Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

Jack Cardiff's career spanned an incredible nine of moving picture's first ten decades and his work behind the camera altered the look of films forever through his use of Technicolor photography. Craig McCall's passionate film about the legendary cinematographer reveals a unique figure in British and international cinema. -- (C) Strand

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary , Television
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 16, 2011
Box Office: $20.0k
Runtime:
Independent Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (11)

Although we never really learn much about his life outside the movies, by the end of the film we are in awe of his work accomplishments.

Full Review… | July 28, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

"Cameraman" should be required viewing for anyone interested in becoming more visually literate in an ever-more-media-drenched age.

Full Review… | July 8, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Cardiff was the greatest color cameraman who ever lived.

Full Review… | June 23, 2011
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The lack of personal detail can be frustrating. Yet it suits its subject's gentlemanly reserve.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Even with its tightly cropped approach, this is still a fascinating look at a too-neglected craft.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Chiming in for this breezy tribute filled with tantalizing clips is a who's who of admirers, including Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, John Mills and Kim Hunter.

Full Review… | May 13, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff

Ah, this one takes me back. I was at college in Cardiff in the late Nineties, and I remember finding out at very short notice - like, that very day! - about a special screening of A Matter of Life and Death, to be followed by a Q&A session with that film's cinematographer, Jack Cardiff. A couple of friends and myself dashed down to this little arthouse cinema tucked away in the suburbs of Cardiff, only to be told that we couldn't possibly get in because they'd already sold out! As arrogant as I was naïve at that time, it probably hadn't even occurred to me that there would be other people interested in seeing this show; surely I was the only Powell & Pressburger fanatic in the whole of the British Isles, let alone the Welsh capital. Anyway, I remember the evening wasn't a complete waste of time because we disconsolately shuffled off to watch 12 Monkeys instead, but I still feel a pang of disappointment at missing out on seeing the great man in person. Apart from the depressing fact that so many of the contributors to this documentary, seventeen years in the making, have, like Jack, now passed on, Cameraman serves as a thoroughly entertaining digest of Jack's autobiography, Magic Hour. If you like what you see here, I urge you to read his excellent book.

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harrycaul
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

½

A doc on a genius whose resume includes The Red Shoes and Rambo.
So many more movie to watch.

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kenstachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

At first, this documentary seems most interested in pointing out that master cinematographer Jack Cardiff was still working at the age of 91 after a very long career. He started out as a child actor before becoming almost entirely self-taught, as he learned more from a pornographic novel than school. But then it gets down to the nitty gritty of his work that spans from "Black Narcissus" to "Rambo: First Blood Part II" with a special interest in his innovations in the use of color film in 1940's England, with a glancing mention of the 13 films he directed.(Note to self: get around to seeing "Sons and Lovers" one of these years.) The documentary's anecdotal structure becomes problematic in other ways, too, especially in how often the movie goes off topic, favoring star power over technical expertise, although the home movies Cardiff shot on set almost make up for some of that.

And even then, the documentary can be maddeningly inaccurate. For example, it is nice to know Michael Powell was so fearless in the movies he made with Emeric Pressburger. However, "The Red Shoes" was not Powell's undoing. In reality, it turned out to be "Peeping Tom," made without Pressburger to hold him back.(Don't let that stop you from seeing it, though.) Plus, this documentary is framed by making a big deal about Cardiff's being belatedly given an honorary Oscar in 2001 but I looked it up and he won one for cinematography for "Black Narcissus" in 1947.

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Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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