Welcome to Cinevenger


There is an unfortunate trend today in popular discourse on the internet related to cinematography:  an undue amount of attention is placed on the technology of filmmaking, while almost none is placed on storytelling.  I can find thousands of forum and blog posts related to such banal debates as “Red vs. Alexa,” or “AF100 vs. F3,” or “CF lenses vs ZF,” yet I can’t find a single post titled “why the visuals of Hugo resonate with me emotionally.”  Look at any well-shot scene in a film, and there is a dense amount of meaning and emotion being created by the placement of the camera, the collection of angles which evolves over the course of the scene, the direction of light, the foreground, the background, the movement of lack of movement of the camera, what we see and don’t see, lightness and darkness, and all of these millions of variables which the filmmakers control… sometimes consciously, and sometimes by the unconscious photography of the story by channeling emotion from the page or from the magnitude of the performance that is happening in front of the lens.  This is what matters.  Not the frequency of line sampling in the latest CMOS chip.  That’s not to say that we shouldn’t talk about technology, but it seems that the frequency of discourse is completely out of proportion.  What little is written in popular discourse about visual storytelling is often full of generalities and lacks precise language that ties meaning and emotion to very specific decisions made by the filmmakers and rendered on screen.  My goal is to look at films, specifically very recent ones or older obscure ones, to analyze the visual storytelling techniques they employ.  Many older films, specifically classics like the films of Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Alfred Hitchcock, etc, have had libraries written about them, but it seems like nobody is discussing the cinematography of contemporary films in a meaningful way.  This is what I set out to do here.  Welcome to Cinevenger.

© 2012 Benjamin Kantor. All rights reserved.