Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking Back on Carlo Di Palma

Senses of Cinema is always terrific. A reader brought my attention to a wonderful piece written by Peter Tonguette on Di Palma's collaborations with Allen. Allen's inclination toward single takes and long shots owes much to Di Palma.

Tonguette begins by writing, "The great director/cinematographer collaborations in film history include Orson Welles and Gregg Toland; Welles and Gary Graver; Allan Dwan and John Alton; Vincente Minnelli and Alton; Blake Edwards and Dick Bush; and, to my thinking, Woody Allen and Carlo Di Palma."

But Allen, owing as much to the opportunity that comes from having made 40 films, is one of the few directors who might make the list of "great director/cinematographer collaborations in film history" two or three times. Allen and Gordon Willis produced some remarkable images together---some of the most remarkable images in the history of film, actually. Allen and
Sven Nykvist only worked together on three features, but two of them were something of a masterpiece (Crimes and Misdemeanors and Another Woman) so they must be mentioned. If Allen and Javier Aguirresarobe continue in a relationship that began with Vicky Cristina Barcelona, they could complete a remarkable series of films. GSF would be shell-schocked if Aguirresarobe did not receive multiple award nominations for his work in Allen portrait of Barcelona. Splitting one's DP duties between Pedro Almodovar and Woody Allen is not such a bad gig.

This is something to watch for in future films. Harris Savides is next at bat for Whatever Works, and that is something of interesting combination. If anyone with Allen's team is reading this, GSF casts its vote for Slawomir Idziak, whose work in Gattaca, The Double Life of Veronique and Blue is first rate.

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