The Most Gorgeous Film to Ever Win an Oscar

RSS NEWS Uncategorized

This Post was originally published here: Source Link

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / Alamy

The Academy Awards get things right about as often as Halley’s Comet passes through our solar system. Thus, it’s amazing that, when confronted with the single most beautiful work ever committed to celluloid, it didn’t whiff when it came time to hand out its Best Cinematography prize.

I’m speaking, of course, about Days of Heaven, Terrence Malick’s breathtaking 1978 sophomore feature about a love triangle that develops on a Texas panhandle farm between a manual laborer (Richard Gere) who’s fled Chicago in the aftermath of an accidental murder, his girlfriend (Brooke Adams), and the estate’s ailing owner (Sam Shepard). Pitted against an impressive roster of contenders (most notably, Vilmos Zsigmond for The Deer Hunter), it was not only the clear choice, but arguably the most deserving win in the telecast’s history, given that even today, there’s no motion picture more lovely.

Days of Heaven’s Oscar went to Néstor Almendros, the film’s original and credited cinematographer, although he’s not the only person responsible for its splendor. Forced to leave before production wrapped (because of its extended, costly duration), Almendros ceded camera-operating duties to Haskell Wexler, who followed Almendros’ established template and instructions. Wexler long maintained that his own work comprised more than half of what’s seen in the final cut.

Read more at The Daily Beast.