On Screen

Interview with Hiroshi Hokuyama, director and DoP of "My Sunshine"
"Hockey in Hokkaido" by François Reumont for the AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Set in the snowy landscapes of northern Japan, filmmaker Hiroshi Okuyama delivers a figure skating film bathed in pastel colours and timeless charm. A trio of characters; a former skating star turned coach in this very rural village, a highly promising student, and a clumsy, dreamy young hockey player whose eyes light up for the latter. Filmed by the director himself, this delicate fable about adolescence, unspoken feelings and transmission is presented in the Un Certain Regard selection of the Cannes competition. (FR)

Balthazar Lab explains his choices for Ariane Labed’s "September Says"
By Lucie Baudinaud, AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

A 2015 graduate of La Fémis film school, Balthazar Lab has worked on numerous music videos, commercials and short films. In 2022, he signed the photography for La Jauria, by Andrés Ramírez Pulido (awarded the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique in 2022). At Cannes this year, he is part of the Un Certain Regard selection with September Says, Ariane Labed’s first feature.

Sverre Sørdal, FNF, talks about the shooting of "Sister Midnight", by Karan Kandhari
"Is she weird ?", by François Reumont for AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

A unique blend of Buster Keaton-style silent comedy and vampire film invoking Expressionism, "Sister Midnight" by Karan Kandhari is above all an original female portrait set in the slums of Bombay. Although the director is of Indian origin, he lives and works in England, and his directing style and use of music reveal his distinctly British sense of humor. Here are the secrets behind the making of this strange comedy, whose style alternates between the frenetic and the very calm, reminiscent of the rhythm of a Pixies song. The cinematography is by British-Norwegian director of photography Sverre Sørdal, and the film was shot on Kodak and Panavision.

Irina Lubtchanksy, AFC, talks about her collaboration with Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu on "Le Roman de Jim"
By Brigitte Barbier for the AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Adapted from the latest novel by writer Pierric Bailly, Le Roman de Jim (published by POL in 2021) explores fatherhood outside of blood ties. The film was shot entirely in the Haut Jura, in the settings described in the book. The Larrieu brothers, Arnaud and Jean-Marie, - the directing duo who shoot all their films in the mountains, such as Peindre ou faire l’amour and Tralala – directed this melodrama. They called on cinematographer Irina Lubtchansky, AFC, to craft the visuals of this saga spanning 25 years. She reflects on this first collaboration with two directors who set the tone for French auteur cinema. With Le Roman de Jim, the Larrieu brothers return to the Cannes Film Festival in 2024, in the Cannes Première official selection. (BB)

Caroline Champetier, AFC, describes her latest collaboration with Leos Carax

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

C’est pas moi is a self-portrait by Leos Carax made up of recent footage, excerpts from his films, personal and public photographic archives, images found on the internet, titles and texts. Considering the variety of mediums used in the film, there is a paradox in the fact that the visuals are attributed to me. But I take it as a recognition of our bond to the images from his previous films, those shot for this 40-minute medium-length film, and perhaps also the will to integrate images from elsewhere into a present cinema. (CC)

Benjamin Kračun, BSC, talks about his work on "The Substance", by Coralie Fargeat
"Two Palm Trees and a Pink Wall", by François Reumont

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

A steroid-enhanced variation on a classic piece of fantastic literature (Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray or Balzac’s La Peau de chagrin), The Substance offers director Coralie Fargeat the opportunity to bring two 1980s superstars back into the limelight—and to pour thousands of blood gallons onto the Grand Théâtre Lumière screen. While homages to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo are instantly recognizable, British cinematographer Benjamin Kračun also cites Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall, two other major studio films. He further explains how this strange film, which every single shot smells California , was entirely made in France, between Paris and Nice. The Substance is in competition for the 77th Palme d’Or. (FR)

Michaël Capron discusses his work on Wei Liang Chiang’s "Mongrel"

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

After graduating from the Image department of The Fémis school in 2010, Michaël Capron signs his sixth feature film as director of photography with Mongrel, by Wei Liang Chiang - co-directed by You Qiao Yin -, a film selected for the Director’s Fortnight at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. Having previously been on the Croisette, he also served as cinematographer on Vincent Le Port’s film Bruno Reidal, selected for the Critics’ Week in 2021. (Editor’s note)

Michał Dymek, PSC, looks back on the filming of Magnus von Horn’s "The Girl with the Needle".
By François Reumont for the AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

With The Girl with the Needle, Swedish filmmaker Magnus Von Horn (who studied in Łódź and lives in Warsaw) delves into a harsh depiction of poverty in 1920s Denmark. This frightening black-and-white tale draws parallels with certain aspects and characters (notably the circus scene) from The Elephant Man, David Lynch’s 1980 Gothic monument (photographed by the great cinematographer and director Freddie Francis, BSC). Behind the camera is Michal Dymek, PSC, the young Polish cinematographer (noted for EO, which competed in 2022). He talks to us about black-and-white filmmaking, relative authenticity, and the unforeseen events on set that can sometimes turn into assets for the film... (FR)

Mihai Malaimare Jr., ASC, tells us about the challenges of Francis Ford Coppola’s new film, "Megalopolis".
By François Reumont for AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

After more than 10 years of absence, the filmmaker behind The Godfather and Apocalypse Now returns with an extremely personal project in which he has invested a significant portion of his fortune. This is Megalopolis, a fable aimed at younger generations that reinterprets classical texts from ancient Rome in the context of a futuristic city reminiscent at times of Batman’s Gotham. It is also a family film with many main roles, featuring extensive sets and special effects to immerse the audience in this anticipatory atmosphere. The film is shot by Romanian-born cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr., ASC, a loyal collaborator of the director for nearly 20 years. The film is in Official competition for the 77th Palme d’Or.

Sophia Olsson discusses her work on "When the Light Breaks", by Rúnar Rúnarsson
"The girl and death" by François Reumont

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Opening Un Certain Regard competition, Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson’s new film is about grief and lies. The young Icelandic actress and singer Elin Hall plays an ambiguous character, torn between the pain of losing her man and the impossibility of revealing him to others... Swedish cinematographer Sophia Olsson shot the film, which is almost entirely shot in Iceland’s capital, and whose iconic locations will undoubtedly evoke memories for lovers of this timeless city. (FR)

Marine Atlan reflects on her pictorial direction of Alexis Langlois’s "Queens of Drama"
By Hélène de Roux for the AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

2055: Youtuber Steevy Shady recounts for his followers the tormented passion between Mimi Madamour, a starlet born of a Star Academy-type TV talent show, and Billie, a punk rocker who performs in lesbian clubs, from the early 2000s to 2015, then 2055. From the meteoric rise to the disgrace of each of them successively, this glittering musical comedy draws on flashy pop references and playfully mixes eras and image regimes to paint, under its parodic guise, a most political love story. (HdR)

Elio Balézeaux talks about his photographic work on Louise Courvoisier’s "Vingt Dieux"

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Vingt Dieux, the first feature film by Louise Courvoisier, a graduate of the first CinéFabrique class, has been selected for Un Certain Regard. At Cannes in 2019, the Cinéfondation had rewarded the director by awarding First Prize to her short film Mano a mano. Cinematographer Elio Balézeaux, who also graduated from the CinéFabrique in 2019 - and who has since worked as cinematographer on documentaries such as Sébastien Lifshitz’s Madame Hoffman - was responsible for bringing Vingt Dieux to life. In the text below, he talks about their work together on the film, which is also his first feature-length fiction.

Sylvain Verdet talks about his choices for shooting Camila Beltrán’s "Mi bestia"
"Mila at the Devil’s Ball ", by François Reumont

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Part experimental film, part documentary, part fantasy, Camila Beltrán’s Mi Bestia portrays a young girl transitioning from childhood in 1990s Bogotá. Sylvain Verdet shot the images for this first original feature film, having previously collaborated on Beltrán’s short film Pacifico Obscuro four years prior. Mi Bestia has been selected at ACID. (FR)

Josée Deshaies talks about the challenges of shooting Thierry de Peretti’s "In His Own Image"
By Lucie Baudinaud, AFC

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Josée and I have a "little history", as she likes to remind me, since she was on the jury that validated my diploma at "La Fémis" [French Film School, NDLR]. She followed my early work as a cinematographer in the years that followed, and here we are, eleven years later, on the phone, her shooting in London, me in Paris, talking about her collaboration with Thierry de Peretti. (LB)

Noé Bach, AFC, accompanies the image on Agathe Riedinge’s "Wild Diamond"
By Brigitte Barbier

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Writer, director and photographer Agathe Riedinger, a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris (ENSAD), directed two short films before embarking on the production of her first feature-length film, Diamant Brut. She explores the same themes as in her short films: denouncing the overload of societal norms for women and thus addressing the question of female emancipation. Noé Bach, AFC, worked with the young director to bring this ultra-modern story to life visually. He offers an exhilarating contemporaneity of the framing and texture that meticulously complements the script. Diamant Brut is the only debut film selected for the Official Competition at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. (BB)

Emmanuelle Collinot talks about her choices for Sophie Fillières’s "This Life of Mine"
By Brigitte Barbier

Conversations with cinematographers at Cannes 2024

Sophie Fillières’ filming of Agnès Jaoui, who plays Barberie Bichette in Ma vie, ma gueule (This Life of Mine), tells the story of a woman in her mid-fifties. Her loyal collaborator, Emmanuelle Collinot, shot the director’s last film before she died just a few weeks after shooting ended. The pitch of the film "how to deal with oneself, with death, with life in short..." particularly resonates for Ma vie, ma gueule, which opens the 2024 Quinzaine des Cinéastes. (BB)

Looking back on the meeting and discussion with Peter Biziou, BSC
By Margot Cavret for the AFC

Camerimage 2023

Peter Biziou, BSC, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his entire body of work at the Camerimage festival this year. A retrospective enabled all festivalgoers to discover or rediscover some of his biggest hits, and a conference about his career was held before a packed audience. This conference highlighted four key films from his body of work, and then the audience was given an opportunity to ask questions.

Anthony Dod Mantle, DFF, BSC, ASC, discusses the shooting of "Radioactive", by Marjane Satrapi
By Margot Cavret for the AFC

Camerimage 2023

This year, Camerimage celebrated the 550th anniversary of the birth of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus at Toruń. Besides the exceptional showing of the painting Astronomer Copernicus or Conversations with God for the length of the festival, and two conferences on the theme of the connection between science and cinematography, the organizers also concocted a special retrospective of films that portrayed some of the most revolutionary scientists of the past century. On Wednesday, the film Radioactive was screened for the second time since it was first selected at the festival’s special session in 2019. This was the occasion for cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, DFF, BSC, ASC, to present the film, whose theatrical release was interrupted by the quarantines of 2020.