Tess is surely among the most beautiful films that Roman Polanski has made. The director, shooting in the French countryside in Normandy and Brittany, traded the intentionally claustrophobic aesthetic of so many of his films (Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby) for an expansive, widescreen visual sense, giving this detailed version of Thomas Hardy’s classic book Tess of the d’Urbervilles the feel of a true movie epic. The director was assisted in visualizing Tess by a duo of incredible cinematographers: Geoffrey Unsworth (2001: A Space Odyssey), who died during shooting, and Ghislain Cloquet (Au hasard Balthazar), who replaced him. The two would end up sharing an Oscar for their work on Tess. Watch a beautifully shot scene from the film below, in which the peasant girl Tess (Nastassja Kinski, in her first major role) resists the charms of the nobleman Alec d'Urberville (Leigh Lawson).
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.
Charisma to Burn: Béatrice Dalle’s Incandescent Debut in Betty Blue
The young French actor didn’t require much direction for her first screen role. As the film’s director and cinematographer recall, she quickly proved herself to be a born star.
How Paweł Pawlikowski Reimagined His Parents’ Fiery Romance for the Big Screen
As the director explains to filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the love story at the heart of the Oscar-nominated drama Cold War has its roots in his own family history.