Frank Awards 2013: Cinematography and Editing

Welcome to another day of Frank Awards, today I shall leave you with two of the most important elements of any movie, and those are the cinematography and editing. So, let’s see.

Best Cinematography:

The winner last year was the always impressive and this time breathtaking work of Roger Deakins for the Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ (2012), incredible mix of flashing lights and the exact use of the darkness. In 2013 Deakins worked on the movie ‘Prisoners’, which was nominated for an Oscar, but wasn’t nominated to a Frank Award, it wasn’t as spectacular as his work there, really.

This year we have five newcomers to the Frank Awards, so let’s welcome them all to the world of my personal awards. In ‘Stoker’ there are many visually enthralling sequences, the piano scene, the shower, the ending, the brightness, the heat, the coldness, it seemed that every shot was made with the feelings put in the image while the characters remained mostly mute, all thanks to the work of Chung-hoon Chung. ‘Trance’ is more than anything a visual experience, a movie about a fractured mind and how it plays with our expectations, how it mirrors and shatters on its own, how it tricks us, and how the flashing lights of Danny Boyle always dazzle us, and Anthony Dod Mantle really nailed the style of this movie. There’s a beauty in noise, there’s a beauty in sepia and black and white, there’s a beauty in the destruction of the image, the burn, the experimental, the documentary, the handheld and the academic, every visual style is here, in ‘Computer Chess’, and it’s all thanks to the cinematographer Matthias Grunksy. You can always expect that Wong Kar Wai will have a spectacular image in his movies, maybe one of the best shot movies of all time were directed by him, and this one is another example of how he manages to choose and direct the light, the streaks of white and darkness, just as much as he manages to direct the actors, and it’s all due to Philippe Le Sourd’s work with the images. There’s always a nomination (and sometimes an award here in these Frank Awards, where anything goes) to the film with the “most” cinematography, and that would be of course the way that the saturated colours work in ‘Only God Forgives’ under the hand of Larry Smith, how the neon bright paints the scenery and the people in it, it’s one of the most interesting visual experiences of the year.

So, the nominees are:
· Chung-hoon Chung for ‘Stoker’
· Anthony Dod Mantle for ‘Trance’
· Matthias Grunsky for ‘Computer Chess’
· Philippe Le Sourd for ‘Yi dai zong shi’
· Larry Smith for ‘Only God Forgives’

And the winner is:

‘Computer Chess’ was one of the best movies to see how the film could still be a visual experience, no matter the format in which it stands, there’s always room for innovation, a movie about the mind and technology, using technology for it to move forward into the concepts that it wants to achieve. Matthias Grunsky is the man.

Best Film Editing – Sally Menke Award:

Last year, the Sally Menke Award for best editing was (deservedly) put upon Alexander Berner, who managed to make ‘Cloud Atlas’ (2012) a seamless tale, one that could be seen and then rewatched multiple times. This year he was put as an assistant editor on a TV series made in Germany called “Das Adlon. Eine Familiensaga”, specifically in the third episode, under the direction of Uli Edel. Obviously, this wasn’t seen nor elegible.

So, the nominees this year actually are a signification of all the ways that editing can work in a movie, the effects it can have. For example, Jeff Buchanan and Eric Zumbrunnen make the editing of ‘Her’ seem adecuate, but it actually works in its own ‘safeness’, because it makes the movie work and reveal its secret just in the right moments, choosing the way to create the montages to have an emotional response immediatly. It’s not common to see the directors of the movies to come and be nominated for another category that isn’t writing, but here we have Andrew Bujalski, the director of ‘Computer Chess’, nominated for best editing of the same movie, because specially of one loopy scene, but also because he makes the different scenarios and styles work together. William Chang edits the fighting sequences, the small shots, the way that the camera moves, finds the style that Wong Kar Wai has perfected along his years and makes it incredibly fitting for the martial arts genre in ‘Yi dai zong shi’. Previously nominated for a Frank Award for his splendid work in ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’ (2010), Paul Machliss manages something similar to the work of William Chang already mentioned, it mixes the style of Edgar Wright, the small shots and the fight sequences to a seamless ouvre. Also previously nominated Thelma Schoonmaker (for ‘Hugo’ (2011) ), manages to take the long long story of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and makes it understandable, manageable, and entertaining for more than two and a half hours, that’s a miracle!

So, the nominees are:
· Jeff Buchanan and Eric Zumbrunnen for ‘Her’
· Andrew Bujalski for ‘Computer Chess’
· William Chang for ‘Yi dai zong shi’
· Paul Machliss for ‘The World’s End’
· Thelma Schoonmaker for ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

And the winner/s is/are:

The mastery of William Chang is incredible when it comes to the editing of fight sequences like this one, ‘Yi zai dong shi’ is a film to be looked at and studied because of that. The Sally Menke award goes to him.

Tomorrow: The Art of Movement.

2 responses to “Frank Awards 2013: Cinematography and Editing

  1. Very nice work again Jaimie.

    In cinematography for me the top choices were:

    1. To the Wonder
    2. Inside Llewyn Davis
    3. Nebraska
    4. 12 Years A Slave
    5. Gravity

    Yet I have no issue with any of the ones you picked and appreciate the great analysis.

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