Avventura (Scarvada)

1959: Black Orpheus (Bourgoin)
1958: Touch of Evil (Metty)
1957: Ordet (Bendtsen)
1956: The Searchers (Hoch)
1955: Lola Montes (Matras)
1954: Sansho The Bailiff (Miyagawa)
1953: The Earrings of Madame De… (Matras)
1952: The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (Various)
1951: The River (C. Renoir)
1950: Rashomon (Miyagawa)

1949: The Third Man (Krasker)
1948: The Red Shoes (Cardiff)
1947: Black Narcissus (Cardiff)
1946: Beauty and The Beast (Alekan)
1945: Children of Paradise (Fossard/Hubert)
1944: Ministry of Fear (Sharp)
1943: Day of Wrath (Andersson)
1942: The Magnificent Ambersons (Cortez)
1941: Citizen Kane (Toland)
1940: The Grapes of Wrath (Toland)

1939: The Rules of The Game (Alphen/Bachelet/Lemare/Renoir)
1938: Olympia (Various)
1937: Grand Illusion (Matras)
1936: The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Bachelet)
1935: Bride of Frankenstein (Mescall)
1934: Triumph of The Will (Various)
1933: Ecstacy (Androschin/Stallich)
1932: Vampyr (Maté)
1931: M (Wagner)
1930: Blood of A Poet (Périnal)

1929: The Man With A Movie Camera (Kaufman)
1928: The Passion of Joan of Arc (Maté)
1927: Metropolis (Freund/ Rittau/Ruttmann)

*Edit

I’ve added a short list of the closest runners up who I felt warranted some recognition:

2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There (Deakins)
2000: George Washington (Orr)
1996: JFK (Richardson)
1985: Ran (Nakai/Saitô/Ueda)
1983: Nostalghia (Lanci)
1979: Manhattan (Willis)
1975: The Mirror (Rerberg)
1973: Last Tango in Paris (Storaro)
1971: McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Zsigmond)
1967: Elvira Madigan (Persson) & Persona (Nykvist)
1964: A Woman in The Dunes (Segawa)
1957: Sweet Smell of Success (Wong Howe)
1955: Night of The Hunter (Cortez)
1949: Late Spring (Atsuta)
1938: Alexander Nevsky (Tisse)
1927: Sunrise (Rosher/Struss)

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