A couple of weeks back, we posed a rather massive question: “What are the most beautiful movies ever made?” We came up with ten candidates of our own, but you, the readers, really stepped up, with over 100 commenters (and counting) offering up their own nominees. There were so many great suggestions, in fact, that a simple follow-up post seemed in adequate; instead, we got our hands on our original list, our runners-up, and your picks — a total of 86 movies — and put together some of our favorite images from them for this week’s video essay, a celebration of cinematic imagery that’s particularly needed in the midst of summer blockbuster season. After the jump, have a look at “135 Shots That Will Restore Your Faith in Cinema.”
UPDATE: Due to popular demand (and some shocking but widespread confusion over the meaning of the phrase “in order of appearance”), we’ve made an alternate version of this surprisingly popular video, this time with on-screen text indicating the film each shot was taken from, and its cinematographer. We initially left all of that out, in order to allow the images to speak for themselves without viewers getting distracted by a bunch of words–and, frankly, because we thought you might have some fun playing “name that movie.” Now that you’ve had a couple of weeks to do that, here’s the annotated version, if you’d like to seek out some of the movies that caught your eye:
CREDITS Edited by Jason Bailey Music by Clint Mansell ( Music from the Motion Picture “Moon” )
Films (in order of appearance, with cinematographer in parenthesis): Man with a Movie Camera (Mikhail Kaufman), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Roger Deakins), Baraka (Ron Fricke), Koyaanisqatsi (Ron Fricke), Days of Heaven (Nestor Almendros), Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (Takao Saito, Shoji Ueda), What Dreams May Come (Eduardo Serra), Legends of the Fall (John Toll), Lawrence of Arabia (Freddie Young), El Topo (Rafael Corkidi), La Dolce Vita (Otello Martelli), The Tree of Life (Emmanuel Lubezki), Daughters of the Dust (Arthur Jafa), Chinatown(John A. Alonzo), Barry Lyndon (John Alcott), Hero (Christopher Doyle), Kagemusha (Takao Saito, Shoji Ueda), The Night of the Hunter (Stanley Cortez), Ugetsu (Kazuo Miyagawa), Songs from the Second Floor (Istvan Borbas, Jesper Klevenas, Robert Komarek), The Black Stallion (Caleb Deschanel), Vertigo (Robert Burks), Manhattan (Gordon Willis), Apocalypse Now (Vittorio Storaro), Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Gonzalo F. Berridi), The Duellists (Frank Tidy), Powaqqatsi(Graham Berry, Leonidas Zourdoumis), Ran (Asakazu Nakai, Takao Saito, Shoji Ueda), Bombay Beach (Alma Har’el), 2001: A Space Odyssey(Geoffrey Unsworth), The Thin Red Line (John Toll), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Peter Zeitlinger), The New World (Emmanuel Lubezki), Solaris (Vadim Yusov), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Janusz Kaminksi), I Am Love (Yorick Le Saux), A Matter of Life and Death (Jack Cardiff), Onibaba (Kiyomi Kuroda), Blue Velvet (Frederick Elmes), No Country for Old Men (Roger Deakins), I Am Cuba (Sergei Urusevsky), The Fountain (Matthew Libatique), There Will be Blood (Robert Elswitt), The Human Condition (Yoshio Miyajima), The Proposition (Benoit Delhomme), Raise the Red Lantern (Lun Yang, Fei Zhao), The Godfather Part II (Gordon Willis), 2046 (Christopher Doyle, Pung-Leung Kwan), Beauty and the Beast (Henri Alekan), Melancholia, (Manuel Alberto Claro), Road to Perdition (Conrad L. Hall), Alexander Nevsky (Eduard Tisse), Sunrise (Charles Rosher, Karl Struss), Blade Runner (Jordan Cronenweth), Citizen Kane (Gregg Toland), House of Flying Daggers (Xiaoding Zhao), Wings of Desire (Henri Alekan), Atonement (Seamus McGarvey), The Last Emperor (Vittorio Storaro), Before Night Falls (Xavier Perez Grobet, Guillermo Rosas), The Last Picture Show (Robert Surtees), The Red Shoes (Jack Cardiff), Down by Law (Robby Müller), Amelie (Bruno Delbonnel),Chungking Express (Christopher Doyle, Wai-keung Lau), Children of Men (Emmanuel Lubezki), Black Orpheus (Jean Bourgoin), The Leopard (Giuseppe Rotunno), The Age of Innocence (Michael Ballhaus), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Frank Griebe), Raging Bull (Michael Chapman), The Fall (Colin Watkinson), The Pillow Book (Sacha Vierny), Martha Marcy May Marlene (Jody Lee Lipes), Nosferatu the Vampyre (Jorg Schmidt-Reitwein), The Third Man (Robert Krasker), Good Night and Good Luck (Robert Elswitt), The Scarlet Empress (Bert Glennon), The Man Who Wasn’t There (Roger Deakins), Talk to Her (Javier Aguirresarobe), In The Mood for Love (Christopher Doyle, Pung-Leung Kwan, Ping Bin Lee), The Man Who Cried (Sacha Vierny), Santa Sangre (Daniele Nannuzzi), The Passion of Joan of Arc (Rudolph Maté), In Cold Blood (Conrad L. Hall), 8 ½ (Gianni Di Venanzo), Brazil (Roger Pratt).
Check out a few of our previous video essays: “All of Woody’s Surrogates” “Wes Anderson’s Favorite New York Movies” “Threequel: Even More Famous Faces in their Film Debuts” “The Semi-Obligatory Lyrical Interlude (A Case Study)” “Encore: More Famous Faces in their Film Debuts” “Watching the Detectives: Our Favorite Movie Private Eyes” “And Introducing…: Famous Faces in their Film Debuts” “The Martin Scoresese Film School” “How to Pull the Perfect Movie Heist” “Being Denzel Washington”