May 19, 2014

Gordon Willis

Legend has it that when Francis Ford Coppola screened a rough cut of The Godfather to the film's executives, they had a conniption. The movie was too dark. You couldn't see anything. They gave him money for lights. What did he do with it? Luckily, he stuck to his guns and Gordon Willis changed the look of movies in Hollywood forever.
The rich, bloody hues of the Godfather Trilogy, the crisp, romantic beauty of Woody Allen's black and white New York in Manhattan and Broadway Danny Rose. The seedy chic of Klute. The light and shadows in these movies are like another character.
One of the reasons why Woody Allen's best movies are works of art and not just funny comedies is that he was smart enough to hire Willis.
Now is as good a time as any to enjoy the gorgeous, richly expressive wonders of his breathtaking work.

Stardust Memories. Woody Allen.

The Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola.

Manhattan. Woody Allen.

Klute. Alan J. Pakula.

The Godfather II. Francis Ford Coppola.

Broadway Danny Rose. Woody Allen.

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