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The 60 Best-Looking Films Ever

Lights. Camera. Who cares about action? Just admire the view.

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20. 現代啟示錄 Apocalypse Now (1979)

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Given the nightmare shoot (recastings、heart attacks、truculent stars and typhoons) by rights Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam epic should be a bloody big mess.

Instead、in the hands of cinematropher Vittorio Storaro - a man seemingly incapable of seeing ugliness - the jungle becomes a beautiful napalm bonfire; the night sky a trippy、lethal light-show; the battlefield a canvas for modern-day Valkyries.

It's the scorched look that coheres the insanity into a mentalist masterpiece.

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19. 黑金企業 There Will Be Blood (2007)

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An ambitious、original filmmaker needs an expert pair of eyes to guide him、and the unsung hero behind Paul Thomas Anderson's ascent to the top of his profession is his regular DoP、Robert Elswit.

From the disco inferno of Boogie Nights、through Magnolia's raining frogs and Punch-Drunk Love's cartoonish colours、Elswit's images have consistently surprised、but none more so than There Will Be Blood.

Aided by David Lynch collaborator Jack Fisk's claustrophobic production design、Elswit nails the stormy textures of Daniel Plainview's world、notably in the pitch-black beauty of an oil geyser literally painting the land dark.

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18. 浩氣蓋山河 The Leopard (1963)

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A huge influence on 1970s Hollywood、Luciano Visconti's sumptuous period epic taught a generation how to hide dark undercurrents under gob-smacking beauty.

Making full use of 8-strip Technirama、cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno pulls out all the stops with the splendour of the final ball set-piece - but spare a thought for the researchers who made sure the dazzling images alighted on the exact details of life in 1860s Scillian society.

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17. 英雄 Hero (2002)

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When a cinematographer turns director、the one thing you can be sure of is a great looking film - think of Nic Roeg、Barry Sonnenfeld and the gold standard、Zhang Yimou.

His 90s melodramas、notably Raise the Red Lantern、show a staggering command of primary-coloured costume and decor、but it's wuxia epic Hero where Zhang fully cut loose.

Stylised to death、his floaty fight sequences - uniformly delirious and sensuous - are marvels of movement captured by Christopher Doyle、one of the few cameraman to match the director's heightened palette.

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16. 狂沙十萬里 Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)

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Sergio Leone wanted to make the ultimate Western...and pretty much achieved it.

Given enough budget to expand on his Spaghetti style、Leone let his ace cameraman Tonino Delli Colli loose in Ford's beloved Monument Valley、not to mention Carlo Simi's sets-and-costumes double-header: rugged long-coats and the gorgeous、built-from-scratch Wild West town of Flagstone.

For good measure、screen goddess Claudia Cardinale is centre-stage to make up for all those sweaty、stubbly cowboys.

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15. 藍白紅: 藍色情挑 白色情迷 紅色情深 Three Colours trilogy (1993-4)

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Cheating、of course: this is three films、but the entire trilogy needs to be seen to showcase the splendour of Krystof Kieslowski's visual ambition.

Based on the colours of the French flag、each film is a study of its shade - the haunting、tearful Blue、the chilly comedy of White and the climactic passion of Red.  Aptly、Kieslowski hired a different cinematographer to punctuate the differences.

The roll of honour goes to、respectively、Slawomir Idziak、Edward Kłosiński and Piotr Sobociński.

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14. 魔幻旅程 The Fall (2006)

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"All style and no substance," the critics said of pop promo genius Tarsem Singh's debut film、the visually bravura but very silly J-Lo thriller The Cell.

When he came back with The Fall、Tarsem had remembered the substance...but ramped up the style to compensate.  Made over many years on days off shooting ads and music vids、Tarsem built his dream-like visuals from some of Earth's most staggering locations and an admirable refusal to use CGI.

It works: this is like nothing you're likely to see without technical wizardry and/or drugs、including the best match cut since 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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13. 大國民 Citizen Kane (1941)

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Best film evah、blah blah、yadda yadda.

But for all its groundbreaking influence - and the reverence in which it is held - let's not forget it's an absolutely gorgeous film to look at thanks to lighting legend Greg Toland.

Orson Welles deemed Toland's contribution so important he shared his on-screen credit with him、and it's the film's deep focus camerawork - a feast of impossible movement、pin-sharp detail and proto-noir nightmare - that continues to beguile.

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12. 銀翼殺手 Blade Runner (1982)

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In narrative terms、the 2019 of Blade Runner is a bleak、ugly future - derelict buildings lashed by acid rain and illuminated by garish neon billboards.

But this is Ridley Scott we're talking about、and as filtered through his ad-man's sensibility、this is a richly imagined world to die for.

Jordan Cronenweth's cinematography is breath-taking、but really this is production designer Lawrence G. Paull and art director David Snyder's triumph、a bricollage of outlandish retro-futurism.

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11.  Ran (1985)

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So striking were the black-and-white films of Akira Kurosawa that most ended up remade by Western directors:  The Magnificent SevenA Fistful of DollarsStar Wars...

But when Kurosawa discovered the joys of shooting in colour in his late period、it was like the sensei teaching his pupils how it should be done.

Marshalled by three cinematographers and an army of set decorators、the sight of a sea of rainbow-coloured flags fluttering over the devastating carnage of a samurai warzone is once seen、never forgotten.

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10. 獵人之夜 The Night Of The Hunter (1955)

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Acting giant Charles Laughton's sole gig behind the camera, a deep-fried slice of Southern Gothic, was so mocked and misunderstood he never directed again.

Only later was his film reclaimed as a true original、its modern-day fairytale of love and hate given life by Stanley Cortez's
dream-like、expressonistic compositions、especially an eerie river chase shot entirely in the studio.

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09. 紅色警戒 The Thin Red Line (1998)

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War is hell.  Yes、but also sometimes beautiful.

Any of Terence Malick's (admittedly brief) C.V. might have made this list - he doesn't do ugly - but The Thin Red Line gets the nod for subverting the usual battlefield aesthetic for a gentle、transcendental meditation of the natural wonders of Guadacanal being destroyed in the firefight.

Some of John Toll's cinematography could be dropped into a David Attenborough documentary and nobody would bat an eyelid.

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08. 紅菱艷 The Red Shoes (1948)

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The Archers - aka director Michael Powell and writer/producer Emeric Pressburger - spent their career firing arrows into staid、conservative British cinema.

With musical melodrama The Red Shoes、they hit the bullseye: a swirl of colour thanks to cameraman Jack Cardiff's genius with Technicolor、a swoon of passion from the intense choreography of future Child Catcher Robert Helpmann、and some of the most striking imagery ever to emerge from these shores.

Future stylists Scorsese and De Palma were entranced: the career of neither would be possible without this. 

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07. 教父 123 The Godfather trilogy (1972、1974、1990)

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Given Coppola's apprenticeship with Roger Corman、it could so easily have been just another exploitation pic、shot fast and on the cheap.

But Coppola had higher aspirations: less Mafia potboiler than an arty study of 20th Century American history.  So he hired the best in Hollywood - meticulous cameraman Gordon Willis、production designer Dean Tavoularis - to create a rich palette of gloomy mahogany inner sanctums and dazzling Scillian sunlight.

The look of The Godfather Parts III (less so Part III, although it has its moments) put Coppola into the ranks of the great visualists、so much so the director nearly went insane trying to better himself with Apocalypse Now.

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06. 亂世兒女 Barry Lyndon (1975)

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For all their avowed beauty、you won't find any Merchant/Ivory costume dramas on this list、and that's Stanley Kubrick's fault、for perfecting the look a whole decade before A Room With A View.

To be honest、Kubrick could own this top 10、but this remains his most handsome visuals: a meticulous recreation of the past、like a painting come to life.

Kubrick's obsessive search for pictorial realism led him to NASA and a new lens capable of shooting by candlelight、but all credit to cinematographer John Alcott for actually pulling it off.

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05. 魔戒 123 The Lord Of The Rings (2001-3)

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When New Line announced their $300 million、three film gamble of letting Kiwi gorehound Peter Jackson loose on Tolkien's epic fantasy、most thought they'd gone doolally.

What only New Line knew was that Jackson was hoarding a couple of tricks up his sleeve.  Firstly、a phenomenal Antipodean technical crew、aided by Aussie cinematographer Andrew Lesnie and the FX wizs at Weta、who could match - and better - anything coming out of the States.

Better still、Jackson had located the mines、mountains、fields and battlefields of Middle Earth in his own backyward.  The rarely-filmed splendour of New Zealand was the film's most special effect、and  brought hundreds of hobbit feet scurrying to the country.

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04. 花樣年華 In The Mood For Love (2000)

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Wong Kar-Wai、it's fair to say、is the fashionista's choice of filmaker、the swooning、hallucinatory visuals of Chungking Express and Fallen Angels an electrifying、eye-popping sensation.

Yet it's here、as Wong locks down his camera to concentrate of the repressed angst of two not-quite lovers、that his eye for decor and costume (aided by the sublime、neon-drenched lighting of maverick DoP Christopher Doyle) proves he's even better than even his fans gave him credit for.

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03. 阿拉伯的勞倫斯 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

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Make no mistake、David Lean's black-and-white、British movies are models of atmosphere and iconic heft.

But、here、big really is best.  A logistical tour-de-force as Lean marshalls hundreds of extras in the desert、he gave camera wizard Freddie Young the enormous responsibility of capturing those dazzling cinematic mirages.

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02. 末代皇帝 The Last Emperor (1987)

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Bernardo Bertolucci had been revolutionising cinematic style ever since the sharp suits and criss-cross lighting patterns of the influential The Conformist.

Imagine what he could with an epic...  especially after being granted access to film parts of his biopic of Emperor Puyi Beijing's Forbidden City.

The result is a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration by some of the hottest technical talent in the movies、led by visionary、perfectionist cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (the man behind Apocalypse Now's hallucinatory look).

Add American Gigolo's production design maestro Ferdinando Scarfiotti、and ace Brit costume designer James Acheson (who'd first revealed his flair desiging space suits and monsters for 70s Doctor Who、fact fans)、and you have one helluva good-looking movie.

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01. 蠻牛 Raging Bull (1980)

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It could so easily have been Taxi Driver's neon-soaked urban hell、Goodfellas' Steadicam swing or The Age of Innocence's elegant grace.

Yet Martin Scorsese wins the title of Best Looking Movie Ever this with his (mostly) black-and-white dissection of the troubled life of boxer Jake LaMotta.

The film remains most notable for its experimental、expressionistic boxing matches (including one filmed on roller skates!)...but Michael Chapman's high contrast monochrome is devastatingly good-looking even at LaMotta's kitchen sink.

Achingly evocative、with a careworn beauty at odds with the brutality of LaMotta's life、each and every frame of this could take pride of place on your wall as a photographic still、and that's why it's #1.

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[2010美國雜誌TOTAL FILM 1~20] 6月7日選出史上60部最好看的電影 The 60 Best-Looking Films Ever

[2010美國雜誌TOTAL FILM 21~40] 6月7日選出史上60部最好看的電影 The 60 Best-Looking Films Ever

[2010美國雜誌TOTAL FILM 41~60] 6月7日選出史上60部最好看的電影 The 60 Best-Looking Films Ever


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