The near-future totalitarian England of Michael Radford’s 1984, a powerful adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel, is a very dark place indeed. The film’s brilliant production design and color-drained photography emphasize the grubby squalor and soul-crushing uniformity of the surveillance state, setting a vividly bleak tone for the story of the unlikely rebellion of a lowly bureaucrat (John Hurt). In one of the supplements on our new edition of 1984, acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins talks at length about his work on Radford’s film, along the way touching on the distinctive pallor of its images. As Deakins explains in the clip above, the “silver-tint” process pioneered by the legendary Japanese cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa became his avenue to achieving Radford’s vision of an almost colorless 1984. By omitting the bleach-bath step of the print-making process, Deakins succeeded in giving the movie a haunting “50 percent black-and-white”—though not without first setting several projectors on fire during the testing phase.
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.
A Daytrippers Trio Looks Back on Their Indie Miracle
Director Greg Mottola reunites with two cast members of his debut feature—Liev Schreiber and Parker Posey—to reminisce about the joys and trials they experienced on the set of this shoestring marvel.