Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1993)

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1993)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography Photos

Movie Info

Featuring clips from over one hundred films and interviews with numerous famed directors of photography, the documentary Visions of Light: The Art of the Cinematographer provides a general overview of the history of cinematography by focusing on some of the cinema's greatest visual achievements. Though all periods are covered, from the early days black and white expressionism and experimentation to the refined techniques of modern-day color cinematography, the film refrains from a strict chronology. Instead, Visions of Light is structured around a series of interviews by screenwriter and film critic Todd McCarthy, whose subjects include such notables as Michael Chapman, Ernest Dickerson, James Wong Howe, Gordon Willis, Vittorio Storaro, and Haskell Wexler, among others. These acknowledged greats discuss the details behind the making of their own films, in extended reminiscences providing an illuminating glimpse at their technique and methods. They also speak about the films and cinematographers that most influenced them, allowing the film to present a sense of historical perspective. These conversations, worthwhile as they are, are merely a frame for the documentary's true subject, which can be found in the film clips themselves, which are presented in pristine condition, showing their beauty and richness to full advantage.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest , Television
Directed By:
Written By:


Critic Reviews for Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

This breathtaking documentary sheds brilliant light (and subtle shading, too) on the history and practice of cinematography.

Full Review… | June 15, 2007

Absolutely superb documentary with haunting score.

December 19, 2005

You will never watch movies the same way after seeing this great documentary.

October 7, 2005

One of the few films that's just as amazing with the sound turned off.

April 1, 2005
Freeze Dried Movies

A dream come true for true film lovers.

Full Review… | April 20, 2003
Goatdog's Movies

Filmmaking as wonderful as that discussed in Visions of Light deserves to be seen as more than just a snippet.

Full Review… | August 4, 2002

Audience Reviews for Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

Representing hollywood films the way they were truly made behind the camera, "Visions of Light" is a perfect documentary, showcasing many classic films of the past and how they were shot and lit in every way and the struggles it took to get to that perfect look. Filmmakers across the globe were interviewed giving their voices so that people can understand exactly what goes into the planning process for such a big production. It is a pretty fascinating film to watch, even though some endings for films are spoiled throughout, so proceed through the film with caution. I loved every second of this film and it held my attention all the way through.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A good collection of perspectives on the art of cinema that drags on occasion and is not ultimately memorable.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

An enlightening film with some of the best cinematographers in the film industry from before 1993. If you like this film, I would recommend reading Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers. It is a little more dated, but goes into great depth with each cinematographer.

Natalie Metzger
Natalie Metzger

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