FRAMES is a new series of occasional posts that will address filmmaking and cinematography by presenting frames from a movie and discussing them with the cinematographer and other filmmakers .I start with Uncut Gems, by the Safdie brothers with cinematography by Darius Khondji, ASC, AFC.
Uncut Gems is one of the most distinctive and powerful films of the past year.
Uncut Gems is a movie that is in your face. Its hero, jeweler Howard Ratner, shows himself to be a shameless hustler, a bald-faced liar, an unfaithful husband, a negligent father, a jeolous lover and compulsive gambler willing to risk everything on a dangerous bet. It’s a tribute to actor Adam Sandler that he manages to make this abrasive character likable by revealing his vulnerability and unflappable belief in the big payoff that awaits him.
When I saw the film in projection at Camerimage, I was struck by the power of the images and how they reinforced the film’s message and tone. Darius Khondji’s cinematography is as outlandish as the character ,
It is currently available on Netflix, giving many of us the ability to look at the masterful cinematography in detail.
I met with Darius in Paris, and also spoke with him and his colorist, Damien Van Der Cruysse via Skype, to discuss the film and its cinematography.