behind the camera
film industry
By: Jean Barbe

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Tuesday, 13-Feb-2007 19:37 Email | Share | | Bookmark

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Cinematographer. Nationality: British. Born: London, Career: 1968s—clapper boy at Gainsborough Studios; 1983—moved to Hollywood.
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick) (additional photography)
1971 Fangio (Hudson); A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)
1973 David Niven (Burder—doc)
1974 Little Malcolm (Cooper)
1975 Barry Lyndon (Kubrick)
Films as Focus Puller:
1977 The Fiesta Story (Worth); March or Die (Richards); The Disappearance (Cooper)
1978 Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (Too Many Chefs) (Kotcheff)
1980 The Shining (Kubrick); Fort Apache, the Bronx (Petrie); Terror Train (Spottiswoode)
1982 The Beastmaster (Coscarelli); El triúnfo de un hombre llamado caballo (Hough); Vice Squad (Sherman)
1983 Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
1984 Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (Hudson); Miracles (Kouf)
1985 A View to a Kill ... aka Ian Fleming's 'A View to a Kill' (UK): complete title)
1986 Assistant (ILM)Star Trek IV ) Camera Assistant Cocoon (ILM)
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Camera Assistant (ILM)
Back to the Future II Camera Operator (ILM)
Ghostbusters II Camera Operator (ILM)
1990 Back to the Future III Camera Operator (ILM)
1994 No Escape 2nd Assistant Cameraman. Street Fighter (1994) second Assistant Cameraman.
1997 Paradise Road (special effects) 1st Cameraman.
1998 . Director Dark 1st Cameraman.
1999 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace effects director of photography
2001 The Mummy Returns Camera Operator (special visual effects)
Planet of the Apes (special effects director of photography)
2002 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones Assistant Cameraman.
2003 The Matrix Revolutions Assistant Cameraman.
2005 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Assistant Cameraman.
2006 V for Vendetta - Warner Brothers (Model Unit) 1st Cameraman.
2006 The Other Boleyn Girl 1st Cameraman
2007 On my way out the door right now

Monday, 12-Feb-2007 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Czech premiere of Goya's Ghosts on February 1st. Natalie attended the premiere of Goya's Ghosts in Prague. Milos and Javier were also in attendance. And let me just say that I was there in the back ground until the opening and then I when for beer.

Spain 1792 - the Catholic Church is at the height of its powers. The revolution has sent neighbouring France into turmoil and the Spanish church decides to restore order by bringing back the dreaded Inquisition. Spearheading this movement is the enigmatic and cunning priest Lorenzo, a man who seeks power above all.

Lorenzo's friend is Francisco Goya, Spain's most famous artist and portraitist to kings and queens. When his beautiful model Ines is unjustly imprisoned and tortured by the Inquisition their friendship is put to a test as Goya begs Lorenzo to spare the poor girl's life.

With the torture-ravaged Ines' life in his hands, he rapes her and leaves her to rot in hidden dungeons.

Almost two decades later, just before the French armies invade Spain, Goya is a different man. Having lost his hearing entirely, he has become a dark, disturbed man, almost a ghost of himself. But it is now that he has entered his most famous creative period.

Lorenzo, having been banished by the Spanish church, fled to France, only to return in a new guise as chief prosecutor for Napoleon's regime. Now he can take revenge on the very men that threw him out of Spain - he relishes the opportunity to persecute his old allies of the Spanish Inquisition.

When the French abolish the Inquisition, all its prisoners are set free. Ines, the once beautiful figure of Goya's paintings and dreams, emerges from prison not only having lost her youth but also to find her once powerful family slaughtered in their own home.

The only person she has left in this world now is the mad, old Goya.

He becomes her protector and she reveals that she gave birth to a girl during her imprisonment.

When Goya discovers Alicia, Ines' daughter, working as a prostitute, he confronts Lorenzo who finally admits having raped Ines and being the father of her child. But mother and daughter are still far from being reunited.

The power map of Europe continues its seismic changes as Spain is once again thrown into chaos when Wellington's powerful army invades to restore Spanish rule. Lorenzo finds himself in desperate need of a new ally of faces a gruesome death sentence.

It is mayhem on the streets of Madrid and Goya continues his desperate struggle to reunite mother and daughter. Lorenzo will stop at nothing to save himself and keep secret the child that haunts him..."

The film turns into a search for Ines' daughter (who may or may not exist), Lorenzo's quest to hide the daughter (who may or may not exist), and Goya's obsession to help his muse and attempt to uncover the truth.

As you can probably tell, this isn't really a film about Goya. While he's is the central character, Goya's story takes a backseat to the maniacal Brother Lorenzo and the tormented Ines.

The movie is short on character development. We find out very little about Ines before her arrest (she's a pretty girl who poses for pictures and hates pork). We learn about Goya more from his paintings and sketches than from Skarsgard's performance (at least initially). Bardem's Father Lorenzo is the exception. From the moment we're introduced to him, we see him as a man who craves power and will do anything to attain it. His story is the most interesting and engaging.

As the actors go, Skarsgard and Bardem are as reliable as ever. They do their best to bring life and energy to roles that aren't very complex. However, it's Natalie Portman that steals the movie. Her portrayal of Ines is heartbreaking. At first glance she looks to be the token starlet who was cast specifically to bring in a younger demographic to the box office. Instead, we are graced with an emotional performance that is sure to be recognized this awards season.

As I stated before, the music was temp and not very memorable. I didn't recognize it from anywhere else. The film does not currently have a distributor (Saul Zaentz was in Cannes looking for a buyer). The winning history of past Zaentz/Forman efforts may be hard to pass up, but Goya's Ghosts will be a hard sell for audiences. It's not a picture that's going to burn up the box office.

Prediction? I see it making around $20-30 million. But only if it gets nominated during awards season. And it just may be, as it features Natalie Portman's best acting in years.


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