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.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
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.