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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Sergio Leone |||
Sergio Leone

Leone’s career is remarkable in its unrelenting attention to both American culture and the American genre film, exploring the mythic America he created with each successive film examining the established characters in greater depth.

Only his second feature (a remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo), Leone's landmark "spaghetti western" caused a revolution and features Clint Eastwood in his breakthrough role as "The Man With No Name". This classic brutal drama of feuding families wasn’t the first spaghetti Western, but it was far and away the most successful up to that time.

Plot is of minimal interest, but character is everything to Leone, who places immense meaning in the slightest flick of an eyelid, extensively using the extreme close-up on the eyes to reveal any feeling, as demonstrated by Clint, who squints his way through this slam-bang sequel to A Fistful of Dollars as a wandering gunslinger that must combine forces with his nemesis to track down a wanted killer.

The final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy follows Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach as they form an uneasy alliance to find a stash of hidden gold. Leone focuses on his central theme as they find themselves facing greed, treachery, and murder, showing that the desire for wealth and power turns men into ruthless creatures who violate land and family and believe that a man’s death is less important than how he faces it.

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Oscar Handicap 2014: Cinematography

By EdwardHavens

March 1st, 2014

For this article, we will examine how the directors of photography stack up against each other.

Oscar Handicap 2014: Cinematography

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.) The discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images, the Cinematographer works with the director to decide the overall look of the film. Purists have lamented the rise of digital intermediate technology, where the director and cinematographer can fine-tune the look of individual scenes and even single frames by computer, is quickly killing the fine art of cinematography, but until the Academy creates a Best DI category, this is what we'll have to deal with.

The Breakdowns
1) Oscar winning cinematography has come from lensers also nominated for the same award at the BAFTAs 31 of the last 35 ceremonies (88.57%). Advantage: Delbonnel, Lubezki, Papamichael
2) Shooters of stories predominantly set outside the past twenty years have won 30 of 35 (85.71%). Advantage: Delbonnel, Le Sourd
3) As long as you're not the nominee in the lowest grossing film at the time of the nominations, you've won 29 of 35 (82.86%). Advantage: Deakins, Delbonnel, Lubezki, Papamichael
4) Cinematography winners have come from films whose directors have also been nominated 28 of 35 (80%). Advantage: Lubezki, Papamichael
5) Cinematography awards have been given to films also nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design 27 of 35 (77.14%). Advantage: Lubezki
6) Winners here have come from Best Picture nominees 27 of 35 (77.14%). Advantage: Lubezki, Papamichael
7) A previous nominee for Best Cinematography has gone on to win 20 of 35 (57.14%). Advantage: Deakins, Delbonnel, Lubezki
8) The winner of the Best Cinematography Award from the American Society of Cinematographers has won here 10 of the 27 years the ASC has given out awards (37.04%). Disadvantage: Lubezki

By The Numbers
Lubezki's work in helping to create zero-gravity will likely win here, while eleven-time nominee Deakins, inarguably the greatest living cinematographer, will once again go home empty handed.
Roger Deakins, "Prisoners": -1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8 (98 of 272, 36.03%)
Bruno Delbonnel, "Inside Llewyn Davis": +1, +2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8 (150 of 272, 55.15%)
Phillipe Le Sourd, "The Grandmaster": -1, +2, -3, -,4 -5, -6, -7, -8 (68 of 272, 25%)
Emmanuel Lubezki, "Gravity": +1, -2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, +8 (177 of 272, 65.07%)
Phedon Papamichael, "Nebraska": +1, -2, +3, +4, -5, +6, -7, -8 (116 of 272, 42.65%)


All articles in this series:
Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature